A recent arrest by the Murphy Police Department of an individual suspected of theft revealed that the suspect had virtually no trouble taking the stolen property from a parked car in the early morning hours, according to Police Lieutenant Adana Barber.
“We got a ‘suspicious persons’ call at 5 a.m. from an anonymous caller. Two males were observed walking along the neighborhood street, pulling on car door handles, hoping to find an unlocked one. They apparently found one or two unlocked doors because we recovered some stolen property near the scene. We detained one of the two after a foot chase, and we’re aware of the other’s identity,” she said.
This particular arrest happened in the Maxwell Creek subdivision, but burglaries from vehicles have occurred in many other neighborhoods. A main contributor to the burglaries is residents inadvertently providing an opportunity for theft by leaving property in unlocked cars, essentially giving thieves the chance to ‘grab and dash.’
“Two good things happened in this particular case. One is, of course, we caught one of the suspected perpetrators; and two, we were alerted to the presence of suspicious persons by a call from a witness who, while anonymous, was likely a resident of that neighborhood,” said Barber.
The alert witness call along with an immediate response from the Police Dept. resulted in the apprehension of a suspect, and the building of a solid case against him. In addition, intelligence on additional suspected criminals as well as information on related crimes in neighboring areas was obtained.
“Nevertheless, had residents practiced Lock, Take, and Hide, the chances of a theft would have been severely lessened,” she added. The Lock, Take, Hide principle encourages car owners to Lock their cars; Take their keys; and Hide their belongings.
A locked car is one of the best deterrents against theft or vandalism, keys removed from the car greatly decrease the chances for vehicle theft, and hiding belongings removes temptation.
“These three words, Lock, Take, and Hide can make a major difference in not only decreasing crime, but they can also help in making Murphy known as a community that provides no opportunity for criminal gain,” she concluded.
To report suspicious activity or unknown persons, call 9-1-1. To report a theft or other crime, contact the Police Department’s non-emergency number (972) 468-4200.