by Glenn C. Koenig, webmaster at Town Wide Mall
A recent text message (and "push" phone call) from the town reads as follows: "Msg from Town of Maynard, MA: Unlocked auto break-ins @ Randall, Brooks & Summer St 11pm-3am, call MPD 978-897-1011 if you have camera footage"
UPDATE: Based on a voicemail message I received from Chief of Police Mike Noble, all of the cars entered were not locked. There is now a report on the Maynard Police Facebook page here:
For those of you without Facebook access, their report there is essentially what I have here. It adds that anyone with any security camera recordings, photographs, or other evidence should contact Detective Morahan at 978-897-1011 x1338
Maynard is a relatively safe place to live, according to various surveys, so it's easy to get complacent. It's easy to think, "Nothing will happen to me, my home, or my car." We prioritize convenience over good sense without even noticing what we're doing. Of course, the trade off for convenience is added risk. Having a competent and properly funded police force is only part of the story. We, the public, can help them do their job by doing our part.
Most of us have heard these things before:
• Always lock your car
• Always close your garage door after leaving or returning, if your car is garaged
• Always remove obvious valuables from your car before you leave it
• Always remove keys or key-less ignition fobs from your car after you park it
• Always lock your doors if no one is home
I have heard stories of people wandering neighborhoods to see if any cars are unlocked. If they find one that's open, they climb in and see if they can start it. If they find a key, they'll use it. If you have key-less ignition and you leave the key fob in the glove compartment or console, your car will start when they push the start button. If it starts, they can drive off on a "joy ride" and your car is now stolen! Some cars end up in other states before they are found, typically out of fuel, with a dead battery, or damaged in an accident.
Even the best auto security features (such as locking steering wheel, etc.) won't help if we don't use them.
Stolen vehicles not only harm you (damage or loss of your vehicle, rising insurance rates, etc.), but they also have an impact on our community by diverting police personnel from other needs and damaging the reputation of Maynard as a safe place place to live.