Stillwater News Press

March 7, 2014

Auto burglary prevention campaign deemed a success

By Megan Sando
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — A spree of auto burglaries has residents leery, but police are prepared to use tactics against that have proven to be effective in reducing crime.

Police reports show burglaries in one shopping complex at the 1800 block of North Perkins. On Feb. 8, three women reported stolen purses, a gaming system and damage to their vehicles. A press release from the Stillwater Police Department states the suspect smashed out car windows. Combined losses were $1,790, according to police reports.

Police have yet to make an arrest in connection with the burglaries.

One suspect attempted to cash checks stolen in the Feb. 8 burglaries at a bank in Oklahoma City. Surveillance cameras show the woman in a four-door car.

One way the police department aimed to reduce auto burglaries was its Lock it or Lose it Campaign. Police Chief Ryan McCaghren said the campaign was a success.

In June 2013, auto burglaries were reduced by 38 percent, and 58 percent in August.

Data taken from previous years show burglary hot spots. Officers would place flyers on vehicles, either thanking the owners for locking their vehicle or warning them that they were in a high theft area.

The criminal investigation division was also able to make several arrests during the campaign, McCaghren said.

Some might wonder how many cars have to be burglarized before police intervene. McCaghren said there’s no certain number. Police will monitor incidents that crop up in areas based on concentration.

Lock it or Lose it was a crime-preventive study, but it was also a way of informing the public.

“We aren’t trying to hide anything, the information has been out there for the public through mass media,” he said.