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Tips for Crime Prevention

Mayor Diane Marlin's Tips (January 2018)

Recently, some neighborhoods have been hit by a rash of home break-ins and burglaries. The hardest hit area is the southeast side of the city, but it is not just limited to that part of town. The Urbana Police Department is taking these incidents very seriously and has increased patrol presence in the area. Investigators, Patrol Officers and our Street Crimes Unit are working on the issue and are aggressively following leads.

Citizens have asked how they can help.Here’s what you can do. CALL 9-1-1 if you see something suspicious--- NOMATTER HOW MINOR YOU THINK IT MAY BE. Posting to Facebook or a neighborhood discussion group may raise awareness in the neighborhood, but make sure you first report it to the UPD. During follow-ups with victims and neighbors, officers have learned from some residents that they had noticed suspicious activity, but did not call the Urbana Police Department. Remember, UPD works for you and officers are here 24/7 to take your calls. Something minor often can lead to arrests, recovering of property, and restoring peace of mind. We need your help to stop these crimes.

Also, please remember to lock your car doors.This is still the biggest issue we see with vehicle burglaries. We strongly encourage anyone leaving town to register with UPD’s vacation watch HERE or call us at 384-2320. DO NOT POST vacation pictures on social media while you’re gone—this just advertises that your home is unoccupied.

UPD has hired five officers in the past few months to either fill vacancies in current positions or to fill the two new positions authorized by the City Council last spring. The officers are in training now and all five should be on the streets this summer making a contribution.

Following are tips on how to help prevent  crimes from happening. Please read these and if you have any questions you can call Lt. Bob Fitzgerald at 328-8260. His contact information is below.

Lieutenant Robert J Fitzgerald

Services Commander

Urbana Police Department

400 S Vine Street

Urbana Il, 61801

217-384-2320 - Work

217-384-2363 - Fax

fitzgerj@urbanaillinois.us

Tips on Burglar Prevention
  • Use Motion Lights
  • Leave a Car Parked in the Driveway When You Are Gone
  • Don’t Advertise You Are Leaving (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Put Your Interior Lights on Timers (Preferably Using Multiple Timers Set to Different Times on Lights)
  • Have Your Mail and/or Newspaper Put on Hold or Have Somebody Pick Them Up
  • Have Somebody Put Your Garbage out the Night Before or Day of Garbage Day and replace your garbage can the same day
  • Have A Neighbor or Friend Check for Packages, Pamphlets, etc That May Be Left (Even if You Aren’t Expecting Anything)
  • Lock and Secure ALL Doors and Windows
  • Place a Rod in Any Sliding Doors
  • Lock or Put Away Any Items That May be Visually Appealing to Burglars (Bikes, Lawn Tools, etc)
  • Check with Local Police about Vacation Watches
  • Use Bright Bulbs in Porch or Outdoor Lights and Leave the Lights On
  • Trim Back Tall or Overgrown Shrubs around Doors or Windows

Tips to Prevent Car Burglars
  • Lock your doors every time you leave your vehicle. A vast majority of vehicles that are burglarized have been vehicles that were unlocked.
  • Do not leave your car running unattended even for a minute; criminals are opportunists who love an easy job.
  • Do not leave valuable or even cheap items in plain sight. Offenders often look into vehicles to see if it is worth breaking into. What you think is worthless they may see as some value to them.
  • Car alarms are a deterrent. Yes, they are loud and annoying, but next time this happens, take notice that there are no car thieves around that noisy car.
  • Don’t park your vehicle in an isolated area or an area where others cannot see your vehicle from the street. That sweet, little-known spot in the alley in the back may always be open, but it is also quite private – which is perfect for any criminal.
  • If you park in your garage, make sure you lock your garage door. If you are gone for a while, do not leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle. That gives burglars access not only to your vehicle but also probably to the entire residence.
  • Call the Police when you see anyone suspicious in the area. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Dial 911.
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