KMC vehicle break-ins on rise

The 435th Security Forces Squadron and the 569th United States Forces Police Squadron announced an increase in the reported number of vehicle break-ins off-base in the KMC.

As of Oct. 31, there were 227 reported vehicle break-ins, which constitutes a 17 percent increase from the previous year’s 187 reported cases. Ninety-three percent of the reported cases were from vehicle operators who either left their vehicles unlocked or left valuables in plain sight of a locked vehicle. The most common stolen items were car stereos/CD players, GPS navigation systems, cell phones, wallets and purses.

Security forces are advising all personnel to protect themselves and their property by improving parking habits both on and off KMC installations. Lock vehicles at all times. The 569th USFPS conducted a study Nov. 3 at the Vogelweh Base Exchange and found nine percent of the vehicles checked were unlocked.

The findings by the 569th USFPS and local German Polizei, who conducted a separate study involving military plated vehicles, found that 90 percent of unsecured vehicles had military uniforms inside. This is highly discouraged and is an unsafe personal protection practice.

Security forces ask KMC drivers to remember certain key points when thinking about what should be left inside a vehicle. Remove all high-value items from plain sight even if the vehicle is locked. If high-value items cannot be removed, place them in the trunk. Park in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Park your vehicle in a locked garage if one is available.

Finally, when away from a vehicle for extended periods of time, have a friend or co-worker brush away snow from your vehicle and/or move it periodically to produce the appearance that you are home or within the area. As the Christmas holiday approaches, take a few extra minutes to protect valuables and uniforms to help dissuade thieves from making you or your family the next victims. (Courtesy of the 435th Security Forces Squadron)