by Rick Winterson
Each month, South Boston Online attends a community information meeting at our local Police Station C-6. The group that attends this meeting is called the Neighborhood Advisory Council (the NAC). The NAC’s purpose is to ensure that information flows and enforcement actions by Station C-6 fit the neighborhoods’ needs as well as possible. All of the major neighborhoods that Station C-6 is responsible for are represented on the NAC; the most recent NAC Meeting took place on Wednesday evening, October 3.
Key subjects that came up included the ongoing opioid crisis and the traffic control efforts resulting from the recent traffic tragedies. Station C-6 Captain Joseph Boyle then described the major increase in larcenies from motor vehicles in and around South Boston this summer – 315 so far, which is a 68% increase (!!!) over the same time last year. NOTE: “Motor Vehicle Larcenies” are thefts of property or money from empty, unattended vehicles, not thefts of the vehicles themselves.
In a subsequent meeting with BPD Sgt. Stephen McNeil, the Supervisor of Station C-6 Community Services Office, he provided detailed information about the vehicle larceny problem, which he obtained from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center. The police estimate that five out of six (84%) motor vehicle larcenies are committed on unlocked vehicles. If you are out and about in South Boston, you may catch sight of individuals walking quickly along lines of parked cars, trying the door handles to see if any are unlocked. These same individuals also look
into the passenger compartments to see if anything valuable is on the seats, the dashboard, or the floor deck. The message is obvious – lock your car every time you leave it (even for just a minute or so) and secure everything possible in your trunk (completely out of sight).
There is a pattern here. Last year, in 2017, there was a vehicle larceny hotspot in Back Bay. Later on, that trended toward the Boston Medical Center. Soon after that, in the spring of 2018, motor vehicle larcenies began to increase in South Boston, especially around Andrew Square and along the First Street corridor. Most of these larcenies – six out of ten, 62% – take place after dark; one in eight larcenies are on vehicles parked for 24 hours or longer. Usually, smaller items are stolen – bags, tools, wallets, clothing, golf clubs, loose change, sunglasses, and electronic devices. And our local police officers have made 18 arrests since June, including one possible larcenist three times.
The rest of October’s NAC Meeting was devoted to the opioid crisis (the police have made some key drug-related mass arrests recently) and traffic safety improvements to prevent more tragic accidents. Each participant brought up issues that pertain to her/his specific neighborhoods.
We’ll return once more to South Boston’s motor vehicle larceny problem. The Holiday Season is near. Many gifts will be bought. It would be a big loss if your car was ransacked and your gifts were all stolen. Don’t let that happen – lock up, conceal your packages, and report anything suspicious you see when you are out and about. Remember, a sneak thief will even take the time to look into an empty bag in your car (How does he know it’s empty?).