Operation hard target against break-ins

by Senior Airman William Reece 86th Security Forces Squadron

Have you or anyone you know ever been a victim of theft? Statistics show that for the past three years, 25 percent of the KMC population have become victims of theft each year.

So far this year, there have been 17 house break-ins in the KMC area. Of these 17, only four of these crimes were committed during the hours of darkness. Here are a few tips that you and your family can use in order to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of a house break-in:

• Always double lock your doors, turning the key until it will not turn anymore.

• Always close and lock your windows when no one is home.

• If you are going to be traveling, TDY, etc., inform your landlord of your upcoming absence and have a trusted friend or co-worker monitor your home while you are away.
Ask them to:

 Collect the mail from your mailbox.

 Place your trash cans out on the curb on pick-up dates.

 Randomly open and close your rollladens during your absence. This will signify someone is home.

If you ever feel that your home has been broken into, do not go inside. Call 110 immediately.

So far this year, there have been 69 reports of vehicle break-ins. Surprisingly, 40 out of the 69 vehicles were secured doors locked and windows rolled up at the time of the break-in. The majority of vehicle break-ins have occurred during the hours of darkness and on random days of a week. Many vehicle owners become victims of break-ins because they fail to properly secure their high-value items or place them out of sight. Also, just because someone lives on a military installation does not mean they are immune from becoming a victim of theft. Break-ins can occur anywhere. Some of the most commonly stolen items during vehicle break-ins are:

• GPS systems

• Cell phones

• MP3 players

• Military gear and uniforms

• Televisions

• Computers and laptops

Here are a few things you can do to protect against theft of personal belongings from your vehicle:

• Always lock your doors and keep windows rolled up.

• Do not leave high-value items in your vehicle. For example, if you have an AUX cable running from your stereo to the center console, a potential thief may be interested to see what is on the other end of the cable.

• Wipe the GPS suction cup ring off of the windshield. The residue on the glass may spark the interest of a would-be thief.

• In general, you should keep your car as clean and empty as possible to avoid enticing potential larcenists.

• Park in well-lit areas.

• Avoid placing stickers on your vehicle that portray affiliation with the United States or the armed forces. It can be an indicator that you are American and potentially increase your risk of becoming a victim of theft.

If you suspect that any of your personal belongings have been stolen, contact security forces for assistance. Ramstein security forces is located in Bldg. 2371, next to the Auto Hobby Shop, and can be reached at 480-2050 or 06371-47-2050. Vogelweh security forces is located in Bldg. 2067, across the street from Kaiserslautern High School, and can be reached at 489-6060 or 0631-536-6060.

Remember these tips. They directly contribute to safety, security, awareness and prevention the foundation of being a hard target.