Flagstaff, AZ – During the early morning hours of Sunday, January 3, 2016 Dispatchers of the Flagstaff Regional 911 Center received multiple calls from concerned citizens regarding suspicious activity and reckless driving by a vehicle and its occupants. One caller reported seeing the vehicle enter the driveway of his home located in Doney Park and then slowly back out. The reporting citizen attempted to follow the vehicle; however he lost sight of it. The investigating Deputy put out an attempt to locate message with the vehicle description.
Later that day Flagstaff Police Officers located the vehicle which was occupied by two adult males. The officers arrested the men on unrelated charges. During the investigation, a wallet was located in the vehicle with identification that did not belong to either occupant. The Deputy contacted the person listed on the identification who lived in the Doney Park area. According to this person his wallet was last known to be inside his vehicle. The Deputy and the victim checked his vehicles that were in front of his home and discovered that two of them had been burglarized.
Twenty-one year-old Samuel David Hankins and twenty year-old Scott Julian Peavy both of Flagstaff were charged with two counts each of burglary from a vehicle. Coconino County Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing this investigation in an effort to determine if the two suspects are involved in other burglaries that have occurred in the area.
Auto-burglary prevention, like all crime prevention, involves limiting the criminal's ability and/or opportunity to commit the crime. With very little time and effort, you can make a huge difference in your vulnerability to auto-burglary.
Lock ALL your vehicle's doors even if you plan to be gone for only a brief time. Every year, we have items stolen from unlocked vehicles where the owner was only going to be gone "just for a second." It only takes seconds to steal your stuff! It's not uncommon for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles and check vehicle doors to see if they are unlocked. Don't leave any window open or even cracked open, including vent/wing windows and sunroofs.
Don't leave valuables in your car. That sounds like "common sense," but drivers/passengers do leave items of value in plain view every day. If you leave valuable items visible in your car, your car is automatically a target.
Try to park in busy, well-lighted areas. Try to park in well-traveled areas. Large anonymous lots are hit by thieves much more often than parking immediately adjacent to residential housing or other occupied buildings.
Set any alarm or anti-theft device. If you have one, use it! Many people believe that car-alarms no longer make a difference, but they can be an effective deterrent to an auto-burglar, who most often chooses the easiest target.
Mark your valuables! As a last line of defense (not really to prevent theft as much as to aid in recovery), mark your valuables. Recording serial numbers is dandy, but nowadays many serial numbers are on removable "labels" rather than "engraved" into valuable items. Sheriff Pribil suggests inscribing/engraving a "personal identifier" on all valuables.
Take Removable Equipment with You. If you have an after-market stereo/CD-player with a removable face plate, remove it. Without the face plate, the unit is less attractive/useful to many thieves, and harder to "fence." If the unit can be pulled, pull it! Take it with you. Just covering a valuable radio (or ANY valuables in your car) with something (like a blanket or towel) to hide it will probably only draw thieves' attention.
What Items are Most Commonly Stolen from Vehicles?
• Backpacks, gym bags, briefcases, day-planners
• Cash/coins, checkbooks and credit/debit cards
• Wallets/purses (even when hidden under a seat or in an unlocked glove compartment)
• Laptop computers, iPods and MP3 players (and docking stations)
• Cell phones (and chargers)
• Portable GPS navigation systems
• Stereo/CD players (and faceplates), amps, speakers (even when bolted down!)
• Jewelry, keys, mail (identity theft), tools
• Anything of obvious value
Report Suspicious Activity. If you see suspicious activity, report it to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 774-4523 or call 911
What should you do if something is stolen out of your car? As soon as you notice something's stolen (or that your car has been broken into) do not touch/adjust anything in, on, or around the car. As soon as possible, call the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.
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Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089