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Motorists issued report cards to promote vehicle burglary prevention
 
In January, members of the University of Houston Police Department walked parking lots and garages inspecting vehicles and leaving “Report Cards” indicating if the driver passed or failed at vehicle burglary prevention.

Officers inspected vehicles looking for valuables left within plain view, unlocked doors, and anything else that would draw the attention of criminals.

Of the 1,079 vehicles assessed, 23 percent failed. When the totals were broken down by shifts, the failure rates varied dramatically. Of the vehicles inspected between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., 52 percent failed. From 3 to 11 p.m, 47 percent failed. The lowest failure rate was observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. at 16 percent.

The most common reason for vehicle failure was drivers leaving valuables in plain view. Students are asked to do their part in reducing the number of offenses by locking their cars, taking the keys, and hiding or removing items. Items such as cash, CDs, credit cards, hand bags, wallets, checkbooks, clothing, golf clubs, laptop computers, brief cases, tools and shopping bags are all invitations to thieves.

“When it comes to crime prevention, taking simple precautions against becoming a victim of crime is both smart and effective. We need everyone to understand we all have a role to play when it comes to crime prevention and community safety,” said UHPD Patrol Lt. Walter Lucas.

UHPD reminds everyone that if you observe any suspicious activity in parking lots to report it to the police immediately. Also, if you have been a victim of vehicle-related theft, report it. This enables UHPD to track patterns of criminal behavior and better deploy police resources in an effort to resolve a broader problem.

For more information, contact the UHPD Crime Prevention Unit at preventcrime@uh.edu or by calling the department 713-743-3333.