Following a two-week window that saw high rates of car breaks and auto thefts, police officials from district C-11 in Dorchester are urging residents to be wary of securing their automobiles.
According to Sergeant Brian Dunford, the span from June 13 through June 25 saw “significant spikes” in vehicle-related crime, with 19 incidents of larcenies from a motor vehicle and 14 auto thefts having been recorded in those two weeks alone. Dunford stressed the importance of taking simple precautions like locking car doors, noting that over half the larcenies occurred in instances where doors were left unlocked, and that 8 of the 14 cars that were stolen were left running with keys in the ignition.
“Essentially, a lot of these instances are preventable,” he told the Reporter.
The recent rash of crimes was not concentrated any one street or locality, however, with incidents occurring in different neighborhoods and at different times of day.
“The frustrating thing is that there is not a geographic pattern,” explained Dunford. “We see incidents across the district. This tells me that it is not the work of one individual, or even a group of people working together.”
Dunford suggested the opioid crisis may be a driving factor in the uptick of small larcenies, noting that addicts tend to commit “passive crimes” and avoid confrontation.
Despite this spike in car robberies, Dunford pointed to statistics that show C-11 continues to become safer: armed robberies have dropped from 82 at this time last year to 54 this year, homicides have been cut in half, and violent crime is down 12 percent citywide.
“Dorchester is a good and safe neighborhood, but if cars are consistently broken into, it won't feel that way to residents,” he said.
As such, BPD recommends that residents lock their car doors, especially overnight, and refrain from leaving running cars unattended.