City of Concord California

News Release

April 28, 2015

Concord Police offer tips for preventing car crime

So far this year, 315 auto burglaries have been reported to the Concord Police Department. During the same time in 2014, there were 344 auto burglaries reported. Although the slight decline is good news, the Concord Police Department is asking that the public maintain vigilance in taking basic precautions to protect their vehicles and personal property.

"When parking your car, we recommend that you take your valuables with you whenever possible," says Detective Sergeant Kristin Coupar. "Leaving valuables visible in your car is a sure way to attract the attention of a thief. Be sure to always lock your vehicle and close all the windows when it is unattended. At night, try to park in well-lit areas of parking lots or heavily-traveled areas if parked curbside. Consider using an inexpensive vehicle security device ("The Club") or ignition-disabling alarm system to reduce the chances of your vehicle being stolen, and always take your car keys with you! Properly secured cars will absolutely have a deterrent effect on many criminals."

The Concord Police Department has investigated two auto burglary reports in the past several months where the method of entry into the vehicles suggested that suspects may have defeated the locks using some kind of remote electronic device.

"We investigated both cases and have researched the possibility that such a device could have been used, but have yet to verify that such a device exists, or was used in either burglary," says Coupar.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend to car owners with passive keyless entry and start systems (PKES) -- commonly called "Smart" keys - that they store these keys in Faraday bags/sleeves or in RFID-blocking wallets at home or on their person."

The Concord Police Department encourages people to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior, and allow the police to investigate if that behavior is innocent or criminal. It is always better to call and let the police do their job, rather than rationalize suspicious behavior and not call. For example, people loitering in parking lots and peering into cars or trying door handles definitely qualifies as suspicious behavior, and merits a 9-1-1 call right away.

"In response to this recent trend in car-crime, the Concord Police Department has implemented several new and old approaches: proactive patrol, focused and comprehensive investigations, and community outreach and education," says Coupar. "However, for the Police Department to be successful in reducing car-related crime in Concord, we need the awareness, vigilance, and support of the public to simply make it harder for car burglars and thieves to commit these thefts. Together, we hope to reduce the frequency of these crimes, as well as arrest and prosecute those responsible."

City of Concord CA