At one of the first crime watch meetings I attended after moving to Boston, a community policing officer told us that some thieves would break you car window to get a single quarter visible in the cup holder.
After a recent rash of broken car windows on our block, a detail police officer, who happened to be on the scene and spoke to the car owners, told me that the only thing stolen from those cars was change. I've been thinking about that ever since.
As I walked by a pile of broken glass later that week, I took a few photos with the thought of submitting one as a cover shot for the Back Bay Sun.
That cover ran this Tuesday with the headline, "Broken Windows." My caption reads, "Shattered auto safety glass is a common sight on the sidewalks of the Back Bay. Last year, more than 700 cases of “larceny from a motor vehicle” were reported in Police District D4. Officials urge drivers not to leave any property in view inside a car including change, clothing, electronics, and bags."
We All Pay
While it seems that the car owners just lost change, they also had their planned day rearranged, followed by the hassle of scheduling window replacement. Everyone who pays auto insurance chipped in to pay for that glass repair. The homeowners where the car was parked had to clean up the mess. Finally, those who walked by were reminded of the crime which can have an impact on a person's sense of security.
This led me to research the crime stats to see if this is really as common as it seems to be when you walk around the streets of Boston. Along the way, I found information on the Boston Police Department's "Don't be a Victim!" campaign that is underway in some neighborhoods with high "Larceny from Motor Vehicle" reports.
Here's a link to the 2015 crime statistics so you can check the neighborhoods where you park.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photography: © 2016 Penny Cherubino and parking meter and sign courtesy of the Boston Police Department.