Warmer weather invites hotter crime in Rapid City, increasing car burglaries

Rapid City Police report increase in car burglaries, including firearms.
Criminals are checking car doors
Criminals are checking car doors(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 11:57 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As things heat up weather wise, some crimes get hotter too.

The Rapid City Police Department is reporting an increase in car burglaries.

Police attribute the increase to days getting longer and warmer, leading to more people walking around outside. Especially after dark.

They call this type of theft a crime of opportunity, because they rarely see break ins.

Instead, Brendyn Medina, Public Information Officer with the Rapid City Police Department, says burglars usually walk down a line of cars in a neighborhood or parking lot until one easily opens up. ”They go in, they scavenge for valuables and take whatever they want. Then, they’re on to checking more door handles. It happens pretty quickly.”

Medina says to make sure to lock your car when it’s unattended and avoid keeping valuables inside, or at least hide them from plain sight if you have to.

He says a commonly stolen item from cars in Rapid City is a firearm, adding that being a responsible gun owner means to be accountable for the weapon 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re not, he says ”if someone burglarizes your vehicle, and takes a gun inside that vehicle -- you have now introduced a gun into the criminal element. It begs the question, ‘what else are you willing to do, who else are they willing to victimize?’ Especially with a deadly weapon.”

Medina calls it a huge public safety issue whenever a gun is unaccounted for, and says usually they don’t see that weapon pop up again until it’s used in another crime.

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