The year 2020 is here and the Shakopee Police Department is launching our “Lock It, Shakopee” campaign aimed at eliminating the most preventable crimes in our city — thefts from unlocked vehicles and burglaries due to open doors. Here’s the catch, we need your help to make this happen.

While Shakopee is a safe community with a low crime rate, we are not immune to crimes of opportunity. And these crimes have a negative impact on our pocketbooks and overall feeling of safety in our neighborhoods.

“Car shopping” is a common crime where people canvas neighborhoods, checking car doors to see if they are unlocked. If they’re locked, no theft occurs, and the thieves move on quickly to the next vehicle. Last year, the police department took 84 theft reports where something was stolen from a vehicle that was left unlocked, totaling approximately $50,000 in valuables taken, including five guns. Yes, five guns were left in unlocked vehicles for anyone to take. We must do better than this.

Lock It, Shakopee goes beyond thefts from motor vehicles. It will also focus on easily preventable burglaries. In 2019, our department recorded 29 burglaries in which the garage was left open and thieves were able to access the house through unlocked doors. In those cases, approximately $100,000 in property was stolen, including eight guns. Also, of the 39 vehicle thefts we responded to in 2019, 29 were stolen because the vehicle was left unlocked and the keys were in it.

These crimes occur in every city and in every neighborhood. Thieves today are extremely mobile and move quickly looking for the path of least resistance. And while our police officers do a great job investigating these incidents, we cannot be on every block in every neighborhood at all times. We need your help to secure your property. The solution is simple: Lock it up!

Therefore, we are asking your help to meet our 2020 goals to reduce:

  • Thefts from unlocked vehicles to 50.
  • Burglaries from unlocked garages to 15.
  • Stolen vehicles with keys in them to 15.

We also want to see the number of firearms stolen from unlocked cars and garages be zero. Just think of the impact we can make as a community if we hit these goals.

You are going to see a lot about Lock It, Shakopee over the next 12 months because we want to keep this simple mission on everyone’s mind. Please do your part: Lock your doors. Remind neighbors who leave their garage open. Share our campaign message on social media. Help us get the word out to “Lock It, Shakopee.”

Jeff Tate is the police chief at the Shakopee Police Department.

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