Thursday, November 25, 2010

Car poppers

Buffalo police are putting tip sheets on car windshields to educate drivers on how to avoid having their vehicles broken into...

Since midsummer, officers have been placing what looks like a parking ticket on the windshields of cars but is actually a two-sided tip sheet with suggestions for ways to deter property thefts from autos, as well as car thefts and carjackings.

“Tip sheets are filled with common- sense practices to help people from becoming victims of crime,” Derenda said. “Lock your car doors; don’t leave valuables in plain view.”

As for advice on discouraging criminals who break into cars, the commissioner said, “Car poppers go around always looking. They’ll try the doors or break a window if they see something inside that they want. If the doors are locked and they don’t see anything, they move on to the next car.”

While I think it's good that they are finally making an effort to combat this crime, I think the commissioner is dead wrong with one of his tips. If the doors are locked and they see anything (ie.75 cents in your ashtray), they will smash your windows and steal it. For this reason, I always left my car unlocked when I worked downtown. I had the windows smashed twice. Both times, I didn't have anything valuable out. If you don't believe me,walk up Elm Street between Eagle and Clinton Monday through Friday and count the piles of broken glass on the sidewalk. How about putting some undercover police officers in known areas such as this and catching them in the act? How about throwing them in jail for longer periods to deter this quality of life crime? Trust me, having to replace your windshield or window in the middle of winter is a major pain (not to mention replacing whatever they decide to steal.) Commissioner Derenda left out one major tip which we'll add here:
1.) When at all possible, don't park your car in downtown Buffalo.
We know how tempting it might be to shop at the world famous Main Place Mall. However, none of the meters work and you will probably get a $30 ticket, even if your car doesn't get broken into. And they wonder why the only stores left in the mall are inner city street gear and nail salons...
Tip sheet helping to deter ‘car poppers’ - City & Region - The Buffalo News

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