Vehicle Theft and Trespasses
Cars are natural magnets for criminals and unfortunately, vehicle theft and trespassing are issues in Golden.
The most frequently occurring crime involving cars is criminal trespass. Criminal vehicle trespass, commonly referred to as car break-ins, usually occur in clusters within neighborhoods. Thieves will target a neighborhood late one evening, moving to another neighborhood on another night. The result is that cars parked anywhere throughout the city can be a target. A criminal will target a car, either locked or unlocked, use a variety of objects to gain access, and steal the stereo, compact discs, clothing, sunglasses, as well as rifling through your glove box. Anything that may have a potential street value is fair game.
While not as frequent as criminal trespassing, motor vehicle theft is also seen in Golden. Many times, the car will be recovered, but usually at a price to the owner, insurance company, and society. The interior and exterior may be scavenged for sellable parts, including the stereo, cell phone, hubcaps, tires, and/or engine parts. Or the car may have been driven recklessly and sustained irreparable damage. The thieves may also use the car in other crimes.
License plates are also frequently stolen and used on stolen cars involved in other crimes. Get in the habit of checking your plates when you drive.
To address this problem, the Police Department must collaborate with residents to either prevent the crime or lessen the degree of victimization. Here are some ways you can help:
- Control your keys. Never leave an ID tag on your key ring. Never leave your keys in your car.
- Never leave your car running and unattended. It takes just seconds to steal an unattended vehicle.
- Always close your windows and lock your doors.
- Always remove or conceal all valuables. You can always store them in your trunk, but the best practice is to remove all valuables.
- Use a steering wheel locking device as a visual deterrent.
- Use an audible car alarm or other disabling devices such as an engine/fuel kill switch.
- Park in well-lighted areas where your vehicle can be seen.
- Purchase stereo systems with a removable face plate and keep it with you. De-emphasize the value as much as possible.
- Keep your car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a complete description of your car, your stereo system, and serial numbers in a safe place at home. This will help police in the possible recovery and return of the items to you.
- Avoid isolated areas. Park near locations frequently used by pedestrians.
- If you have a garage, take the time to use it rather than parking outside.
- Engrave your vehicle ID number on all windows (VIN etching)
- If you hear something suspicious (shattering glass) or see someone looking into vehicles, call 911.