Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lockerbie Hit By Rash Of Car Break-Ins

At least seven cars were broken into during the overnight hours in my Lockerbie neighborhood. My best friend was one of the unfortunate victims. The only item taken from his car was a Magellan GPS unit. According to a conversation my friend had with IMPD Officer M. Greene, the perpetrators were targeting cars with GPS units. Our neighborhood was hit hard by car break-ins over 10 years ago, but it hasn't been a big problem as of late.

15 comments:

Sir Hailstone said...

GPS units seem to be hot items. I had one "permanently" mounted and it was stolen - ripped right off the dashboard in Castleton. I'm sure it sold on eBay.

Now I only use the "beanbag" for the replacement GPS. If your friend has the police report or at least the case number he can contact Magellan and they should put it on a stolen list and make it unable to receive software updates. At least Garmin does that.

Anonymous said...

IMPD is a failure.. Bring back IPD!!

Melyssa said...

My car was stolen a few months ago. When I got it back, there was a rap CD in the player marked "Pudge". No one checked the CD, but it had fingerprints all over it.

There was also a faux latex glove on the floor that likely had prints inside it.

Didn't Peterson recently brag about this new crime lab? Isn't car theft a serious enough crime to warrant a little finger print dusting and computer check against a database?

My insurance rates go up every year inspite of the fact I am a good driver. It's because of the crime increase in my meridian kessler zip code.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but we (IMPD) do not patrol nieghborhoods like Lockerbie or Meridian Kessler anymore. Too busy taking stolen cell phone and runaway reports out at 86th and something or other.

David said...

I don't know what people expect when they park their cars outside with expensive-looking hardware sitting on the dash. 99% of auto burglaries are done to cars with valuables visible inside. Use some common sense.

Melyssa, there is no new crime lab as far as I know. But more importantly, CSI is not real life. Checking your car for fingerprints would be time-consuming, but extremely unlikely to identify a suspect. Prints are useful as hard evidence in court when a suspect is already identified, but not for finding a suspect in the first place.

Just be glad you got your car back, and know that whoever took it will probably end up in jail for something else, if he hasn't already.

Anonymous said...

melyssa,

C'mon, admit it. That was not a random act. If you didn't leave anything in your car for "someone" to rifle through, then you'd better keep your doors locked tightly.

varangianguard said...

Once, back when I was single, my apartment was burglarized. One of the perpetrators had dumped a glass mug of pennies into a pillowcase instead of just dropping the mug in as well.

After I browbeat the investigating detectives into attempting to lift prints from several remaining objects, surprise! A decent print was left on that very same glass mug. It broke my case and wrapped up several nearby burglaries as well.

Never assume that all of the perpetrators are smart enough to learn from TV crime shows.

Anonymous said...

David, On IPD we routinely printed stolen cars. As a matter of fact, it was department policy. You're right..CSI is not real life but printing stolen cars is pretty simple and IMPD should do it. We just don't have the man power

Secondly, I'm not sure I'm willing to blame the victims here. The thiefs and thugs who are now taking over Indianapolis are the ones to blame

Jason said...

Auto theft charges are usually never filed anyway. A print from a CD or a glove could just as easily have been put on there before it entered the car (at least that's what the defense will say.)

There's a pretty lucrative business where crackheads will loan out their car to a thug and agree to report it stolen a week later in exchange for dope. That way if the dealer gets caught he's got the keys and can say he didn't know. Even after taped statements are taken auto theft charges are never filed, and neither is false reporting on the alleged victim. Brizzi's answer? Don't file anything unless it's less than 24 hours old, or they flee (even then if there're keys they won't file half the time.) I am sorry to hear about your friend, though, it's the culture of no-files that feeds it, IMHO.

bob said...

Let me second that, David. Public Service Announcement, y'all. My car was broken into in Lockerbie and then Mer-Kess twice in 6 months in 96-97. I am a living example of exactly what happens. Back in that day, most "cell phones" had been "car phones" with in-car hardware so you left the phone in the car. I had a smash and grab, then stupidly got lazy 6 months later and left it in a car again. Happened again. Most people just get lazy about leaving stuff in their car, me included, after a while. In happens downtown, in happens in in Castleton parking lots. In happens in Hamilton County and Hancock County and Hendricks County, etc.

