The Provo Mayor’s office and Police Department are concerned about what they are calling a “shocking uptick” in vehicle burglaries.
“During the last 30 days, vehicle burglaries in Provo City have tripled,” said Nicole Martin, city spokeswoman. “The majority of reported burglaries show the vehicles were left unlocked and valuable items were in view.”
In a report released by the Provo Police Department, between April 20 and May 20 there were 64 vehicle burglaries. In the same time period in 2018 there were 36, and in 2019 there were 27, according to Sgt. Nisha King, police spokeswoman.
More than half of those vehicle burglaries were in an area between Freedom Boulevard and 700 East and 200 North and 800 North, most in the Joaquin Neighborhood, King noted.
A few of the car windows were broken, but 46 of those vehicles had doors unlocked. Among some of the items stolen were four axes, seven knives and three firearms. Other items include cash, credit cards, vehicle registrations, clothing and electronics, King said.
Mayor Michelle Kaufusi is asking residents to take the initiative to make sure they lock their vehicles and don’t provide an avenue for unwanted guests to take items.
“Most problems don’t have an easy solution, especially one each of us can contribute to,” Kaufusi said. “Each of us can reduce property theft and make a visible difference in the safety of our community by taking proactive protective measures.”
King said the city has instigated a program called the 9 p.m. Routine Team.
“Every night at 9 p.m. citizens should remove all valuable items, spare keys and fire arms from their cars then lock them,” King said. “Also, check around the outside of your residence and leave an outside light on.”
The next question we hope you are asking yourself is, “What else can I do to prevent my vehicle from getting burglarized?” Martin said. “If you will follow these simple steps, your vehicle will be less likely to get broke into.”
- Make sure all of your vehicle windows are closed and the doors are locked.
- Try to park in a well-lit area.
- If you have an anti-theft system make sure it is in place every time you are away from your vehicle.
“The majority of reported vehicle burglaries the vehicles were left unlocked,” according to Martin. “We implore our community to hide it, lock it, keep it.”
King said they have arrested a number of people involved in these crimes. Many of them had used credit cards at stores all over Utah County. Neighborhood surveillance cameras helped to catch some of the trespassers.
While vehicle burglaries are up so is all theft. During the same April 20 to May 20 period total thefts in 2018 were 138. In 2019, total thefts reported came in at 106. This year, it rose to 168.