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Question of the day

Friday, Sep 20, 2019

* Kankakee Daily Journal

A Bourbonnais man was arrested by Bourbonnais Police for burglaries to six unlocked vehicles parked outside Wednesday. […]

Thefts to unlocked vehicles occur weekly, according to law enforcement officials.

Back in April, Bourbonnais officers arrested a man who took a total of $470 in cash from 10 unlocked vehicles.

* Tribune

Police in suburbs that cut a wide swath from North Shore communities like Wilmette and Glencoe, to Oak Brook and Naperville out west, and Palos Heights and New Lenox farther south, have been warning residents for years about the importance of locking cars to prevent vehicular thefts and burglaries. Flyers have been distributed at Fourth of July fireworks displays, roadside electronic message boards erected and cautionary statements delivered to the press, but authorities express frustration at how some suburban residents remain undeterred.

“On any given night, I can head out to Oak Brook, Hinsdale or go up to Lake Forest, and drive off with an unlocked Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes or, if I’m lucky, a Maserati,” said Steven Stelter, president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the police chief in west suburban Westchester.

Stelter was for years a member of a state auto theft task force. The task force, which Stelter said was funded by grants from insurance companies, was eliminated during state budget cuts a few years ago.

“People just don’t accept responsibility today,” Stelter said. “They ask, ‘Why are there not more police around?’ When the real question is, ‘Why didn’t you take your keys with you and not leave them in an unlocked car?’”

* The Question: Do you lock your car at night? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

44 Comments
  1. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    Any car outside is locked. Cars in garage, usually not.


  2. - Joey Twoshoes - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Not usually, but I park my car in my garage. If I’m leaving my car in the street or a parking lot, of course I lock it…it’s just common sense


  3. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Yes, grew up in the suburbs and lived in the city for a while. Now live in central Illinois. There was a period of time I never locked my car or house. Now I do.

    Last week one of our teachers had their vehicle stolen out of the high school parking lot. 9:30 in the morning. Windows down, unlocked, keys in the car.


  4. - No Longer A Lurker - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    I believe I live in a relatively safe neighborhood. Yes, I lock my car at night if left in the driveway. I even lock it during the day if it’s in my driveway. It’s a habit that I’ll probably never change. For what it’s worth I don’t know anyone who has had their car broken into or stolen.


  5. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    I can understand why someone might not lock car but what I can never understand is why someone would leave keys in car. That is really asking for it.


  6. - Captain Obvious - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    Always. If the car is outside the garage it is locked. Not doing so is just dumb.


  7. - DS - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    Our car is locked whenever it is parked, including inside the locked garage.


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    Yes overnight. No any other time. Gas station, grocery store etc never locked. It’s a small town. If I go out of town, I always lock up.


  9. - Louis G Atsaves - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Grew up in Chicago. Was taught at a tender young age by my parents to turn off, roll up all the windows and lock any car any time you exit it. Was taught to lock all the doors in my house. Later in life moved to the North Shore. Cars running unattended in driveways, gas stations, parking lots, in front of offices and stores while dropping things off are fairly common. Makes me cringe. I still turn off the car and lock the doors. Even at night on my driveway in case someone from the “Lake County 5″ is reading.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Every night. Had a car stolen once. It was returned to me by the police months later, with relatively little damage. It was a used, older car but never thought I’d see it again.


  11. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Never. Keys in ignition. Course security is pretty tight around the den


  12. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Unlocked car
    No valuables left in the vehicle.

    I used to live in Hyde Park. It only took getting two windows smashed to change my policy on locking at night.

    Ask my kids, I LOSE IT when they leave their valuables in the car. Leave your keys in the car overnight….you best run.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    Lock my car everywhere, all the time, no exceptions.

    Then again, I’d be more upset if my golf clubs were stolen from my car then if they left my golf clubs and stole the car.

    Still, lock it up, all the time.


  14. - Enviro - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Always. Our cars are locked night and day at home or away.


  15. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    Always. As Billy Bragg sang…

    The people from your church agree
    It’s not much of a career
    Trying the handles of parked cars
    Whoops, there goes another year
    Whoops, there goes another pint of beer


  16. - Ferris Buelller - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    I lock my car when I pump gas. So, yes, I lock it when I leave it overnight (and every other time I leave it). It’s habit, but it’s also common sense.


  17. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    Duh….
    It’s not like it takes a whole lot to lock a car today. The press of a button.
    One second.
    Yes, I lock my car…always (unless it’s locked in the garage) and especially if I’m in it.
    In the city. In the burbs. Everywhere.
    One second. Can save a lot of heartache.


  18. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    I’ve heard of people leaving their car unlocked at night but leaving nothing of value in the car. Their theory is that if the doors are unlocked, would-be thieves won’t break out windows.


  19. - Shemp - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    Local police report the same problem here. Much higher rate than I expected. And almost always unlocked cars. The number of people leaving the keyless fobs in their cars surprised me too.


  20. - Wensicia - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    My car is always locked. I don’t understand people who leave their keys in unlocked cars, sometimes along with children while they run errands.


  21. - revvedup - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Locked everywhere, all the time. No valuables left in sight. No cellphone/GPS/etc. device holder left visible. Keys with me. Live in Riverdale (the suburb, not the Chicago neighborhood); had attempts to steal a car, and a different car rummaged through when I forgot to lock it by a nighttime thief going down the streets grabbing what interested them. FYI: your insurance company might not pay the claim if you leave your keys in it and it’s stolen.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===Their theory is that if the doors are unlocked, would-be thieves won’t break out windows===

    It’s a good theory, but don’t leave anything of value in it and definitely don’t leave your keys in it.


  23. - Bertrum Cates - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    Yes, although there way an incident in my lit driveway not too long ago with a rental car. Apparently there are keyless entry range extenders that make fleet vehicles fairly vulnerable. My rental car was an easy mark with its license plate.


  24. - Shemp - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    The Quad Cities area had over 800 cars stolen last year. As I understand, many by the same group. Local police re-arrest repeat offenders. Known car burglar gets out of jail and surprise, surprise, theft reports increase. Arrest and repeat and repeat, and repeat….


  25. - Anon221 - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Locked always. Is an explanation really necessary?


  26. - @misterjayem - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    “Unlocked car. No valuables left in the vehicle.”

    This was my brother’s policy in Humboldt Park, e.g. “I’d rather have them open the door and swipe the floor mats than smash a window and take nothing.”

    – MrJM


  27. - Me Again - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    I always roll the up windows and lock the car if no one is in it. I never leave the keys or anything else in the car (even if the car is in the garage). Any keys inside the house that are not being used are well hidden. Radio key fobs that can be remotely scanned and used to unlock a car are secured in “faraday cage” bags.


  28. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Most newer cars are push button start and people leave their key fob in the car. Happens in DuPage.


  29. - SOIL M - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    Never lock my truck at home. Anywhere else lock it every time I get out. The tools in the tool box are more valuable than anything inside of the truck usually anyway.
    My wife wont go in the house without locking her car which is parked right beside it.


  30. - Curious - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Never lock it at home in the driveway but nothing of value is left in it and certainly not the keys. The house, on the hand, is most certainly locked.


  31. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    Yes. Property care.


  32. - Jocko - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Yes. Out of habit more than anything else. I use the fob for everything except the gas station, where I’m usually feet from my car.


  33. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    When I was young and lived in a sketchy neighborhood in St. Louis, I learned to leave my old beater unlocked, because nothing I owned was as expensive as replacing a broken car window. These days, yes, always.


  34. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Always lock my car and take my keys. Asking for trouble if you leave your keys in the car unlocked. Always lock my doors, always. If my first floor windows are open during the day, I close and lock them at night. Always close and lock the windows in the front if I am going out during the day.


  35. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    Lock your car. Vaccinate your kids.


  36. - LakeCo - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    I think the question should be, why *wouldn’t* you lock your car at night if it’s parked on the street?


  37. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    I used to have a convertible when I lived in an apartment with no garage. I left the doors unlocked because I didn’t want a thief to cut the top to gain access. Of course, I also made sure I never left anything of value inside.

    But yes, I almost always keep the doors locked.


  38. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Buddy worked in a nightclub. Left his car unlocked, comes out to find a couple of customers in it, making “whoopie”. They won’t leave, he calls the cops. The cops come, and gave HIM a ticket. What for?
    “Disturbing the piece”.
    What a world….


  39. - Italianguy626 - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    Always lock my car, no matter where I’m parked. I had a friend who lived in Itasca. Her dad never locked the car doors and always left the keys, including house keys, in the car. Late one night, someone got into their house by using the keys they found in the car and assaulted my friend. This was in the early 2000s.


  40. - Gruntled University Employee - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:20 pm:

    When it’s in my locked garage, no. everywhere else, yes.


  41. - SSL - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    Always lock it. Lost a nice pair of sunglasses the hard way. Unlocked car on my driveway on a Sunday afternoon. Turned out to be a local drug addict. Desperate people do desperate things.


  42. - Sox Fan - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    Im glad im not the only one who leaves it unlocked with nothing inside it. I’ve had my windows smashed in twice and all they got was the loose change in my cupholders. Set me back $150 (plus change) both times.


  43. - Shevek - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    I never leave my car anywhere, other than in my garage, unlocked. Why wouldn’t you? Makes no sense to leave something you’ve paid so much money for unlocked and ready to be driven off. I lock it even if I’m just running inside to pick up a pizza.

    The only time it makes sense to leave the car unlocked is those about that talk about parking in a crime-ridden area. My wife and I used to live in a few places like that and we would leave the door unlocked because we had our windows smashed a few time. but we were also driving an old cheap car whose parts weren’t worth anything!


  44. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Friday, Sep 20, 19 @ 5:06 pm:

    The few times I valet my car, I only give them the key fob–why would I give them access to my house keys on the same ring when my home address is in the glove box with the SOS registration? I don’t want to have to worry about a home invasion like described in another post.


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