There have been several car break-ins recently in Crestwood, and Police Chief Mike Paillou gave a prevention presentation at last night’s Ward Two town hall meeting.
Paillou said that the break-ins started on the south side of town and have made their way into Ward Two, which has had six break-ins recently.
“What we saw this summer, and we see it toward the end of every summer, is that our local youth are bored,” Paillou said. “In the majority of the thefts they are walking by and if your car is unlocked they are going to take your change, your laptop, whatever you’ve left in your car.”
High summer break-in numbers can be attributed to kids not being in school, later curfews and less supervision. Paillou said that it takes a while to get a pattern established before deploying police cruise forces without just spinning wheels.
“Folks, please lock your cars, give us a chance. If you go to a gym, they are watching. Ladies, if you go inside without your purse, it’s not going to take them long to figure out where that purse is,” Paillou said.
The police force made two unrelated arrests recently, but the perpetrators of the thefts are still at large.
“I’d like to say this is some bad guys coming into town but no these things are probably our local youth,” Paillou said.
Paillou said that the best thing the public can do is lock their cars.
“You pay good money for your GPS, cell phone—please take it in your house. If you don’t, conceal it. Don’t leave your radar detector beeping on the dashboard,” Paillou said. “We live in a safe neighborhood but it’s truly not safe when you have kids out there that are bored.”
Another prevention tactic is to know your neighborhood and trust your instincts.
“If something just seems weird, call up here, report it. It gives us a chance to maybe prevent the incident or we may be working on another incident it may be related to,” Paillou said. “The more a repeat offender does, the more mistakes he is likely to make and leave behind evidence. Numbers gives us a better opportunity to catch him.”
Crestwood also has a Neighborhood Watch program designed to get you to know your neighbors.
“We don’t have the resources that we used to in Crestwood. We have to rely on you. Make them break into your car so they can leave behind evidence. Try to get over this thing that you are bothering us. If you see something suspicious you are not bothering us, we want to know about it,” Paillou said.
Going a step further in helping your neighbor, Crestwood has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training available. The free training is 24 hours altogether, twice a week for three weeks, including one Saturday.
“What we learned in the last ice storm is that we as a municipal government do not have enough people to check on everybody in this town,” Paillou said. “CERT training prepares you to take care of yourself and your neighbors. We want to work toward having people who know each other and who are trained.”
For more information on CERT, call Chief Mark Menning of the Crestwood Fire Department at 314-729-4741.