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APD Foothills Area Command Crime Prevention Information: Children, Family Rules, Recent Ruses to Get Into Residences, Auto Burglaries

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APD Foothills Area Command Crime Prevention Information: Children, Family Rules, Recent Ruses to Get Into Residences, Auto Burglaries

Post  Admin on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:10 am

Hello APD Foothills Area Command Neighborhood Association/HOAs, Neighborhood Watch Block Captains, Crime Free Multi-Housing Management Teams,

I’d like you to share this information with your memberships and teams to be safer.

Family Rules for Children:
Please go over your family rules for safety with your children regarding being approached by strangers.
This area has had reports of a male who has been approaching children asking them to photograph him.
I have attached my “Top 10 Safety Tips for Children” for you.

I have also set up a Foothills Substation lobby display stand with information on Child Safety to support our officers’ efforts to locate this man approaching children in our community.

If you have information about the male with the camera approaching children, call 242-COPS (2677).

Unexpected Strangers at Your Door:
At the end of February we had 2 females, white, both solid/stocky build (1 about 25-30 yrs old, the other one 45-50 yrs old) with a white female child about 4-6 years old talked their way into a residence posing as ‘home health care nurses’ who were there to check on an elderly female who had recently had surgery. The leader had a photo ID badge and presented a business card from a health care facility, but one that could be on any countertop with the location (no name or title on the card) information. They talked their way into the home and proceeded to try to take the female resident’s blood pressure. After they left, the female and her husband noted a watch and a gold/diamond necklace were missing from their home. After checking with the health care provider, as the female resident did recently have surgery, they were told by the health care provider that they do not send home health care nurses to members’ homes.

I am particularly disturbed by what could have happened had this encounter gone south…This happened on a Monday night around 6:30 pm. Remember, just because the subjects at your door are female or have a child with them, do not let your guard down. If at all suspicious of a person at your front door who shows up without prior arrangements being made by you, please do not hesitate to contact the agency who they claim has sent them while they wait outside your locked door.

Over this weekend in the Foothills Area Command we had a report of a Hispanic male, thin build, accompanied by a young, white girl, thin, about 15 years old. They approached the residence and told the homeowner they were there to pick up clothing the female left at the home the prior night; the resident had no idea what they were talking about and they remained outside the resident’s door for about 10 minutes. An alert neighbor called 242-COPS and noted to the operator that a group of teens had just vandalized their home’s side garage door and left the door open. They may have been attempting to break into the home and were in a dark blue older model SUV.

Auto Burglaries over the Weekend in the Foothills Area Command:
Of the 9 reported, 6 were confirmed to be forced entries and vehicle windows were broken and locks punched/doors pried.
What was taken?

Purses, a handicap placard, walking stick, radio, camera, stereo equipment and an iPod. Please do not leave any items of value in your vehicles!

Thanks for all you are doing to help our officers keep you safer and for helping your neighbors and your rental community residents.

Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist
Foothills Area Command, Albuquerque Police Department
12800 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112
332-5240 Front Office
323-4644 Direct Line
332-5249 Fax

The things that matter most begin at the grassroots level -- consider forming a Neighborhood Watch group on your block today!


Top Ten Safety Tips for Children

911 – Emergencies –
- The operator will need to talk to you and ask you questions
- Give your name, your location and describe the emergency
- Help will be on the way soon; stay calm and be brave

What if I Get Lost?
- Go to a pre-planned meeting place if you get separated
- Go to a trustworthy adult – police officer, security guard, store clerk

- Never go with a stranger or accept a ride from a stranger
- Strangers do not ask kids for help

Family Code Word
- Have a CODE WORD decided upon with your parents if anyone else has to pick you up from school besides your parents. Practice the Code Word with your parents and keep it secret among your family only. If the person doesn’t know your code word, do not go with them.

Home alone
- Follow the rules for your household! Go over the rules as a family
- Know how to use the phone and call 911 if there’s an emergency

Doors/Windows at Home
- Know how to operate locks on doors, windows and alarms
- Never let anyone into the house or let them know you are alone
- If you have an eye viewer on your door, use it!

How do you know when NOT to go into your home alone?
- If you see a broken window, open door, torn off screen, strange vehicle in the driveway your home may have been broken into and a burglar still inside.
- Go to a trusted neighbor’s home and tell an adult to call the police.

Walking places
- Go in a group, with a friend or a family member – don’t go alone
- Look out for each other and stick together
- Practice the route with your parent(s) and identify a safe place to go if there’s trouble, (ex: a neighbor’s house, police or fire station, a school, a business)

Awareness – walk with confidence, pay attention

Avoid danger spots: alleys, wooded areas, areas where you can’t be seen by others, construction zones, empty buildings, public bathrooms



Illegal or unauthorized door-to-door solicitation presents a possible unsafe situation in the residential setting. Individuals who represent themselves as a legitimate business are often times conducting fraudulent or potentially criminal activity. This type of enterprise is less prevalent today so individual citizens should consider any unexpected knock at the door to be potentially suspicious. The following are suggestions about how to create and maintain a safe and secure residential environment and how to handle the unwanted or unauthorized solicitor.

• The average citizen can define and describe normal behavior and activity in their immediate area or block. Citizens should apply this knowledge to persons walking the neighborhood. Strangers or those people that do not belong should be noticed and observed for suspicious activity. If a person’s behavior is deemed to be abnormal or suspicious, the citizen should call the non-emergency number 242-COPS. If someone witnesses a crime in progress, dial 911.
• If the resident receives any knock at the door, they should ALWAYS observe the area through a window or eye-viewer prior to opening the door – even if they are expecting a visitor. If an unfamiliar person is observed outside the residence, the occupant should be very cautious about opening the door. If there is a security screen door with a deadbolt lock in place and the citizen feels comfortable with opening the door, they should not engage the individual; rather politely ask them to leave. In the absence of a security screen door, they should notify the visitor they are unwelcome and ask them to leave the premises via the locked door and should never allow entry for any reason. Once the person is asked to leave, the resident should observe them leaving and be prepared to report suspicious activity to the police.
• It is important to note that a knock at the door should not go unanswered in some manner – whether through the security screen door or the main door. Criminals posing as a legitimate solicitor are looking for an empty house to eventually commit residential burglary. If the criminal breaks into an expected empty residence and finds an occupant, the probability of a violent encounter is high.
• Home Invasions can be the result of a door-to-door solicitor. The criminal knocks on the door and through a variety of techniques, persuades the resident to open the door. Once the door is open other individuals appear from obscured locations and force their way into the residence. If someone is at the door claiming to require assistance or some type of help, especially late at night, NEVER OPEN THE DOOR – call 911.
• Citizens who have experienced an illegal solicitor or suspicious person should alert other neighbors in the immediate area.
• It is recommended that no one engage or enter into a discussion about the purchase of items or services from any one who initiate contact with them. If items or services are needed, citizens should pursue the purchase through established businesses. All frauds and scams originate from contact initiated by someone else.
• How to verify a solicitor’s legitimacy – All legitimate businesses in the City of Albuquerque must have a permit to operate, this includes the door-to-door solicitor per City Ordinance 13-3-1-1. The Ordinance requires the individual to have on their person a permit that can be produced on request, which includes photo identification. Any solicitor that claims not to have one or has left it in another location should be considered illegitimate. If you desire the right of privacy, posting a No Trespassing or No Soliciting sign on your premises must be observed by the solicitor. Solicitation is permitted only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and sunset.


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