Auto burglary, auto theft and larceny were down, but burglaries to homes and businesses were up last year, according to the city’s 2012 crime statistics.
Larceny, which includes theft and shoplifting, made up more than half of the city’s reported crimes.
Police officers are making safety presentations at the city’s Senior Citizens Center and homeowner’s association meetings to increase awareness about crime prevention. The Community Involvement Unit provides training in how to avoid a robbery, drug awareness and social media safety, according to the report.
Officers told residents at a recent meeting with PGA National residents about the importance of keeping their garage doors locked and putting valuables in the trunk of their vehicles, Councilman Joe Russo said.
“These are invitation crimes that can easily be prevented,” Russo said.
Residents welcome those efforts, said Mike Gregory, who lives in the Shady Lakes neighborhood north of PGA Boulevard and east of Central Boulevard.
“I see police often patrolling our neighborhood. The times I have met with them have been positive. The more the public sees police around, the more comfortable they feel calling them,” Gregory said.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen Stepp did not respond to a request for comment.
The overall crime rate per population is the lowest since 1990, according to the report issued by the city’s police department.
Police made 903 arrests last year. They collected 46 guns, including seven shotguns and eight rifles, into evidence.
A new unmarked vehicle bought last year is being used to watch out for aggressive drivers. The vehicle last year was used in 115 traffic stops that resulted in 110 citations being issued.
The city arrested 114 people for DUI. Ten more arrests came during police sobriety checkpoints that resulted in the seizure of more than one pound of marijuana and $2,500 in cash.
Police dogs were used in 104 cases, including searches for people and narcotics, sweeps for explosives and responses to alarms.
Police also installed 209 child seats in vehicles brought in by local residents.
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