Car break-ins can and do happen everywhere.
So far over the past month or so — Nov. 4 through Dec. 12 — 16 incidents were reported to Tinley Park police. Whether burglars strike vehicles in residents' driveways or those parked outside local shopping malls and in workout center lots, they are most often looking for a quick smash-n-grab theft, police officers said.
Fitness center parking lots are often targeted because thieves know that when people work out, they don't take their valuables with them, Tinley Park Police Cmndr. Steve Vaccaro has said.
The best defense against burglary to your vehicle is simple: Lock your doors.
Here are a few other pointers from law enforcement officials:
- When away from home, park in well-lit, busy areas of parking lots.
- Take all valuables out of your car. Put packages and other items in the trunk. Don't leave change, CDs, cell phones and other items in plain view to tempt would-be thieves.
- If you park your car in your driveway when at home, don't leave a garage door opener or house keys in the car and don't forget to lock the doors.
- Be alert for suspicious activity in parking lots and in your neighborhood and call the police department if you observe anything out of the ordinary.
- Call 911 to report any suspicious or unusual activity. Be prepared to provide vehicle information like the color, make, model, license plate and suspect descriptions including gender, race, and clothing.
The following is a list of vehicle break-ins reported in Tinley Park this month. They coincide with the accompanying map, which plots the crime for you.
MONDAY, DEC. 12
- Sometime between midnight and 6 a.m., someone stole various tools from a work vehicle that was parked in the 18200 block of Eagle Drive in Tinley Park. The owner said the vehicle may have been unlocked at the time of the theft. A tile cutter, grinder, Garmin GPS, two saws and a chipper were missing, the report said.
- Tinley Park police said that between midnight on Dec. 10 and 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, someone removed the airbag from a used vehicle that was parked in the front row of the car dealership facing 159th Street. The airbag was valued at $1,000 and taken from a 2010 Cadillac Escalade. Tony Rizza Cadillac is located at 8425 159th Street in Tinley Park. Two airbags were stolen from cars at the business last week.
SUNDAY, DEC. 11
- A man said that sometime between 3 p.m. Dec. 10 and 8 a.m. Dec. 11, someone slashed three tires on his 2002 Ford van that was parked in the 7400 block of West Ridgefield Lane in Tinley Park. "The tires had all been cut in the sidewalls by what appeared to be a straight-edged tool or weapon," the report said.
FRIDAY, DEC. 9
- Someone entered two unlocked vehicles owned by Tony Rizza Cadillac, 8425 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, between 9 a.m. Dec. 8 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 9. They stole two airbags — each valued at $700 — from the cars, according to the report. The 2012 BUick Engclave and 2011 Cadillac Escalade were parked in the east lot of the business.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7
- Sometime between 10 a.m. Dec. 1 and 8 a.m. Dec. 7, someone entered an unlocked 2006 BMW sedan that was parked in the 7400 block of West 159th Place in Tinley Park. The owner of the vehicle admitted that he doesn't lock his car, according to the report. Missing were three credit cards, a driver's license, a black leather wallet and a Social Security card.
THURSDAY, DEC. 1
- Someone threw a rock through the window of a 2008 Dodge Charger that was parked in the 19300 block of Lisadell Drive in Tinley Park. The 4-inch by 8-inch by 12-inch landscaping stone was found in the backseat of the vehicle around 10:30 a.m. The owner of the car said he believed a man he played poker with and owed $350 to may have broken the window. Police said they believed the damage occurred between midnight and 10:30 a.m.
TUESDAY, NOV. 29
- Sometime between noon and 7:30 p.m., someone broke into a 2006 Honda Odyssey that was parked in the 17300 block of La Grange Road in Tinley Park. The owner returned to her car to find the passenger side window shattered and her Garmin GPS missing.
- A car owner called police around 10:30 a.m., when he noticed pry marks and scratches on his 2008 Chrysler that was parked in the 7700 block of West 161st Street. Police said nothing was missing from the vehicle. The break-in attempt occurred between 1 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
SATURDAY, NOV. 26
- A woman called police after realizing that someone tried breaking into her car while it was parked in Brookside Marketplace, 7300 W. 191st Street in Tinley Park. Sometime between 12:20 p.m. and 1 p.m., someone punched the lock on the driver's side door handle, police said.
TUESDAY, NOV. 15
- Police were called to the 6800 block of 177th Street for a report of a burglary to a utility van. The victim said that sometime between 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 5:15 a.m. Nov. 15, someone entered his unlocked work vehicle. A black Hewlett Packard notebook computer and $4 in change were stolen.
MONDAY, NOV. 14
- Sometime between 6 p.m. Nov. 13 and 5:30 a.m. Nov. 14, someone entered an unlocked truck that was parked in the 7600 block of West Nottingham Drive in Tinley Park, and stole several items. A total of $25 in quarters was missing from the glove compartment, according to the report, and a digital camera, assorted hand tools, $10 cash, a backpack and various other items were missing from the front seat. The man estimated the total worth of those belongings to be around $610.
SATURDAY, NOV. 12
- A man whose 2010 Nissan Altima was parked in the 7800 block of Marquette Drive in Tinley Park, said that sometime between 8:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and 9:30 a.m. Nov. 12, someone stole an iPod and a backpack from the vehicle. The backpack was found in the street in front of the home but didn't have the $375 in college textbooks inside.
- Police said a burglar broke into a 2006 Acura RSX that was parked between Nov. 11 at 9:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2:20 p.m. in the 8400 block of West Stratford Drive in Tinley Park. The owner found the driver's side window of the vehicle smashed, he said. Police said they found a large rock inside. The burglar stole a black backpack from the vehicle, the report said.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9
- A burglar broke into a truck parked in the 7900 block of 185th Street in Tinley Park around 3:50 p.m. and stole a case of Jay's cheese popcorn valued at $21.
SUNDAY, NOV. 6
- Sometime between 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and 10:15 a.m. Nov. 6, someone stole a cell phone memory card and camera memory card from a woman's car while it was parked in the 9400 block of Perth Circle, police said. The cards were inside a woman's black wallet, which also had in it $10 cash. The woman said the doors to her car were left open because they do not lock. A window was also partially down because it is broken, police said.
FRIDAY, NOV. 4
- A man called police around 7:15 p.m., shortly after he noticed that his checkbook had been stolen from his 2010 Ford Edge, which was parked in the 8000 block of West Iroquois Terrace, police said. The man said his car doors were locked but there were no signs of forced entry. He said he believed the book was stolen between 6:15 p.m. Nov. 3 and 7:45 p.m. Nov. 4.
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