October 31, 2023 -- Reports of attempted burglaries and thefts are on the rise on the North Shore as the holiday season approaches and the end of Daylight Saving Time means that darkness falls earlier when many are still at work. Although this national trend is not unique to Highland Park or the North Shore, it is an area of concern and focus for the City of Highland Park.
Highland Park police officers are proactively working to prevent burglaries in our community. Reporting suspicious behaviors, not people, can assist law enforcement in preventing crimes. If you see something, say something by calling the public safety non-emergency line at 847.432.7730.
The tips in the video below can assist homeowners and residents in securing their property and preventing thefts and burglaries by following the 9PM Routine. Residents may also contact their Police Beat Coordinator, who can arrange a visit to provide safety recommendations, both general and specific to each home and location.
If you suspect you may have been the victim of a burglary or other crime, contact the Highland Park Police Department at 847.432.7730. To report a crime in progress or request emergency assistance, always dial 911.
Preventing Ruse Burglaries These property crimes involve one or multiple suspects working together to distract homeowners to gain access to their homes and steal cash, jewelry, electronics, or other valuables. Criminals often pose as utility employees, contractors, or city employees and may look official with what appear to be utility vests, company badges, and two-way radios. One suspect distracts the resident while the second suspect enters your home to steal valuables.
To prevent ruse burglaries, residents should:
Confirm the identity of anyone claiming to represent a utility company, the City, or another organization, especially when you are not expecting them. Call the company they claim to represent to confirm. Some common utility contact numbers are available at cityhpil.com/utilities. If they claim to represent the City, call the public safety line at 847.432.7730 for confirmation.
Refuse to allow the person to enter your home until you have confirmed with the company that the individual claims to represent.
Call the company with the phone number listed on your bill, the company’s official website, or on the City’s website. Do not call a phone number provided by the person at your door.
Keep the screen or storm door locked. When answering the door, speak with the visitor through the screen door.
Keep valuables out of sight or in a locked and secured safe.
Preventing Vehicle Thefts & Burglaries
Secure your keys and keep valuables out of sight. Always remove keys and key fobs from your car, whether parking at home, in the community, or when stopping for gas.
Lock all doors, including car doors, even if your car is parked in your garage. Be sure to lock the door from your home to your garage.
Leave your outside lights on overnight, especially if parking your vehicle outside.
Report any suspicious activity immediately to the police.
Preventing Package Theft Residential burglary is often a crime of opportunity. Offenders may look for targets that are easily accessible and allow them to remain unseen while committing the crime.
Retrieve packages (and mail) as soon as possible.
Request that your package is marked “signature required.” This requires the delivery person to stand by and wait until you’re available to retrieve the package.
Leave special instructions on where to deliver the package. A good place is on the side or back of the house so that the package is out of sight from the road.
Use a company that provides a tracking service and check online to see when it is scheduled to arrive.
Have the items shipped to the nearest store for in-store pick-up.
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