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503-635-5777
Riverdale Dunthorpe Patrol
P.O. Box 532 Lake Oswego, OR 97034
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Vehicle Security

Vehicle Security

Some neighborhood residents have contacted me with concerns about the recent incidents involving the theft of items from vehicles. More of these incidents have been reported to us during the past year, than the previous five years combined. I need to caveat that statement with two other statements. First, the total number of incidents reported to Riverdale Dunthorpe Patrol involved 14 confirmed vehicles and four others that were reported to us by people other than the victims and may be included in the 14. Secondly, in discussions with Multnomah County Deputies, I’ve been told there has been an increase in thefts from vehicles across the entire county.

When someone steals items from a vehicle, one of two things precipitated the theft; the vehicle was either unlocked or an item of potential value was visible. Visible items lead the criminal to believe breaking a window and the additional noise it creates to be worth the risk. I said “potential” value because there was an incident several years ago where a criminal broke a window to steal a Nordstrom’s bag containing dirty gym clothes. Laptops, purses, GPS units and cell phones are common targets of thieves and should never be left where they can be seen from outside the vehicle. If you leave your vehicle unlocked, a criminal will quietly enter and search your vehicle for anything of value. Both of the vehicles that were stolen this past year were unlocked and the criminal found the keys during their search of the interior. If you are not able to park your vehicles in your secured garage, be sure to lock the doors and remove any valuables. Security and crime prevention is about making you less of a target than the next person. Little steps will make a big difference.

At approximately 3:00AM on December 30, 2010, I found a suspicious vehicle parked in an unusual place. When I walked up to the vehicle, an unidentified male jumped over a small fence, ran South on Highway 43 towards Lake Oswego and hid in some bushes. Assuming he was a car prowler, I immediately called the police to help find and apprehend the suspect. Unfortunately, in the time it took for the police to respond, the suspect was able to evade capture. Fortunately, we were able to recover most of the property he had stolen that night.

No one has reported having items stolen from their vehicle since that near apprehension. A Multnomah County Deputy is attempting to identify the suspect. Hopefully that person will not return, but it is impossible to know if he was the only person responsible for the thefts. We have to assume that there will be additional people going through the neighborhood looking for things to steal and sell.

The Riverdale/Dunthorpe area has enjoyed a lower crime rate than other parts of the metropolitan area for a long time. We work hard to maintain this privilege. However, the low crime rate can lead to complacency. As more criminals learn about our small community, more will come to “explore” and exploit any weaknesses. I will be using emails like this one and the Riverdale Dunthorpe Patrol Facebook page to disseminate crime prevention information. You do not need a Facebook account to view our page, it available for anyone to visit.