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FWPD Asks Neighbors for Help in Preventing Thefts from Vehicles

September 25, 2012


Today I was called by Deputy Chief Steve Reed, Southwest Division commander for the Fort Wayne Police Department.  He wants to share the following information with the neighborhood that I am paraphrasing:

There have been an alarming number of thefts from vehicles in Southwood Park.  As a result, FWPD is planning additional patrols in the neighborhood.  FWPD will also be conducting patrols of the park and Rivergreenway by an officer on an ATV.

All of the thefts have been from unlocked cars.

FWPD strongly encourages residents to lock their vehicles and to remove valuables from their vehicles.  It is important to remove opportunities for crime.

Deputy Chief Reed is concerned at a lack of suspect descriptions.  Normally, police have some sort of description to work from at this point, but FWPD hasn’t received any descriptions of suspects.  If you see someone walking down an alley, walking through yards, or walking in the neighborhood at night that doesn’t look familiar, please call police. 

People don’t call the police because they think they’re bothering them with something small. But the police need to become more familiar with who is out in the neighborhood and might not have legitimate business here.  Call the desk sergeant at 427-1222. Call 911 in an emergency.

Your Association Board Members heard several reports of thefts from vehicles over the summer.  In many cases, neighbors didn’t file police reports.  We even had neighborhood security patrol dispatches where folks flagged down the patrol but refused to let APS call the police to file a report.

This “summer mischief” has gone on too long.  We need to ask ourselves some tough questions as a neighborhood.  How much have neighbors enabled this activity by continuing to leave valuables in unlocked cars?  How many more crimes happened because someone didn’t want to “bother” the police and file a report?  And have the same people who got away with thefts from vehicles graduated to bigger things like stealing the Little League’s tractors or assaulting joggers?

If Southwood Park neighbors won’t help themselves by taking simple crime prevention steps, we shouldn’t get mad at security patrols, the police, or the media when we hear negative reports in the news.  We can do better.

Steve McCord

Board President,

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