Day-shift police officers on Sunday asked for increased night patrols in parts of Wauwatosa after a spate of vehicle entries the night before.
At 3:33 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a call from a resident of the 1100 block of Kavanaugh Place that at some time between 1 and 6:30 a.m., someone had entered his unlocked car and stolen a jacket with $10 in the pocket, $7 in quarters, a pair of work gloves and an iPod, all amounting to $382. He found the jacket in the front yard of a home five doors down the street.
The police report did not say why the owner waited most of the day to report the crime.
Police forwarded this report and three other similar calls to the night shift for extra patrols. Reports for the other incidents had not yet been made available to the media, but the report numbers referred to were in close order, indicating that the calls were investigated in a narrow time frame.
There have been numerous reports of vehicle entries and break-ins all over Tosa for the past several weeks, and while some of them involve broken windows or jimmied locks, many are entries into unlocked vehicles, and many of those result in the loss of valuable property that could have been brought inside.
Earlier Monday, farther north, in the 2500 block of Pasadena Avenue, a woman lost a television set worth $200 and a brand-new set of cookware worth $300 that were left in two unlocked cars in her driveway overnight.
Most of the smash-and-grab thefts also involved portable property that was left in view inside the vehicles.
Residents should be aware that leaving property inside vehicles is an invitation to theft, and also that when a break-in or entry occurs, it should be reported immediately. Also, once a property crime is noticed, it is important not to disturb the scene before the police have arrived to investigate.
On Thursday, residents of the 2800 block of North 117th Street reported that at some time between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday someone had entered their unlocked car, rifled it and apparently tried to steal it. Items from the car were strewn in the yard and the ignition had been tampered with.
The crime was not reported for three hours after it was discovered, and the woman who called police told the officer who came to investigate that her husband had locked the car and gone to work, and she did not have a key. So, the officer could not check for any evidence of the crime.