Archives for November 2015

Safety Tips from Officer Hardy

Tips for Preventing Theft of Laptops and Personal Electronics

Why Do Crooks Steal Laptops and Other Electronics?
Laptop computers, tablets, cellular phones, and other personal electronics have become a target of choice for thieves all over the country. Why? Because they are small, valuable, can be removed quickly, are easily hidden, and there is a market for them. A thief can sell a stolen laptop, MP3 player, or other device to an unsuspecting used computer store or pawnshop, and easily receive up to half its value in cash.

Another reason criminals find these devices such an attractive item to steal is the legal benefit — most criminals know that the penalties for a property crime (theft) are less severe than those of a crime against a person (robbery).

The Real Cost of Your Stolen Electronics
The cost of a stolen tablet, laptop, or other small electronic device is not just its replacement cost, but also the cost of peripherals and accessories, the installed software, the cost of configuring and loading replacement software, and the cost of lost time for the owner while the device is being replaced.

An even greater cost (especially if your employer issued your device) is the potential exposure and liability that results from lost confidential corporate and client information.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Having Your Electronic Devices Stolen?
Many times, often after the fact, we think about what we could have done to prevent valuables from being stolen. Here are a few tips to help you protect your personal electronics and laptop computer, whether you’re at home, school, or on the road:

Don’t leave your devices in an unlocked vehicle, even if the vehicle is in your driveway or garage, and NEVER leave it in plain sight, even if the vehicle is locked — that’s just inviting trouble. If you must leave your devices in a vehicle, the best place is in the trunk. If you don’t have a trunk, try to conceal them or fit them under a seat and lock the doors.

Carry your devices in a nondescript carrying case, briefcase, or bag when moving about. Placing these items in a case designed for computers is an immediate alert to thieves that you have these valuable devices.

DON’T leave a meeting or conference room without your laptop or personal electronics. Take them with you.

Lock your device in a safe place when not in use or use a cable lock that wraps around a desk or chair leg.

Apply distinctive paint markings (such as indelible markers) to make your laptop unique and easily identifiable.

Consider purchasing a theft alarm system specially made for laptops and other electronics.

BE AWARE that if your computer is stolen, automatic log-ins can make it easy for a thief to send inappropriate messages with your account. Use password protection and require a person to log in every time the computer goes to sleep or powers down.

BACK UP YOUR INFORMATION using cloud-based storage or on portable media such as a CD, DVD, flash drive, or other backup media. Store the discs someplace safe.

Flying with Your Laptop and Other Devices
Beware of this scam when approaching the X-ray scanner at the airport: The first person passes through the scanner quickly. The second person moves slowly, being delayed by pockets full of change, keys, etc. Meanwhile, the travelers stuck behind him have already placed their belongings — including laptops, cell phones, and tablets — on the conveyor belt. The first thief picks up the laptop as if it were his own and walks away while the other thief continues to hold up the line. ONLY PUT THE LAPTOP ON THE CONVEYOR BELT WHEN YOU ARE NEXT IN LINE! Keep your eye on your laptop, tablet, or other electronics as they come off the conveyor belt. And alert security personnel immediately if you think someone is attempting to steal your devices.

Be Cautious When Leaving the Store with Your New Gadgets
Be cautious when making electronic purchases, particularly on days of new releases of popular devices and gadgets. Thieves know that these items will be more prevalent on release days as excited customers walk out of the store. If you have plans to make a major purchase of a popular computer, tablet, or phone, please remember these important safety tips:

If an online tracking system is available for your device, get the extra assistance in the store for setup before exiting the store.

Don’t be distracted as you exit local cell phone stores and other electronic specialty stores that sell these items. Be deliberate as you exit these stores, concealing your purchase(s) and focusing on getting to your next destination. Cell phones and other music devices are major distractions when in use.

Report suspicious people. Inside a store: Do you notice people who are paying more attention to the purchases being made, rather than checking out new products? Outside a store: Do you see suspicious people standing at or near the exit for no real purpose? Report these behaviors to police.

Try to shop with a friend. Most victims who report crimes that involve snatching new products are people who have shopped alone. If you have an elderly parent, please make preparations to accompany him or her to make these kinds of purchases or suggest ordering them online.

Week of Nov 1

Crimes

PSA 203
• 15174188- Theft from Auto- 4500 Conn. Ave. NW Window smashed and purse was stolen with wallet and credit cards.
• 15174416-Theft from Auto- 3200 Brandywine St. NW Window smashed and skateboard and boy scout clothing and books stolen.
• 15175407- Theft from Auto- 4300 Conn. Ave. NW Window smashed and stolen was a HP notebook computer and IPOD.
• 731539468- No Permit- 3200 Porter St. NW The person was driving without a permit.

PSA 204
• 15174295- 3300 36th Street NW- Theft from Auto- Window smashed and stolen was an Apple Macbook and passport.
• 15174305- 35th Street NW- Theft from Auto- Window smashed and stolen was a purse with $400 and headphones.
• 15176005- 3900 Wisconsin Ave. NW- Theft from Auto- Window smashed with purse and checks stolen.

Arrests

• 021539059- 3320 Idaho Ave. NW- The complaint turned himself him after being in a physical altercation with another person which caused bodily harm.- Simple Assault
• 021539491- Destruction of Property- 2900 Van Ness St. Complaint was arguing with person in house and the person broke gaming system and guitar hero.
• 021538904-2200 Wisconsin Ave NW- Destruction of property- The complaint reports the person hit his car with a traffic cone causing damage.

Week of October 25

Crimes

PSA 203
• Theft- 15170420- 4900 Conn. Ave. NW C-1 left debit card on counter unattended and S-1 picked up and put in her sweater.
• Robbery- 15170802- 2700 Porter Street NW C-1 was walking down the street when S-1 pushed her to the ground and took purse with cash.
• Robbery- 15173199- 4400 Conn. Ave. NW S-1 drove to the drive thru and brandished a gun and said “give me everything you have” Taken was $100.00

PSA 204
• Theft-15168994- 3700 Newark St NW R-1 reports for C-1 that S-1 entered store in a wheelchair and put property in a bag and left store without paying for it.
• Theft-15169684- 2800 Wisconsin Ave. NW C-1 states cash was missing when she woke up from her nap.
• Burglary 1- 15169822- 3800 Mass. Ave. NW S-1 entered through basement window and attempted to take several bottles of wine. C-1 discovered S-1 then S-1 ran ,nothing was taken.
• Theft- 15169935- 2900 Cathedral Ave. NW C-1 noticed a bicycle light missing from bike when he returned.
• Burglary2- 15169944- 2900 Cathedral Ave. NW Window was knocked out and stolen was a Apple MacBook pro.
• Burglary 2- 4200 Mass. Ave. NW- 15172956 Unknown person entered front door and stolen was a laptop.
• Burglary 2- 4200 Mass. Ave. NW- 15172-966 Unknown person entered through front door and taken was a laptop.