I learned my lesson after 96-97 and locked things in the truck, til a crazy day in 2004 when I left a large tote bag on the seat in the Old Northside. Smash n' grab. Got my digital camera.

I think I finally learned. Everyone else should too. The criminal element will prowl in the 3 am hour for cars with valuables in sight til enough people in a neighborhood hear about it, then they'll move on to another hood. It's been happening for years.

Oh, and PS, if you want to avoid having your car stolen if you don't have a garage, drive a car with manual transmission. If you don't know how, learn. It will make you cooler. Most car theives these days can't drive one. Seriously.

ProCynic said...

David,

"Be[ing] glad you got your car back, and know[ing] that whoever took it will probably end up in jail for something else, if he hasn't already," simply isn't good enough. There is little to discourage car thieves because no effort is made to catch them and on those rare occasions when they are caught, they are released.

Offenses such as burglary and car theft are not taken seriously. But those are the crimes that scare people most, that drive down quality of life and property values, not murder, because you are exponentially more likely to be a victim of burglary or car theft than of murder.

IMPD should have printed Melyssa's car and the (c)rap CD they found inside. She is a victim of a crime from which government is supposed to protect her. She is entitled to justice. If they don't have the time to do stuff like this, just what precisely are they doing? What precisely are we paying them for?

Anonymous said...

Park you cars in the garage and quit blaming Bart Peterson for everything.

Anonymous said...

You are really lucky. I know the entire downtown area has hot spots for these crimes. IUPUI is a big area, followed by the downtown garages. The GPS units were a hot ticket thing a year ago on the coast. Everything you see out there crime wise makes its way here. GPS and those small TVs in (or strapped onto) head rest are an easy target. I know a group of criminals that pretty much live off breaking into cars. Unless they get nailed outside of Marion Co., they usually don't get any sort of jail time outside of time served. It takes multiple arrest in Marion Co. before they get any real time.

Checking your car for fingerprints would be time-consuming, but extremely unlikely to identify a suspect. Prints are useful as hard evidence in court when a suspect is already identified, but not for finding a suspect in the first place.

Wrong! I know for a fact that at least two suspects have been ID'ed from fingerprints found inside a vehicle. One of the suspects was arrested before this incident for fleeing/resisting for being in the same area looking into cars. The problem is that the prosecutor's office usually wants slam dunk cases. It is very hard to get them to try for a warrant with just a fingerprint in a car along with the victim/owner saying they don't know the person. They pretty much want folks caught red handed, which for vehicle break-ins is very hard to do.

The other poster was right, don't load your car up with costly electronics. While I don't like to "blame the victim," the thugs are growing in numbers. When single mothers on welfare are having 5-7 kids out of wedlock, history tells us many of them won't make it in life and will be on welfare themselves. Then in 13-25 years, most who become criminals will be in their prime.

In happens downtown, in happens in in Castleton parking lots. In happens in Hamilton County and Hancock County and Hendricks County, etc.

Have you ever talked with those arrested. Only the idiots cross county lines to do crime. I know of one group that got busted in Marion and got ORed. They later got arrested in Fishers and Hamilton Co. was actually smart enough to give them a bail amount, which they can make. Another female I know who was arrested said she would never go past 96th St. again to steal, because Hamilton Co. actually gives you a bond to get released. Criminals who play the Marion Co. game learn real quick when they cross those county lines and get busted. It is best to stay inside the major city, where jail over-crowding is an issue.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Criminals who play the Marion Co. game learn real quick when they cross those county lines and get busted. It is best to stay inside the major city, where jail over-crowding is an issue."

But...but...but...but...Mayor Bart Peterson put an end to jail overcrowding! He said so himself!

[Do I really need a (/sarcasm) tag?]

Anonymous said...

But...but...but...but...Mayor Bart Peterson put an end to jail overcrowding! He said so himself!

They did. They also stopped early releases. However, when the APC judges are releasing people on promises to appear, that person doesn't go to the jail nor do they count as an emergency release. When bond is set at a miniscule $5,000 or less, it makes it easier for folks to make bond. The current process seems to be that if you do get a decent bail from the APC judge, you automatically get another hearing within a week (usually days) and most of the current cases I looked at (just a handful) basically had bails that were drastically reduced if not eliminated. So technically no more emergency releases.