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Here is an update about crime in the Dewey-Darrow neighborhood from Officer Reggie Napier. Although the information is specific to this neighborhood, the RoundTable feels that the advice is applicable throughout the City of Evanston.

Residential burglaries crushed Evanston resident a few weeks ago but for the last two-plus weeks, they have been down. What continues to be killing the city is car thefts/burglaries.

Evanston car thefts/burglaries are from unlocked cars in general. Car burglaries are not planned events, where bad guys stalk or case a neighborhood. Instead would-be burglars simply walk down the street trying door handles. Many keep “car cash” in the car for incidentals, tolls, quick stop at McDonald’s, et cetera. Bad guys are well aware of this, because it is something most people do. Not only having “car cash”, but leaving the GPS unit attached to the window and not making sure the car door is locked (yes, even parked in the driveway) are all recipes to become a victim.

Think of the bad guys like a neighborhood cat. If fed, it will never leave and others will show up. This is exactly how the people that do these types of theft are. Some people simply refuse to take a minute, remove the RADAR detector, GPS or some other enticing article from the car, then lock the car before going in the house, not even to mention leaving the laptop computer on the front seat in plain view.

Here’s what we know:

1. The $299.99 RADAR detector in the car is worth $50 – $100 on the street.
2. The $300 +GPS unit in the car is worth $50 – $100 on the street.
3. The $500 – $1,000 laptop computer in the car is worth $100 – $300 on the street.

Let me also mention that Skokie and Morton Grove are being devastated with burglaries as well. We have had intelligence that suggests reason for that, but here in Evanston, pressure must be kept up and the police called when suspicious circumstances exists, which includes watching for people who appear to walk down the street “trying” door handles. When this is done routinely, these people will inevitably choose a target area that is much easier than Evanston neighborhoods. Remember, people can only get away with what a neighborhood will allow.

More to come, stay tuned. — Officer Reggie Napier