Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Police offer pointers to lower odds of car theft, burglary

stolen car, 4/23/13

Fairfield police officers search a stolen car shortly after it was recovered on West Texas Street, in April 2013. (Daily Republic file)

By
From page A1 | March 08, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — It took less than a minute.

Micheal Holloway had just gotten into his car to go to California State University, Sacramento, and turned on the ignition at about 7 a.m. Jan. 31, when he realized he had the wrong debit card and ran into the house to get the correct one.

“When he ran outside, the car was gone,” his wife Conni Holloway said. “We learned a valuable lesson on the 31st: Don’t leave your keys in the ignition.”

A glitch in the ignition system caused the car to shut down not far away, where police found it Feb. 16. The thieves tried to restart it by drilling a hole to the ignition to start it again, but failed.

The Holloways are one of 450 to 550 estimated Fairfield and Suisun City car owners who get their cars stolen every year. That number doesn’t include the number of cars that are broken into.

Tell us about your burglary experience

“It is an easy crime of opportunity with low risk to the offender,” said Gretchen Ash, Vacaville Police Department’s crime prevention officer. “On average, it takes only five seconds to break into a vehicle.”

In Suisun City, motor vehicle theft went up 63 percent between November 2012 and November 2013, while in Fairfield, it climbed by 25 percent during the same time period.

“We felt helpless,” Conni Holloway said of the effect the theft had on her and having to make do with one less car in the family.

The theft made the Holloways more suspicious, with Conni Holloway saying they look over their shoulder more.

When the thieves abandoned the car, they took the sports equipment that Micheal Holloway used for coaching basketball at Vanden High School. To add insult to injury, the couple had to pay $300 to get the car out of the tow yard. They also had to take the car to an auto shop to get the damage to the ignition system repaired.

This wasn’t the first time the Holloways were hit by car thieves. Six months ago, a friend was staying with the Holloways when the friend’s Honda was stolen from in front of her house.

“We did not know the car was stolen until the police knocked on our door to say, ‘We found your car,’ ” Holloway said.

The Honda was found on Grande Circle with the suspected thieves still in it, as well as items suspected to be from other car burglaries. Talks to neighbors revealed that there were attempts to steal other Hondas on the street that same night.

Fairfield Crime Prevention Officer Jeffrey Conner described car thefts and burglaries as crimes of opportunity and said vehicle owners have a lot of opportunities to lower the odds of becoming victims.

Suisun City Police Master Sgt. Ted Stec said a lot of people like warming up their cars in the winter before heading to work, to clear windows that might be iced over or fogged up. Leaving the vehicle while doing that, even for a minute or two, invites theft, Stec said.

“Keys left in ignitions could also tempt crooks to steal when they weren’t actually looking to do so at that time,” Stec said.

Stec also recommends that people consider making it a resolution to clean up the garage enough to make room to put the car in there.

“Make your vehicles less enticing to thieves by locking them up, parking in well-lighted areas if possible and keeping them free of obvious bonuses like cellular phones, laptop computers, suitcases, briefcases, presents and other apparent valuables,” Stec said.

Conner said that taking out or putting out of view anything that even appears to be valuable is a good idea because a car thief may think that backpack he sees may contain something valuable like a laptop computer or an iPod.

“Keep your car locked, but also keep it clear of anything that gives someone a reason to get into your car,” Conner said.

When it comes to where people park their cars, Stec, Conner and Ash recommend giving serious thought to where to park – in well-lighted areas, someplace with a motion-sensor light if possible.

“Conduct your own research on anti-theft devices,” Stec said.

While this lowers the odds, Conner said car owners should not be fooled that they will be immune from car theft and burglary.

If people are getting their cars repeatedly stolen or broken into, Conner recommends calling police to get advice on what could be attracting the criminals.

“We can go out and make suggestions to make it tougher,” Conner said.

When your car is stolen or burglarized, “time is of the essence in terms of recovery and arrest,” Stec said.

“Being prepared in advance to provide your license plate number, vehicle brand, model, color and any distinguishing characteristics all aid in the most efficient response,” Stec said. “And of course, if the suspect is observed, the dispatcher will ask for a description of the suspect and direction of travel.”

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Skeptic ScroogeMarch 08, 2014 - 1:11 am

    With 2 cars a day stolen, I wish they had a Facebook devoted stolen local cars, so residents could be on the lookout. vehicle color make model plate #

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimMarch 08, 2014 - 9:18 am

    It's on the FPD website.. Gives plate make and model! fpd.crimegraphics.com/2013/default.aspx

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FF64March 08, 2014 - 2:06 am

    For stolen vehicle and other statistical information from FPD, follow this link. http://fpd.crimegraphics.com/2013/default.aspx

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • my2centsMarch 08, 2014 - 4:51 am

    The numbers of burglaries and car thefts in FF are out of control. Is it any wonder given that downtown FF is the drug treatment Capitol of Solano county. We have the jail releasing prisoners downtown and a high concentration of drug testing and treatment facilities also located downtown along with an encampment on the South side of highway 12 that many unemployed, ex cons and addicts call home, half a mile from downtown which apparently nothing is going to be done about. It's the perfect storm.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EMSgirl64March 08, 2014 - 8:53 pm

    Agreed. Criminals roaming the streets all hours of the night. Scary!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • archieMarch 08, 2014 - 6:50 am

    I suggest just driving a car that gets you from point A, to point B. I drive a vehicle that is comfortable, reliable and nobody in their right mind would steal. There are so many people living outside of their means and with this materialistic society there are plenty sharks envious of what you have.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 08, 2014 - 7:06 am

    archie, WHAT?! Tell us you're joking.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FF64March 08, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    I think Veronica dumped Archie, or she will soon.....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Police make 2nd arrest in deadly Thanksgiving Day shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
$340,688 brick replacement for Texas Street complete

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4

 
Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Whitney Houston’s daughter found unresponsive in tub

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics