Unfortunately, vehicle prowlers can strike anytime, whether you're parked at home, work, shopping, literally anywhere.  It's becoming a significant problem and the Duluth Police Department want to offer some tips to avoid being a victim like I was in the late 80's.  I'm still bitter about my stolen Alf doll!

I had my Nissan broken into in the late 80's while at work and I felt incredibly violated.  What a horrible scary feeling to come out from work and see that my driver's side window had been shattered.  I consider myself lucky that they didn't take the whole car, but they did take my cassette tapes (hey, I said it was in the 80's), some clothes (I practically lived out of my car) and my Alf doll (don't ask, I'm not going to explain).  Not only that, but I had to drive around with plastic on my window for a few days before I could get it fixed.  Inconvenient and horribly embarrassing!

It's recently become a big problem in Duluth and nationwide. Criminal can steal a wide variety of merchandise, it is low risk, hard to get caught, and what they steal from your car is easy to unload for cash.  As I said from experience, the victim has a diminished sense of safety and depending on what they steal could result in significant financial loss.  Especially if they go for electronics or if you keep your wallet or credit cards in your car.   They call it the crime of opportunity. So, keeping valuables out of sight and being conscious of where you park is helpful.  Here's some other tips that the Duluth Police Department think will help to alleviate your chances of becoming a victim.

Car Prowl Prevention

•    Keep the interior of you vehicle clean.  Never leave valuables, including bags, purses, wallets, briefcases, laptops, cell phones, loose change, or anything that may appear valuable in plain view.
•    Don’t store or leave credit cards, keys, money, checks, identification or personal information in the glove box, console, or anywhere in your car.
•    If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in your trunk BEFORE you get to your destination.  Just in case you're being watched when you park.
•    Before leaving your vehicle parked, always remove the keys, roll up the windows, and lock the doors.  Do not “hide” your keys in the vehicle—thieves know where to look and will find them.
•    Park your vehicle in a well-lit, busy, open area.  Avoid parking near anything that limits visibility like dumpsters, large trucks, or wooded areas.

Obviously, there is no guaranteed way to prevent crime, but you can make yourself less likely to be a victim by following the above tips, and by using common sense.  Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

Remember, if your car is broken into or there is a car prowl in progress, call 9-1-1. With your help, the number of car prowls will go down and police will have a better chance of catching those responsible.

Does anyone know where I can get another Alf doll?  I've always wondered what they did with him!

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