Tis’ the season to be extra wary, lock cars and keep an eye out
By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com
POCOPSON —It’s that time of year — and not all of the elves lurking about township neighborhoods are up to good, state police are warning local residents, asking them to be smart and careful to make sure their holidays stay happy and crime-free.
State Police Lt. Rich D’Ambrosio, the new Commander at the Avondale Barracks, was a guest at Monday evening’s Township Supervisors’ meeting. Since August, Avondale State Police have received 106 calls in the township, 10 of which were categorized as “criminal” incidents – where charges could be filed. D’Ambrosio told the Supervisors and residents that although the township is a very safe place to live, there are several ways to make improvements.
First, he asked residents to lock their car doors, even if autos are parked in their own driveway, “very rarely will you see someone break a window to get into a vehicle…they know they can walk right down the street and find a car that’s unlocked.” If valuables have to be left in the car, he said, put them out of sight and park in a lighted area.
Criminal offenses tend to rise at this time of year due to the holidays. D’Ambrosio stated several ways residents can protect themselves and their belongings. For instance, gift giving brings an increase in online shopping and package delivery criminals tend to target packages left on porches or doorsteps. He recommends either being present during delivery or writing a note to the delivery person that packages be placed in an inconspicuous area that can’t be seen from the street, such as a back porch or patio.
Also, be careful when putting cash and gift cards in the mailbox and on trash cans for postal or other service workers. He recalled, “A few years ago, a couple drove around and stole nearly $5000 in cash in a matter of hours,” and despite state police being able to make an arrest in that case, D’Ambrosio advised residents to “watch out for each other…if you see someone lurking around your neighbor’s house that you’ve never seen before, don’t think you are infringing on someone’s rights…you call us and let us deal with it.”
He cited an incident which occurred a few weeks ago in Pennsbury Township “a neighbor saw a car that she’d never seen before in her neighbor’s driveway and she called us and troopers were there in five minutes and made an arrest for burglary.”
Directing his comments to the audience, D’Ambrosio advised, “You know the cars that belong in your neighborhood and which ones don’t, so just keep an eye out for each other.”