Police Emphasize Keys to Crime Prevention: 'Locks, Lights, Awareness'

By Allen, Kari | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 19, 1999 | Go to article overview

Police Emphasize Keys to Crime Prevention: 'Locks, Lights, Awareness'


Allen, Kari, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kari Allen Daily Herald Staff Writer

It's no secret Naperville has a low crime rate for a city of more than 120,000 people.

But police officers and neighborhood leaders agree: They still want to do more to prevent crimes before they even have a chance to occur.

Officers met with representatives from numerous homeowners associations Saturday to discuss safety in their neighborhoods and around the city.

While officers said Naperville fares very well against other towns in the Midwest, many crimes that do occur could have been avoided.

When vehicles or houses are burglarized, it's often because doors or windows were left unlocked, officers said.

Police, for example, currently are investigating a series of burglaries on the south side of town. In each case, garage doors were left open overnight, making it easy for someone to walk in to steal cash, credit cards or electronic equipment.

In several other cases this year, residents have had cash, cellular phones and computers stolen from their vehicles. About 90 percent of the time, those cars were left unlocked.

"Because we have a low crime rate, some people celebrate complacency and don't lock their cars or doors," Lt. Dave Hildebrand said.

And Naperville residents might feel so safe in town that they aren't aware of people around them as they walk through neighborhoods, he added.

But falling into a false sense of security is exactly the wrong thing to do. …

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