Precinct 5 PENS April 2023
Welcome to this month’s PENS, Police Email Notification System, bulletin. This monthly bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 5 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU5) and is designed to keep you aware of safety alerts and crime trends in your area and measures you can take to keep you and your family safe.
Public Safety Topic of The Month
Mail Theft Prevention
We have had a few recent reports of mail stolen from residential mailboxes. Credit cards are being stolen and used fraudulently. If you were unaware, the Post Office offers the ability to email you with a preview of your incoming mail daily. You may then be aware sooner of a potential theft. (Informed Delivery by USPS)
Sign up at USPS.COM
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also offers the following tips. Here's what you can do to protect your mail from thieves:
- Use the letter slots inside your Post Office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.
- Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
- If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you're expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
- If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
- Don’t send cash in the mail.
- Tell your Post Office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.
- Report all suspected mail theft to a Postal Inspector.
- Consult with your local Postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.
If you see a mail thief at work, or if you believe your mail was stolen, call police immediately, then call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3).
Current Crime Trends
Ladies and Gentlemen, our current crime trends continue to be Entering Autos. The bulk of the Entering Autos are taking place overnight and early in the morning. The majority of all the Entering Autos have been UNLOCKED vehicles with valuables including guns left inside. PLEASE remove all valuables especially guns from your vehicles every time you park and leave the vehicle. During these Entering Autos, we had several vehicles that were also stolen. The perpetrators were able to steal the vehicles because victims had left their Key Fobs inside the vehicles. Even if you hide the Key Fob it still allows the perpetrator to hit the push-button start and leave with the vehicle. Remove all keys and key fobs before leaving your vehicle. Also, double check that ALL vehicle doors are locked.
If you observe someone breaking into vehicles do not approach them and immediately call 911. From a safe place provide 911 with an accurate description of the suspects, involved vehicles, and what direction the suspect is going. NO property is worth getting hurt over.
The recent increase in entering autos incidents, all have been unlocked vehicles. The vehicles have been parked in the driveways of residences. Videos from home security systems showed the suspects walking up to vehicles and checking the door handles. If the doors were unlocked, they entered the vehicle, rummaged through any contents, and took whatever valuables they were interested in. In one video, the suspect even opened and checked the trunk of a sedan. Their objective is to steal as much property from unlocked vehicles as possible without being detected so there are no reports of broken windows. If a vehicle was locked, they moved on to another vehicle. This is the most common practice of an entering auto thief.
No one can guarantee that a thief will not break out your vehicle window but incident data shows that forced entry to a vehicle’s window usually correlates with valuables inside the vehicle that are visible from outside the vehicle.
Again, remove all valuables from your parked vehicles, especially firearms. Lock your doors, even when parked at your residence. These two practices statistically reduces your chances of being an entering auto victim.
What You Can Do to Prevent Theft
- Lock your doors, including the one from the garage.
- Keep garage doors closed--check before bed every night.
- Use motion sensor-activated lighting.
- Use surveillance cameras.
Entering Auto Prevention
- Lock your vehicles and remove items of value and items that appear to contain valuables.
- If you can’t keep them with you, secure your valuables in the trunk before reaching your location.
- Keep your vehicle locked and your purse or wallet on your person while fueling at the gas station.
- Use anti-theft mailboxes with a special locking system.
- Use security cameras.
- Do not raise the mail flag.
- Do not send cash, checks, or anything that has credit card information.
Remember to CALL 911 to report any suspicious persons or activity. If you see something, say something!
The Cobb County Police Camera Registration program is a police/community video partnership that operates on a voluntary basis with homeowners, neighborhoods and business owners who own private video surveillance systems. We encourage both businesses and residents to register their cameras online by completing the form below.
This program is intended to let our officers know where cameras are active in the county in case a crime occurs. It is not intended for active surveillance, and officers will not have direct access to homeowners' cameras. Those who register a camera will be contacted if a crime occurs in the vicinity of that camera.
Information provided by residents and businesses will be maintained in a secure database.
If you have not already signed up to receive the monthly PENS updates, please subscribe. Feel free to forward this e-mail to your HOA members and local businesses.
PENS is also sending out bulletins and alerts through its partnership with Nextdoor.com. Discover if your neighborhood is already signed up so you may join. If not, they will provide you with the necessary information.
Det. Lieutenant T.M. Fuller
Det. Sergeant J.T. Rainwater
Cobb County Police Department
Criminal Investigation Unit Pct. 5
4640 Dallas Highway
Powder Springs, GA 30127