The Arkansas City Police Department is planning an initiative for the month of November called “No Valuables November.”
The program will focus on reducing motor vehicle burglaries and thefts by raising awareness in the community that thieves target vehicles based on a few factors. Those factors include:
- keys left in the ignition;
- vehicles left unlocked;
- windows left down;
- parking in poorly lit locations; and
- the main focus of the program — items of value left in plain sight, such as wallets, purses, phones, backpacks, laptops, money, etc.
“The department is hopeful that through personal contact, media outreach and community cooperation, we can work toward fewer motor vehicle thefts and burglaries,” said Police Chief Dan Ward.
Every year, officers respond to more than 100 incidents involving the theft of valuables from cars left unsecured and parked on city streets, in parking lots or even in driveways. In some cases, thieves might only intend to rob the contents of an unsecured car, but find keys to the vehicle … and away they go.
Stolen vehicles pose a significant risk to the public and officers. Many times, a stolen vehicle is abandoned and recovered with little risk. However, should the thief be confronted by law enforcement, the odds indicate that a vehicle pursuit might be the result.
Through the month of November, officers of the Arkansas City Police Department will conduct vehicle surveys in public places such as city streets and parking lots around the city, with a focus on visible, valuable items. Officers will not conduct surveys on vehicles parked on private property.
The surveys will rate a number of factors that contribute to motor vehicle theft and burglary by means of visual inspection only from the perspective of a thief.
The department plans to use local media outlets and social media platforms to update the community on its findings and pass along helpful reminders to reduce citizens’ risk of theft.
To follow these updates on Twitter, please use the hashtag #NOValuablesNOVember.
This initiative comes just in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season, when thefts of presents left in cars are at their highest.
Officers will leave a flyer on the windshield of each vehicle surveyed, listing the results — whether positive or negative. This tactic will help to ensure that potential car burglars are not tipped off to which vehicles might have issues.
Every attempt will be made to contact the owners of vehicles that show signs conducive to theft.
For questions about the No Valuables November initiative, call (620) 441-6601 or (620) 441-4444.
This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.