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Northwest Area Command January Newsletter

How to Avoid Warm-Up Theft This Winter

As temperatures drop in the winter, drivers may be tempted to stay inside and keep warm while they wait for their cares to warm up. However, car owners may want to think twice before they leave their cars running, unlocked, and unattended. Car thieves are on the lookout for these vehicles warming up in driveways.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of warm-up thefts:

  • Never leave your vehicle running or leave the keys in the ignition when the vehicle isn't within eyesight. Not even for "just a minute."
  • Keep your valuable such as purses, credit cards, and cell phones out of sight or in the trunk.
  • Roll up the windows and lock the car.
  • Do not leave the registration or title in the car. This makes it easier for thieves to dispose of your vehicle and it also makes you a target for identity theft.
  • Stay alert when approaching the vehicle. Check around the car for thieves and suspicious persons. Leave as soon as you are concerned for your safety.
  • Park your car in busy areas that are properly lighted.
  • Install a mechanical locking device that locks to the steering wheel, column, or brake. These devices are known as clubs, collars, or j-bars.
  • Use alarms or anti-theft devices if your vehicle has one.

Starting a Neighborhood Watch

The following steps show how to start a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood:

  • You or a neighbor decides to host an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting.
  • Whoever is going to host the meeting calls the APD Crime Prevention Office at  (505) 768-2006. The Crime Prevention Office will send a "starter packet" that will include, among other items, a form to collect information from your neighbors.
  • The host or designee goes up and down the block contacting the neighbors and recording their name, address, and phone number on the form.
  • The host then sends the completed list back to the Crime Prevention Office in the self-addressed envelope provided in the starter packet.
  • After the CP Office receives the list from the interested party, a Crime Prevention Specialist, Peter Gelabert, will contact the host to set up a date and time for the Neighborhood Watch Meeting.
  • At the meeting, the host provides chairs and simple refreshments.
  • The Crime Prevention Specialist, Peter Gelabert, will conduct the meeting and towards the end, facilitate the group's selection of a Block Captain who will function as the neighborhood leader and will serve as a contact person for the Albuquerque Police Department.
  • The Block Captain is responsible for contacting new neighbors and for providing updated information to the Crime Prevention Office (Block Captain Replacement etc.)
  • The block is now organized and may collectively purchase Neighborhoods Organized Against Crime (NOAC) Street Signs. The signs may be ordered (by the Block Captain only) through the Crime Prevention Office. The Block Captain may also join the Albuquerque Block Captains Association (ABCA). The block can also officially participate in the annual National Night Out celebration held the first Tuesday of August each year.
  • Crime prevention Specialist, Pete Gelabert, will give information on how to secure your home, home security tips, how to secure your vehicle, and auto burglary tips. Items burglars are taking from homes and vehicles. Crime trends and patterns in the NW Area Command. What time of day the burglars are committing the home burglaries and auto burglaries.