Let’s reduce crime together this holiday season. Remove it or Lose it.
The holidays are upon us and many of us will be out shopping over the next several weeks. Unfortunately, thieves will be on the lookout for crimes of opportunity and we want you to reduce your risk of becoming a victim by taking a few simple steps. We have teamed up with San Jose, Santa Clara, Newark and Milpitas and together our agencies want to send a strong message to would be suspects, that our communities are taking a tough stance on crime. Watch our auto burglary prevention video, and please read our safety tips below:
- Don’t leave valuables of any kind in your vehicle! What items are considered valuable?
- Backpacks, gym bags, tablets, iPads, briefcases, day-planners, cash/coins, checkbooks, credit cards, wallets, purses, laptops, cell phones (and chargers), GPS devices, stereo/CD players (and faceplates), speakers, jewelry, keys and tools.
- Lock ALL doors and roll up windows even if you’re going only going to be away for a short amount of time. It only takes seconds for thieves to steal your stuff.
- If you must leave valuables in your car, stash them out of sight (in the trunk or under the seat) BEFORE you reach your destination.
- Someone may be watching you stash your valuables when you park your car. Plan your shopping/errands so that you don't load your trunk until you are ready to drive to another destination; never open a trunk, fill it full of valuables, close it, and then just walk away.
- Once home, unload your valuables immediately. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary and certainly never overnight.
- If your trunk can be opened from inside your car without a key, lock this feature when you are not in your car or have it disabled, if possible.
- Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables hidden in your vehicle. Remember to also secure docking stations, connector cables, phone chargers, Fastraks and loose coins.
- Park in busy, well-lighted areas and remember to set any alarm or anti-theft device.
Always call the Fremont Police Department to report suspicious activity. Dial 9-1-1 to report a crime in progress and use the non-emergency number. (510) 790-6800 option 3, to report non-emergency information.
Despite several recent arrests and additional police resources, the City of Fremont has experienced a significant rise in auto burglaries since the first of the year.
From January 1st through February 12, 2019 there have been 319 auto burglaries reported to our Department. From 2014 to 2017 the City experienced an 87% increase in auto burglaries, most of which have occurred at retail shopping centers. In response, we implemented many crime reduction strategies. Marked and unmarked police resources patrol shopping centers, detectives work with property owners to bring awareness to the crime and post signage, community engagement staff develop educational campaigns and department personnel facilitated the installation of private video at commercial center entrances and exits. Additionally, the department’s Investigations Unit uncovered a large multi-million dollar international fencing operation resulting in the disruption of a major crime ring in the East Bay. The case was highly publicized and helped to uncover the intricacies of the black market for small electronics and laptops. A total of 2,000 devices were recovered during our investigation. These efforts led to a 16% decrease in auto burglaries last year.
Unfortunately, demand has significantly increased this year, and the primary loss continues to be laptops. Approximately 50% of our recent victims are local residents and the others are from out of the area. Most of the crimes are occurring in retail parking lots, where there is a higher likelihood of valuables being left in cars while people patronize shops, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms. This is not a sophisticated crime and only takes a couple of seconds to commit. Suspects drive into a parking lot and a passenger begins to look through windows of cars. When they see a bag believed to contain a laptop, they smash the window and grab the item. Based on video and license plate reader data, we know many suspects are driving vehicles with stolen plates. Often times, these license plates are stolen from vehicles in other cities and discarded before the victim even knows their license plate was taken or switched out.
Fremont is not alone. Over the last several weeks, agencies throughout the Bay Area have been inundated while investigating these crimes. Due to the increase Fremont has experienced, units continue to allocate more and more resources to investigate these crimes. In doing so, patrol officers and detectives arrested 11 suspects for auto burglaries committed in our City over the course of eight days. Many of the suspects have prior contact with police. The department has partnered with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to develop the Special Prosecution Unit, committed to prosecuting prolific offenders, with an emphasis on those committing auto burglaries. Since making the arrests earlier this month, we have experienced a slight decrease in the number of auto burglaries reported.
Despite our ongoing efforts, the numbers continue to rise. In a 48-hour period last week, 22 reports were taken. Going forward, patrol and investigative resources will continue with increased patrol checks, surveillance operations, deterrence campaigns and staffing in the areas where we have experienced the highest number of auto burglaries. There will also be additional education and awareness materials produced and distributed to patrons in these areas, while we continue our outreach to private property owners to encourage installation of video surveillance.
The City of Fremont Police Department is requesting your help! We need our community’s partnership to drive down this crime epidemic. The primary way this can be accomplished is to never leave laptops and other valuables in your vehicle, not even for a short period of time. When these criminals realize there is nothing of value to steal, they will stop coming to our city. Preventing these crimes from occurring is our top priority.
What Can You Do?
- Remove all valuables from your parked car, especially laptops and high end electronics
- Share this information with your friends, neighbors and co-workers (feel free to share our posts to your social media accounts)
- Be vigilant and report suspicious vehicles and activity
- Install video surveillance
- If you routinely travel or use your vehicle for work, consider purchasing a trunk storage case that can be locked and secured in your trunk
To report suspicious activity, please contact
the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800 x 3. To report a crime in progress, dial 911.