Dublin Villager

City notes

Police offer tips for holiday season

"Like it. Lock it!" That's the message the Dublin Division of Police is offering residents for enjoying a safe holiday season

The holidays spark the busiest shopping season of the year. This is an especially important time for everyone to be extra vigilant when shopping so that you don't become a victim of crime.

Did you know:

* Nationwide there are almost 6.2 million thefts each year and about 2 million thefts from motor vehicles.

* The average value of property taken in thefts in the U.S. is $988, meaning the estimated loss from thefts nationally is more than $6 billion.

* More than 35 percent of thefts nationally are thefts from vehicles. In Dublin, more than 45 percent of thefts are thefts from vehicles.

* In 2010 there were more than 50,000 thefts in the Columbus region.

* In U.S. suburban cities (25,000 to 50,000 population) there were more than 111,000 burglaries in 2011.

As you can imagine from the statistics above, theft is the No. 1 reported crime in the U.S. One of the most likely times of year to become a victim of theft is around the holiday season.

Thefts and burglaries are primarily crimes of opportunity.

Criminals are looking for the fastest and easiest target.

In Dublin, in more than 90 percent of the thefts from vehicles reported each year, the property stolen was left in plain view.

This is the most frequent similarity seen in all thefts from vehicles.

Keep your property safe this holiday season:

* Like it, Lock it. Lock anything of value in your car trunk when left unattended. If that's not possible, remove valuables from your car.

* Lock your car doors and close the windows.

* Car and home alarms. Have a quality car and home alarm system installed and use it.

* Light. When shopping, park only in well-lighted areas. Keep areas around entrances to your home well lighted.

* Garage door. Always remember to keep your attached garage door closed. More than half of burglaries in Dublin occur through an open garage door.

* Lock. Remember to keep doors and windows locked. More than 80 percent of burglaries in Dublin occur through an open garage door, an unsecured door or an unsecured window.

* Watch. Be a good neighbor. Watch for suspicious activity in your neighborhood and ask your neighbors to do the same.

* Police. Call Dublin Police if you see a crime in progress or something that appears suspicious.

* Vacation house watch. If you are going to be away from home, contact Dublin Police to register for a Vacation House Watch by calling 614.410.4800 or by visiting www.DublinOhioUSA. gov/police.

The Dublin Division of Police is asking you to help spread the word.

To avoid becoming a victim of crime remember -- if you "Like it, Lock it!"

Reminder: If you witness a crime in progress or a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you want to report a crime that has already occurred, call Dublin Police at 614-889-1112.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Dublin Chief of Police Heinz von Eckartsberg submitted the City Notes column to the ThisWeek Dublin Villager.