Burglary and Theft Prevention Tips from the River Forest Police Department

July, 27, 2022

The vast majority of Thefts and Burglaries in River Forest are preventable through common sense practices. RFPD would like to remind residents of some facts and strategies to prevent becoming a victim.

Vehicle Theft Facts
  • In 2020 alone, more than three quarters of a million motor vehicles were stolen in the United States, costing vehicle owners more than $7 billion.
  • Passenger cars made up more than 74% of all stolen motor vehicles.
  • Only 56.4% of all stolen motor vehicles were recovered.
  • A motor vehicle was stolen every 39 seconds.
Vehicle Theft Prevention
  • Always lock vehicles, whether they are parked outside or in a garage. This way, even if a garage door is inadvertently left open, access cannot be gained to the inside of the vehicle.
  • Do not leave spare or valet keys inside a vehicle. Cars made in the last fifteen years are nearly impossible to steal without a key or a tow truck. As such, cars are rarely stolen in our area, but when they are, it is typically because the thief had access to the vehicle’s key.
  • When investigating Vehicle Burglaries, we are occasionally told by victims that they left the vehicle doors unlocked so that a criminal would not damage their windows or doors to steal items. However, it is very rare for offenders in our area to break windows or damage vehicles to steal items, as it greatly increases their likelihood of getting caught.
  • If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, make sure they are out of plain view or locked in the trunk.
  • Keep garage doors/windows closed and locked, even when you are home. We have seen cases where items were stolen from an open garage unbeknownst to homeowners inside of the home.
  • Invest in a quality bike lock, and keep your bikes locked even when parked inside your garage, yard, or house. U-Locks seem to be the strongest; avoid thin flexible rope or chain locks, as they can be easily cut.
  • Register your bike with the Village and retain a photo of the bicycle for your records. It is not required, but it is free, easy, and will help us recover your bike if it is lost or stolen.
  • If your home is equipped with an alarm system, activate it when you leave home and consider activating a “stay” function (exterior alarmed but no interior motion detectors) when you are at home or sleeping. Keep windows and doors closed/locked when you are out of the home or in bed.
  • Consider upgrading your alarm system to include security cameras that at a minimum cover your outside front/back/side doors, garage door, driveway, and basement entries.
  • Consider adding additional outdoor lighting to include: motion sensor, day/night automatic operation, solar lighting, and next generation eco-LED security lighting options.
  • If you hear or see something – say something, CALL 911.      

Feel free to contact Ofc. Megan Drake  at 708-714-3543 or at mdrake@vrf.us if you have any questions or would be interested in a home security survey.