During the month of December, the Patrol Division, under the direction of Sgt. Houlahan, has begun an initiative to help deter auto burglaries in locations such as apartment complexes, health clubs, shopping centers, and many others.
Officers will look inside each vehicle to see if there are any items of value that can be seen from outside the vehicle that could be an easy target for theft. Some examples of what they will be looking for are wallets, purses, electronic items, and laptops. During the holiday season, shopping bags with gifts are also items that are attractive to thieves.
If the Officer sees nothing that would attract a thief, they would then place a placard on the windshield thanking the owner for making their vehicle uninviting to thieves. If there are items of value observed from outside the vehicle, they will then make a note of that specific item on the placard. Each placard contains valuable information and statistics to help someone not become the next victim.
Auto burglaries do occur in Overland Park, whether you are at home, shopping, or even at the office. Last year, there were more than a thousand auto burglaries with property loss valued at over $775,000. Many of these vehicles were left unlocked, making them targets for thieves looking for easy access.