ENDICOTT (WBNG) – Broome County has some of the highest real estate crime rates in the state. Endicott police are trying to fight it by sending reminders to the community on Facebook every night.
"I think it's a great way for the police department to engage with the community to maintain a two-way dialogue," said Endicott Police Chief Patrick Garey. "I want people to know we're thinking about them."
Endicott is the first county police agency to attend 21:00. Routine. It aims to make people think if their car is locked before going to bed.
This includes reminding people to remove valuables from their cars, make sure those cars are locked with the window up and turn on the outside lights to discourage criminals.
"Frankly, it takes a lot of police resources to investigate these things," said Garey. "Trying to figure it out especially when you have 15 to 20 cars that went through one night, it's 15 or 20 thefts we're dealing with."
Broome County is second, just behind Schenectady, in 2017 New York State Property Crime Rate. This figure includes burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
"We have waves of theft from vehicles," said Garey. "Almost overwhelming are vehicles unlocked – I do not know why, but people leave their vehicles unlocked overnight – I know people often say that 20 years ago you should not have done it, but you do it now."
Endicott reported 428 property offenses in 2017, the most recent published data. These crimes include 13 vehicle thefts, 89 thefts and 326 thefts.
"We are down in landfills," said Garey on unpublished 2018 statistics. "In previous years we had exceeded 400 share and now we are down in the years." 80 are all the thefts that occur, so you're talking about retail thefts that go on there too. "
"A vehicle theft is actually a relatively minor thing if no damage is done to the vehicle," said Garey. "With that, sometimes I think people think we do not care about them and that's not true, we'd like to see them reduced."