It is the duty of this office to make PGA National residents aware of any potential problems that could lead to opportunities for crime. The subject I want to discuss is one that I have already touched on in previous articles, but it is important, so I think it is appropriate to bring it up once again.
Theft from automobiles is on a meteoric rise in all the communities surrounding PGA National. Here, at home, we have only had one auto burglary and one attempt. In both cases doors were not locked and alarms not set.
Palm Beach Gardens PD remains vigilant in their patrols here as do we. Still, according to PD, the auto burglary rate is soaring from Military Trail and East. In fact, two nights ago a pair of auto burglars were arrested in the Trinity Church parking lot when caught in the act of breaking into vehicles. A third person got away but he is being sought. The police are doing all they can to assist the community with this problem.
That brings me to our Car Smart Program here at PGA National. After a few trial runs we began this program at the beginning of May. Everyone should, by now, be familiar with the program itself. We simply pick a community; look in every vehicle parked on or off street, and see if there are any valuables in sight. If there are we try to make personal contact with the owner to let them know. We put a “Car Smart Card” on every vehicle in the area, whether valuables are in sight or not, for two reasons. One is so we don’t single out the cars with valuables. The second is to send the message to would be thieves that we are watching and taking an active interest in the safety of our resident’s possessions.
We have now observed well over a thousand vehicles all over PGA National. At the start of the program we ran between 16 and 23 percent of all vehicles surveyed had valuables in plain sight. Over the past month or so this percentage has dropped to between 2 and 15 percent. Every personal contact we have made, without exception, have been thankful to be notified and made aware of a potential problem. We are slowly working our way through PGA and, hopefully, it will become second nature for residents to stash their belongings and lock their car.
Remember, auto burglaries occur almost exclusively to unlocked vehicles. Why make noise breaking glass when you can find the next one unlocked?
Anyone having any questions concerning this program please feel free to contact me at the Communications Center, 627.1600.