Police seek help curbing thefts from unlocked vehicles

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published April 29, 2015


ROYAL OAK — Officers are reaching out to the public, asking for help to reduce thefts from unlocked vehicles.

“The Royal Oak Police Department is asking citizens and visitors to assist us with preventing this type of crime by ensuring vehicles are locked and items of value are not left inside,” said Lt. David Clemens.

Police are also looking for help in identifying the suspects involved in an April 18 stealing spree. Clemens said the department received 11 larceny from motor vehicle/tampering with automobile complaints on that date.

“All of the vehicles involved were left unlocked,” he said.

Only two of the incidents involved vehicles parked in the owner’s driveway. The rest of the crimes happened while the vehicles were parked in front of the residence or nearby.

All crimes took place on the city’s east side, from 10 Mile Road to north of 13 Mile Road. The vehicles were parked in the 2400 block of North Wilson Avenue; the 200, 300 and 600 blocks of South Blair Avenue; the 1500 block of Donald Avenue; the 1500 block of Wyandotte Avenue; the 1400 block of Owana Avenue; the 1000 block of Batavia Avenue; at the intersection of South Blair Avenue and East Third Street; and at the  intersection of South Blair Avenue and East Sixth Street.

According to police, items taken included vehicle registrations and proofs of insurance, laptops, tablets, GPS systems, Bose headphones, a checkbook, purses, prescription medication, cash, IDs, clothing and a briefcase. Some victims reported that their vehicles had been rummaged through, but nothing was stolen.

Clemens said vehicles should be locked, and whenever possible, parked in well-lit areas.

“Entering an unlocked vehicle is much easier than breaking in,” Clemens said. “On most factory-installed security systems, the alarm isn’t armed until you lock the vehicle, so they can enter the vehicle without setting off an alarm.

“Also, breaking into a car takes more time and creates more noise, which may draw attention to the suspect.”

Clemens said to also refrain from leaving valuables, like sensitive documents and charging cords, out in the open.

“If they don’t see evidence of valuables in a car, they are likely to move along to another vehicle,” he said.  

Anyone with information regarding the recent thefts should call Clemens at (248) 246-3456.