Looking at suburban newspaper headlines, it feels like crime seems to be increasing all over Chicagoland. Village of Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow says Antioch is no different from other similar communities in Lake County that have seen an increase in “crimes of opportunity.”
“More frequently we are seeing very well-organized groups of thieves come into our community with one goal, find unlocked car doors or open garage doors,” says Guttschow. “These crews cover large areas, very quickly. It doesn’t take many unlocked doors for them to be successful.”
These thieves target contents inside of unlocked cars, and even cars themselves. Chief Guttschow says there are several easy steps residents can take to make our community safer and a less attractive target for thieves.
Chief Guttschow Recommendations
1. Don’t put outgoing mail in your mailbox at night. If possible, drop mail that needs to be delivered at the post office, or in the blue USPS mailboxes.
2. Lock your car door at night. Most reports of theft involve residents forgetting to lock their car doors at night.
3. Don’t leave your car running with keys inside. “Warm Up” thefts are common in the wintertime.
4. Make sure your garage door is closed and doors are locked. Chief Guttschow recommends following a routine before bed to make sure your garage door is closed, car doors are locked, and house doors and windows are also secure.
5. See something, say something. Neighbors watching out for neighbors is one of the best ways to catch criminals in the act.
6. Utilize camera doorbells and home security. Home security cameras, such as Ring, are an increasingly popular tool to fight crime. More homes are watched 24/7 by motion sensor-activated security cameras. The video from these cameras can give police a good look at criminals and provide valuable evidence.
7. HOA and other neighborhood groups can encourage residents to follow the speed limit in residential neighborhoods. Another common safety complaint in our community is cars speeding through residential areas. Another defense against reckless driving through neighborhoods is simple reminders from homeowner associations, parents, and neighbors reminding younger drivers of the importance of following residential speed limits, and drivers being aware of their surroundings, such as children running from between parked cars into the roadway.
8. Follow the Village of Antioch Police Department on Facebook. Follow your local law enforcement agency on social media to stay aware of police events in the community, various crime and traffic alerts, and general information regarding the police department.