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I was reading the minutes from the August 27th Oakland Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meeting (a pdf file, not a link) and noticed the news that crime is up dramatically. Let's take cars as one example.
There were 40 stolen cars in a 90 day period this year. The most commonly stolen cars are the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and the Honda Civic.
According to the Oakland Police, the reason most cars are stolen is because people simply leave the keys in them.
"Lock it. Lock it. Lock it", is the advice given.
Vehicle theft is a common problem in the Rockridge area. I used the Oakland Police "CrimeView Community website" to search for the number of vehicle thefts within a mile of 5600 College Avenue (see map below) and discovered that there were seven such crimes over the last 15 days. Almost one every other day.
View Larger Map
That's a problem. The crimes are committed on side streets, not at Rockridge BART, where activity has been "quiet". The BART station is well-lighted and well-populated; the last place someone wants to be seen trying to enter a car not their own. I park there all the time - even saw this Smart Car in the lot:
Crime is up all over Rockridge
According to the minutes, crime is up all over the area and not just vehicle theft. Crimes against people have increased with July 2009 posting 23 for that month, or 14 over the median of nine.
What to do? I always say know your neighbors and ask questions. If you don't recognize someone on your street or in your complex, introduce yourself. Or instead of keeping your head down when you pass by someone, get it up and look and say hello. I do.
The best way we can curb these problems is via the best social network there is: knowing people around you. In an era of deficits and recession, the Oakland Police budget is too small to effectively deal with the problems in neighborhoods like Rockridge.
People have to become more socially connected offline, not just online.
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