Neighborhood Crime: Notre Dame Parking Crime

Saturday marks the final home game of the season for the Notre Dame Football team. And if you're heading out for the weekend festivities, watch out for people looking to score at your expense.

A lot of people park near campus either for the pep rally, the game or just to hang around, and that's something the thieves are well aware of.

Whether it's the neighborhoods around campus or the parking lots of area hotels and restaurants, your car may be a target for a big score.

That's why area police are advising people to use a prevent defense when it comes to your car and game day weekends, and every day of the year.

On Notre Dame home football weekends, there's more of everything in town. And not all of it is good.

On football weekends, the incidents of car break-ins rise and the reason is pretty simple, there are more opportunities for thieves.

“Because they know the area is a big draw for people whether they are locals or out-of-towners,” explains Lt. Patrick Hechlinski with the South Bend Crime Prevention Unit. “So the population for the northeast side obviously swells by several thousand, for people attending the games or just going to their favorite restaurant or partaking in tailgating activities.”

And while they're partaking, the thieves may be taking things from their vehicles.

“The best message out there for people traveling in, or people residing in town, take all the valuables out of your car,” says Lt. Hechlinski. “What I like to say if don't let them come up to your car and window shop for what you have.”

Hechlinski says, with so many cars in town, if they see nothing in your car, they'll simply move on to the next. If you have a trunk, put all your valuables inside.

He says you should also be particular about where you park.

“The bad guys don't want to guy where there lots of public activities going on, a lot of people around because that lends itself to a lot of witnesses,” says Lt. Hechlinski. “So they would much rather have you park out of the way, where you are by yourself. A lot of people will park on side streets and maybe not well lit areas, now that the weather's changing and it's getting darker sooner, makes it pretty advantageous for some of these thieves to take advantage of that, especially if you don't take car to keep the valuables out of sight.”

If you simply can't find a well-lit, public area to park, it's best you don't travel alone, go with a big group because Hechlinski says there is safety in numbers.

It's not just something from your car that could be taken. If you're alone, you stand a better chance of losing your wallet or purse.

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