The Danville Police Department reports that thefts are up in town, with 19 incidents of items taken from homes or cars during just the first two weeks of November. This is up from six incidents during the same time period last year.
Equally alarming is the fact that in 80 percent of these thefts, the houses or cars were unlocked. In the residential burglaries, two of the homeowners even had left their garage doors open all night. It's nice that people here feel safe enough not to worry about locking their doors but if they want to protect their possessions, they should secure their homes at night.
It may not be fair to blame the victim for the crime but why make yourself a target by leaving your doors unlocked? Or by leaving a laptop computer, iPod or other tempting expensive electronic goods within sight and within reach in your car? Thefts are usually up during the holidays so we are entering a risky time of year. Also, police say the bad economy is adding to an increase in crime.
Police Chief Chris Wenzel says arrested thieves have told officers that Danville has a reputation as easy pickings, which is passed on at the County Jail. So consider yourself a target. Assume the bad guys are going to look into your car windows and help themselves to whatever they want. If nothing is on view in your car, they'll probably move on to the next one.
Police also ask people to keep an eye on their neighborhoods and to report suspicious-looking people to the authorities. If everyone could be alert - and start locking their cars and homes - perhaps a new reputation for Danville will be passed along, a reputation as a community that keeps its possessions safe and secure.