Problems in your Neighborhood

Following is a list of problems that arise in neighborhoods across the country. Please review the information provided for each topic to learn what steps you can take to prevent these problems in your own neighborhood and, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to call the Crime Prevention office at 253.798.3141. Please report any "in progress" suspicious activity, as it is occurring, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by dialing 253.798.4722 or refer to the Police Department main page for instuction on who to call.

Mail Theft
Vehicle Prowl
Burglary Prevention


Mail Theft
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing consumer crime scams today and University Place is no exception.  Mail theft is another way citizens can become victims of identity theft. It leads to credit card fraud; check forgeries, obtaining services in your name, and a variety of other crimes using your identity.

It is imperative that citizens take action to protect their mail and reduce their exposure to identity theft. There are several ways to do this but the very best and most comprehensive way is to obtain and install a locking mailbox. There are various types of locking mailboxes, ranging in price from the very inexpensive to the very expensive. You can visit your local hardware store to see all the options available or go online and peruse sites such as mailboxes.com to see all the types of locking mailboxes available.

If you should have any questions about mail theft and how to protect yourself, please call the University Place Police at 253.798.3141. Please report any "in progress" suspicious activity, as it is occurring, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by dialing 253.798.4722.

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Vehicle Prowl

Vehicle prowls occur in University Place whether you are at home, shopping or even at your place of business.

In the State of Washington the penalties for this type of crime are minimal, numerous arrests for vehicle prowls generally don't warrant sufficient jail time and or ANY jail time at all. For the criminally minded it is merely too profitable to rehabilitate. These criminals have the DESIRE and the ABILITY to steal from you and as long as you give them the OPPORTUNITY by leaving valuables in your vehicles, this type of crime will continue to flourish in University Place. We know that criminals come from all over Pierce County to prowl vehicles in University Place for this reason.

How can you fight back?

  • Always lock your vehicle.
  • Don't leave valuable items in your car... credit cards, check books, jewelry, bank & ATM statements, wallets / purses, keys (even if they aren't for that vehicle), mail, vehicle title, garage door openers, CD's & portable CD players, cell phones and day planners
  • Record serial numbers and keep them in a secure place, not in the car.
  • Park in well lighted locations.
  • Report suspicious people and activity immediately to police using 911 - do not underestimate the importance of simply reporting suspicious activity.
  • Install a vehicle alarm system.
  • Install and USE removable stereo / electronic equipment.

Vehicle prowlers often walk or drive through parking lots looking for vehicles with open windows and/or unlocked doors. Criminals also look for valuables left in the open.

We are seeing a monumental increase in this type of crime here in University Place and as property owners YOU MUST TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE to avoid becoming a victim. The criminal justice system is not enough of a consequence to deter these criminals from committing again and again and again...

For questions, please call the University Place Police at 253.798.3141. Please report any "in progress" suspicious activity, as it is occurring, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by dialing 253.798.4722.

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