SANATOGA PA – Seven area police agencies are combining their efforts to investigate, and if possible put a stop to, ongoing thefts from vehicles and vehicle thefts that have plagued residents from across the Greater Pottstown area for weeks.
Detectives and administrators from departments in Lower, Upper and West Pottsgrove townships, the borough of Pottstown, and North Coventry, Limerick and New Hanover townships all gathered Tuesday (June 30, 2015) to agree on a strategy that will increase police patrols, enforce existing local curfew laws, and continue to warn owners of the necessity of locking up their vehicles.
Perhaps just as importantly, Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Michael Foltz said in a press release issued Wednesday (July 1), the departments involved “have contributed resources to review the cases, (to) develop crime prevention (and) enforcement strategies, and to pool resources targeted at the issue.”
“Police administrators decided to take a proactive response” to address the problem, Foltz added.
June was a particularly troubling month for law enforcement, as officers from almost all municipalities dealt with increases in thefts from unlocked vehicles, as well as a number of stolen vehicles for which ignition keys were found by suspects. “This is a common crime of opportunity that exhibits itself annually,” Foltz noted, but the higher frequency prompted the combined response.
The departments are pledging to:
- Enforce curfew ordinances which, where they exist, require individuals of specific ages designated by individual townships or the borough to be off the streets by the times indicated;
- Step up patrols in targeted areas; and
- Proactively investigate “anything of suspicious nature during the late night and early morning hours,” according to Foltz.
The crime prevention strategy also relies on reminding residents “to lock their vehicles and remove valuables from them when left unattended,” Foltz said. “It is a rare instance where suspects force entry into locked cars to gain access to belongings. By removing valuables you eliminate the desire for criminals to break entry into your car.”
“By locking your car doors, you remove the opportunity for those criminals targeting unlocked vehicles, which are a much easier target to access your belongings,” he added. “Police from the various areas also encourage prompt reporting of any suspicious activities. Crime prevention is most effective when the community and law enforcement work in partnership.”
Composite illustration by The Post from Google Images