Larceny from vehicles up 28% this month in Providence

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — ‘Tis the season for crimes of opportunity.

Not becoming part of the Christmas crime story is all about awareness, according to police. While you may be focused on checking items off your list, other people in the crowd or in the parking lot may have different ideas.

Target 12 reviewed Providence’s property crime statistics and found out that over the past 28 days, larceny from motor vehicles is up by about 28 percent in 2017 compared to the same time period from last year.

Conversely, larceny from individuals is down by about 5 percent this year and the year-to-date stats show total property crimes such as larcenies and burglaries are down by 4 percent compared to 2016.

Providence police and other departments hold weekly, statistic-driven strategy meetings and in the capital city, officers will sometimes meet more than once a week if the stats indicate there’s a spike in a particular crime.

“If there is an increase on any street in any neighborhood in any district, it gets addressed almost immediately,” Commander Thomas Verdi said.

To avoid becoming a victim during the holidays, police offered some common-sense, but important tips:

  • Park in a safe place
  • Keep your valuables out of view
  • Lock your doors, whether you’re at home or out shopping
  • Set your alarm

“Don’t make it easy for the criminal,” Verdi added.

Target 12 also learned Providence is on pace to set a record low for property crimes, which was set two years ago. Verdi credits his department’s data-driven approach and the public’s awareness.

Over the past five years, the city has averaged about 6,400 property crimes per year.