By: Hillary Smith, Contributing Reporter
Even criminals are fickle. After years of being the most sought after item by thieves, the Global Positioning System has become passé this year. While GPS’s prices drop, so does thieves’ interest in the devices.
Only 10 GPS thefts were reported in River Forest during the past year, according to River Forest Police Sgt. Michael Thornley. This comes after years in which the GPS was high on every thief’s wish list.
Although auto burglary cases are “hard to nail,” Sgt. Thornley said the department has recently solved several GPS theft cases. Twice they found thieves with the GPS on them. More recently, when police caught a man with the GPS, the officers dialed “home”, which called the victim’s cell phone. The victim answered and confirmed his car was broken into.
These sorts of burglaries are generally crimes of opportunity, Thornley said. Crews of four to five people – sometimes gang members– decide to break into cars and steal what they can.
Thornley advises common sense moves – locking doors and hiding valuables such as a GPS by removing the suction holder from the windshield or dash.
“Auto thefts are a crime of opportunity,” he said.