The police gave residents tips on how to stay safe during colder months.
By Anicka Slachta (Patch Staff) – December 12, 2016 5:55 pm ET
In the wake of continued car burglaries and a recent string of package thefts, Oak Park Police are trying to raise awareness of these common crimes and how to avoid them so that residents can ring in the new year safely.
In a newsletter distributed by the Village of Oak Park, the police department provided the following tips for keeping your family crime-free this season:
Many residents across the western suburbs have been reporting to police that their UPS packages, which were left on their doorstep, were swiped by thieves. Sometimes people won’t even realize their items have been stolen until it’s been awhile and they check their package tracking, which will tell them their packages were delivered days ago. To avoid this problem, Oak Park police encourage people to make arrangements for friends, family members or neighbors to be home if you can’t be to accept packages that would otherwise be left outside your home.
It’s not hard to lose track of your stuff during the holiday shopping rush, and pickpockets know that, Oak Park police say. While out shopping or eating out, keep careful watch over your purses, bags and wallets. “Thieves like bags and purses hanging on chair backs, left in shopping cars, sitting unattended or simply set down while the owner answers a telephone or is otherwise distracted,” the cops said.
Packages and valuables left visible in cars are bait for thieves, police warn. Even if your car is locked, being able to see your valuables is an “invitation to thieves who may be willing to damage your vehicle to get at them.” And — be careful if you have to make multiple trips to and from your car while unloading groceries or other items.
There is a rise in car theft in the colder months, police said, because more cars tend to be left unattended while owners wait for them to warm up, unlocked and running with the keys in the ignition. Oak Park cops say this can happen on the street, in a garage or even when making a super quick stop at a store. They also remind residents that it’s not only dangerous, but illegal to leave a running car unattended.