First, as Walnut Creek blogger DUBC reports, a resident of the Keys Condomiums on Civic Drive woke up one morning last week to find all four wheels had been stolen. But as a "consolation prize," the thief left the sedan propped up on four milk crates. You've got to check out this photo on the DUBC's website. It's a classic, though I'm sure the car owner isn't tickled.
Second, I came across this blog on the Diablo magazine website. Apparently, Walnut Creek police are warning people to not leave purses, backpacks, laptops, and other valuables sitting in plain view in their cars. This warning came after Diablo received word from a reader about her own unpleasant experience. The reader said she had briefly parked at Heather Farm Park this week and locked her purse in the car to pop in to use the "facilities." This was at about 3:30 in the afternoon. When she returned, her car window had been smashed open, and her purse was gone.
Lt. Shelly James said Walnut Creek police have noticed, not necessarily a radical jump, but what would be better described as an uptick in such "crimes of opportunity." According to this Diablo blog, thieves are preying on parking garage and lots in towns where there are lots of cars, potentially filled with goodies in plain view, to quickly snatch. The thieves are willing to take risks, even do a smash and grab in broad daylight. The pickings are so easy, and the thieves can't walk away from a quick source of loot.
“Walnut Creek isn’t a small town anymore," James told Diablo. She added that the recession might be prompting thieves to seize those opportunities more than ever and even in brazen ways, like in the middle of the afternoon in a public parking lot.James advises people driving to Walnut Creek to shop, eat, see a movie, or use one of the parks to always take their valuables with them or lock them up in their trunks.
“It’s probably increasing with the economy,” she says. “People are more desperate and do these things than in the past.”
I would say, no kidding. But I have to confess that I have been known to, yes, leave my purse in the car at my gym when I go to work out in the morning. It's early morning, I think. Who can see inside my car?Also, I cover my purse with a sweatshirt, or newspapers...
Silly me. Recently, I had to take my car in for some basic service, including the fact that the handle and lock on the front passenger door were not working properly. The mechanics were able to fix it without much difficulty (and no cost to me!). I was told that the problem was probably caused by someone tampering with the lock, trying to break in.
So, yes, I'll start taking Lt. James' advice. No more leaving my purse, gym bag, or other valuables in my car in plain view--including coins--available for a thief to quickly steal.