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Examiner
  • Independence Police: "Stop the stealing"

  • Look, keep, lock.



    The overall message, including these three words in bold yellow type, is simple, but Independence Police Department officials are hopeful the addition of 10 signs on city property will help prevent further property theft.

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  • Look, keep, lock.
    The overall message, including these three words in bold yellow type, is simple, but Independence Police Department officials are hopeful the addition of 10 signs on city property will help prevent further property theft.
    The department recently installed large signs, similar to parking signs, at Santa Fe Park, on city-owned property near Bass Pro Shops and Waterfall Park and at Rotary Park. Under the headline of “notice,” it states: “Look before leaving your car. Keep personal items with you. Lock your car and take your keys.”
    The idea for the signs grew out of Independence Police Department’s Crime Overview Response Evaluation meetings, said Maj. Terry Storey in the Investigations Division. The department meets every other week for CORE meetings to discuss crimes and trends and how policing efforts could be better placed.
    “It works,” Storey said of CORE. “It works for us.”
    One of the biggest crimes in Independence is theft from motor vehicles, Storey said. Because it’s a crime of opportunity – people leaving purses or wallets, GPS devices and other valuables in plain view – the department began thinking about what it could do to get citizens to think when they park their cars, especially as the holiday shopping season draws closer.
    Department officials brainstormed and researched signs in other cities and had Police Chief Tom Dailey and City Manager Robert Heacock look over the Independence sign before they went into place.
    “One of our number one crimes is larcenies from motor vehicles,” Storey said. “The idea is that people will see these signs and think a little bit about what they’re doing and hopefully prevent them from being the victim of a crime.”
    The signs also will appear in the City Scene newsletter and on City 7 television. While they’re only on city-owned property at this time, private businesses do have the option of purchasing them from the vendor, New Signs, in Independence.
    Storey said the signs are a simple concept, “but it’ll just make people think.” He said he doubts the signs will deter potential criminals from stealing, but Storey said citizens should read the signs and think about taking valuable items with them instead of just hiding them in the vehicle – thieves still break in and look for the hidden items, he added.
    The sign’s final message? “To report suspicious activity or a crime in progress, call 911.”
    “This time of year, we want people to think about this more because of Christmas shopping and leaving valuables in their car,” Storey said. “If people look and see the sign, hopefully, it will make them think.”

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