Be smart about crime

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Last week, the Suffolk News-Herald reported about bicycles being stolen in a downtown neighborhood.

This week, the police reports show several incidents in a neighborhood off Hampton Road Parkway in North Suffolk, where folks went to their cars Monday morning to discover their vehicles had been rifled through and things were missing.

There’s no cause for Suffolk residents to begin getting quotes for having bars put across their windows. Suffolk enjoys a low crime rate compared to other cities in Hampton Roads, and the city has invested heavily in public safety personnel and equipment in recent years.

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Public safety officials also have invested in their relationship with the community through events like National Night Out and others, resulting in a steep drop in several major categories of crime this year — including homicide, burglaries and robberies.

It’s impossible to avoid entirely becoming a victim of crime at some point in your life. However, residents should remain vigilant and avoid putting low-hanging fruit out there. While everybody forgets something now and then, locking the doors of your homes and cars should be a habit, in addition to not leaving valuables in view in your vehicle. So should putting away things like bicycles and lawn equipment when you’re not using them and won’t be near them.

Often, criminals will move on if they don’t see an easy target. That helps avoid a bad morning for you and frees up our police officers to handle other issues.

Other easy crime-prevention tips from the Suffolk Police Department include:

  • Remove anything from your vehicle that has your personal information on it
  • Never leave your vehicle running, even for a short time
  • Remove extra keys from the vehicle
  • Invest in a vehicle security system
  • Utilize timers in your home to turn on televisions and lights at various times
  • Ensure the locking mechanisms of all doors and windows at your home are strong and effective