BENTON, Ark. (News Release)- Benton Police Department is asking residents to be on heightened alert after a recent uptick in thefts.
Since June 1, at least 46 theft-from-motor-vehicle reports have been taken by the department.
BNPD Captain Kevin Russell said in the majority of these cases, the victims failed to lock their vehicle, though there have been some exceptions.
“Criminals are always looking for an easy target, and, unfortunately, leaving doors unlocked is an open invitation. The exceptions involved owners leaving valuables, such as purses, guns, phones and computers in plain sight, which prompted thieves to gain entry by breaking windows.”
In an effort to curb these thefts, BNPD has set up extra patrols for areas of heightened activity and is urging residents to be diligent about locking doors and removing valuables from their vehicles.
“We’ve joined the 9 P.M. Routine campaign, along with several agencies nationwide, which is a nightly reminder for residents who follow us on social media to lock cars, houses and even garages,” said Russell. “We try to have a little fun with the reminders so they’re not redundant, but getting in the habit of this routine is a simple and effective way to make your vehicle and home a less attractive target.”
Russell also noted that residents should lock their vehicles even if they have them in a closed garage. “There have been instances in the past where thieves gain entry to a garage via a garage door opener and if a vehicle or home is unlocked, they then have open access. Most garage doors have a lock feature on them that will render a garage door opener useless, so this is a great task to add to your 9 P.M. Routine if you haven’t done so already.”
In addition to these tips, residents are encouraged to take advantage of online tools such as Crime Reports, a free crime mapping software that enables users to see reported activity in their respective neighborhoods as well as Nextdoor, a neighborhood-specific social media site that allows neighbors to discuss current events in their area.
BNPD asks that anyone with information about these incidents contact the department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be sent via text to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the message, via the official Benton Police Department app available on iTunes and Google Play or by clicking here.