SLCgov.com

Chief’s Video Message: Auto Theft Prevention

August 6, 2012 — In light of a recent spike in car thefts and car prowls around Salt Lake City, Police Chief Chris Burbank and auto theft investigator Detective Mike Tuttle have posted a YouTube video that discusses the situation and provides tips to decrease the potential for this type of crime.

Although there has been a recent spike in car thefts and car prowls in certain parts of the city, overall the numbers are within what is called the standard deviation. “But if it’s your car that’s stolen, that may be the most dramatic event that has occurred in your life,” Burbank acknowledged in the video. “So as we see these things increase, we wanted to take a moment and have a discussion.”

Burbank and Tuttle discuss the fact that most car thefts and car burglaries, the latter also known as car prowls, are crimes of opportunity, which is evident in the type of property recovered in these cases. Said Tuttle: “we find everything — guns, laptops, social security cards, taxes, valuable books, … iPods, iPod chargers, and the adapters for their stereos — and it’s all there in plain sight when people just walk by.”

Tuttle also advised car owners to protect their vehicles and the property within them by taking the following preventive actions:

  • park in a well-lit area,
  • store valuables out of sight,
  • preferably take valuables with you,
  • activate car’s alarm system,
  • or use an auto theft-prevention device, such as The Club.

“Limit your exposure to risk is the important thing here,” Burbank said.

In closing the video, Burbank asks the public to take the time to get involved and contact the police department not just when they are victimized, but also when they see something suspicious. “That is, in fact, how the administration of the Police Department determines how many people we assign to areas,” he noted.

Contact: Reporters seeking comment should contact the Public Information Officer at 801.799.NEWS (6397).

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