Vehicle Burglaries

Relay-car-theft-keyless-entry-cars-885216The Wichita Falls Police Department observed an alarming crime trend in our community back in May of this year.  Officers were seeing an increase in vehicle burglaries.  Aside from the crime itself officers were finding that the vehicles that were broken into showed no signs of forced entry and firearms were left unsecure.

Between May 7th and May 20th 45 vehicles were entered into and 12 firearms were stolen.  Of those vehicles that were entered into none of them showed signs of forced entry.

With the help of local media getting the word out to the public regarding the need to keep firearms secured and vehicles locked along with an aggressive proactive police response that resulted in multiple arrests the WFPD has seen a decrease in vehicle burglaries.

Between July 16th and July 29th 16 vehicles were entered into with two firearms stolen.  Of those vehicles that were entered into none of them showed signs of forced entry.  That is a 64% decrease in vehicle burglaries compared to the two weeks reported in May.

Although, it is a positive to see the number of vehicle burglaries decreasing the WFPD would still like to remind everyone to lock their vehicles and secure their firearms.  When encountering a locked vehicle criminals most often leave it and go looking for an easier target.  Never leave a firearm unsecured in a vehicle.  An unsecured firearm can become the weapon that hurts or kills an innocent victim.

It’s That Time of Year Again

back_to_schoolChildren in Wichita Falls and surrounding communities will be returning to school in the next few days. We would like to  remind drivers to be extra cautious as school zones become more active and be aware of school buses that will be making frequent stops.

Following these simple tips can help children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone and anything else that may be distracting you as you drive.  A distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

WFPD Supports Nextdoor.com as Virtual Neighborhhood Watch Platform

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So far, over 8,000 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime.  Are you one of them?  If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up.  It’s free and simple.  Iphone and Android apps are also available.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Here is what Nextdoor.com is all about:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town.
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

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Join Nextdoor Today!!!

Know What’s Going on Around You: RAIDSONLINE

unnamedThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a free program that is designed to keep you, the citizen, informed of what’s going on around you as it relates to police activity; RAIDSONLINE.

RAIDSONLINE  is an analytical information system.  The WFPD keeps records about incidents that occur within the jurisdiction. When an incident happens, the responding officer  writes a report with information about the event including the location, people, related vehicles and other useful information.  The information is then shared at www.raidsonline.com and is updated on a regular basis for accuracy.

You can easily search for information on nearby criminal activity.

Analytical layers show how crime relates to other factors such as date, time, location type of crime, etc .

RAIDSONLINE helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe. RAIDS crime map  connects law enforcement with the community to help reduce crime and improve public safety.

RAIDSONLINE is a web based program but it is also available as a free app download.

Protect Your Valuables with ‘Report It’

reportitThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a great tool available to them free of charge: Report It.

Report It is a proactive tool that allows you to easily catalog information about your valuables. This includes serial numbers, owner applied numbers, photos of property and scans of receipts. It’s completely internet based, so you never have to worry about losing the data you have saved.

Nobody expects to have their property lost, stolen or damaged, but if it does happen, you’ll need to be able to provide the information to law enforcement and your insurance provider.

You can use Report It to store identifying information of anything of value – think about collectibles, jewelry, electronics, machinery, lawn equipment, and even designer clothes and handbags.

 

WFPD Offers Active Shooter Training

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Sgt. McClure presenting the CRASE course to faculty at Notre Dame School

In the past two decades, horrific mass shootings have been thrust into public consciousness. Mitigating the effects of these sudden incidents is the responsibility of those who serve in our communities’ public safety organizations. The public expects an effective and swift response to these threats and the sequence of events that follow them.

Research has shown however that many of the mass shootings, or active shooter events, are over before law enforcement responders arrive on the scene. Civilians who find themselves in an active shooter event must be prepared to take immediate action to save their own lives before law enforcement arrives. The average response time for police response to an active shooter event is three minutes. Without effective, preplanned response options for civilians at the scene of the attack, many victims can be seriously injured or killed during these three minutes.

The Wichita Falls Police Department is frequently asked to provide guidance to the community about what civilians should do if faced with an active shooter threat.

The WFPD is currently offering Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, “CRASE” training.  The training is designed for any civilian group including schools, businesses, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, and others.

If you are interested in having this training brought to your organization please contact Sgt. Harold McClure at (940) 720-5016 or you can e-mail him at harold.mcclure@wfpd.net.

Don’t Be Fooled by Funny Money

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Over the past few weeks The Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are few leads on suspect(s).

A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).

You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.

If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.

Know What’s Going on Around You: RAIDSONLINE

unnamedThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a free program that is designed to keep you, the citizen, informed of what’s going on around you as it relates to police activity; RAIDSONLINE.

RAIDSONLINE  is an analytical information system.  The WFPD keeps records about incidents that occur within the jurisdiction. When an incident happens, the responding officer  writes a report with information about the event including the location, people, related vehicles and other useful information.  The information is then shared at www.raidsonline.com and is updated on a regular basis for accuracy.

You can easily search for information on nearby criminal activity.

Analytical layers show how crime relates to other factors such as date, time, location type of crime, etc .

RAIDSONLINE helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe. RAIDS crime map  connects law enforcement with the community to help reduce crime and improve public safety.

RAIDSONLINE is a web based program but it is also available as a free app download.

Stay Safe This Holiday Season

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Happy Holidays!

To ensure your safety this holiday season, please consider the following safety tips. We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with your friends, family, and neighbors.

-Let a trustworthy neighbor know if you’re planning to go out of town for the holidays so that they can keep an eye on your home. Don’t hide a key outside the house!

-Stop your mail and newspaper delivery. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re not home.

-Park in well-lit and high activity areas close to store entrances during your last minute holiday shopping. Keep all windows closed and doors locked. Do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle! If you need to return to your car while shopping, place your bags in the trunk and move your car to another safe location.

-Add Emergency Contacts to Nextdoor to provide your neighbors with another way to help out in case a safety concern arises. Go to your profile and select Add Emergency Contacts. If you are not already a member of Nextdoor you can join free by going to Nextdoor.com.

-Arm your security system to protect your home. While it may seem obvious, your mind is distracted when you’re rushing out the door. Don’t forget this simple step to ensure your home stays protected.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Relay-car-theft-keyless-entry-cars-885216With the mornings getting colder the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind drivers not to leave their cars running and unattended.  Not only does this create a perfect opportunity for someone to steal your vehicle, but in most cases it is illegal.

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of losing your vehicle or belongings to an opportunistic thief:

  • STAY WITH THE CAR. It’s better to be cold for a few minutes in your car while it warms up than to be left in the cold while the thief drives it away.
  • LOCK THE DOORS. If unattended this will decrease the opportunity for the criminal to strike.
  • TAKE YOUR KEYS.  Don’t hide your keys on or in the vehicle, thieves know where to look.
  • HIDE YOUR BELONGINGS.  If leaving property in the vehicle this will also help reduce the risk of a burglary or vehicle theft.