Livonia Police: Summertime larcenies from autos more than doubled in 2019
Oct. 09, 2019
They may have paid for not locking their car doors over the summer, but social media savvy Livonia residents should also know they helped make some arrests.
Livonia Police Department did a five-year, summer-to-summer comparison of larcenies from automobiles and discovered such incidents more than doubled in 2019, climbing from 55 between June 1 and Sept. 1 of 2018 to 115 for that same period this year.
Arrests for such auto thievery hit a high of 13 in summer 2019.
Lt. Charles Lister credits Facebook and community members participating with police in the Neighbors by Ring app. He said alert residents helped police arrest at least five suspected larcenists.
“When we get a call, and we can get into the area, we can usually have some success in locating these individuals and making an arrest,” Lister said. “We do better when the community points us in the right direction.”
Livonia police have credited social media smart and savvy residents, especially for their video posts. They have shown the accused trying to open car doors and rummaging through the beds of pickup trucks.
On Tuesday, a video uploaded on the police department’s Facebook page showed someone walking around 4:35 a.m. past a vehicle in a driveway near Seven Mile and Middlebelt roads. The bundled-up person then walked away with a Moose lawn ornament.
Moose on the loose with an apparent larcenist
Livonia Police Department credits videos like this when successfully identifying suspects. They identified this suspect within hours of a Facebook post.
Police identified the person within two hours, according to a subsequent Facebook post.
But back to summer. Summer is when car larcenies hit their high marks for the year. The LPD's five-year summer history showed the worst year as 2015, when there were 154 incidents and four arrests.
“Locking the car is the best defense,” Lister said before describing the mindset of those who like to break into vehicles. “It’s late night hours. Walking the subs, just trying car door handles until you strike gold.”
Livonia isn’t the only place that deals with car larcenies.
“It’s rampant throughout the metropolitan area — trying door handles and breaking into cars late at night,” Lister said.
He showed a map that marked the 2019 larcenies for Livonia.
“It’s the proverbial needle in a haystack. It’s so random as to location,” he said. “You can’t really say there’s a specific area of the city that suffers larcenies from autos more than any.
Insurance companies offer advice like rolling up windows, locking doors, parking in well-lit areas, installing alarm systems and not leaving keys in the cars.
“Opportunity is a huge thing,” Lister said.
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