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Scam Businesses Often Masquerade as Public Safety Charities June 14, 2013

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Crime Prevention, In The News, Uncategorized.
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Look at the study of “America’s Worst Charities” and notice how many are associating themselves with public safety. Police, Fire and EMS along with veterans affairs seem to be a favorite. Associating with law enforcement, fire service and the military seem to help legitimize the business of ask for your money.

Do your research if you are inclined to give to a charity. There are several websites and organizations that track charities and offer a report card on their giving back to the actual people in need or the operation of their advertised programs. If you are going to donate to any non-profit, please the group that solicits your donation before you give.


South Bend Police Athletic League February 8, 2012

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Crime Prevention, Feature Stories.
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The South Bend Police Athletic League, Inc. was founded through the vision of Chief Darryl Boykins. It is a youth crime prevention program that utilizes educational, athletic and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between police officers and youth. It is based on the conviction that young people, if they are reached early enough, can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship. The South Bend PAL program brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of SBPD Officers and expands public awareness about the role of a police officer and the reinforcement of the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.

The South Bend Police Athletic League has received acknowledgement for it’s innovative programs and work with youth through a publication in the Journal of Research in Character Education,” Champions for Children: Reaching Out to Urban Youth Through Sports”, Author: Power, F ClarkDate published: July 1, 2010.

Donations to the South Bend Police Athletic League, Inc. can be made by contacting Lt. Christopher Voros at 574-235-7770.

Still More Ask A Cops: Jobs, Runaways, Neighborhood Watch, Burglaries July 24, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Ask A Cop, Crime Prevention.
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Q: I just got home from a 4-day weekend. I noticed that when I opened my screen door that a straw fell on the ground. It was bent as though it had been in there for some time. My house was robbed about 3-4 months ago and I fear that we are being targeted again. Should I report this so a police report can be filled out, or wait and see if it appears again?

A: As there was no damage or otherwise attempt with force being used, we would not take an official report in this case. If a burglary attempt is made (door kick, smashed window, etc>) we encourage reporting for documenting crime trends and tracking purposes, even if no actual loss occurred.

Q: Are South Bend police officers allowed to have well groomed beards, goatees, or any other facial hair?

A: The only facial hair officers are permitted is a neatly groomed mustache.

Q: I was medically separated from the U.S. Army. The reason for the separation is that I was experiencing knee pain, mostly from constant running and carrying lots of heavy gear, and because my job was combat arms they could not keep me. I do still occasionally experience stiff or sore knees but not like I did in the military. My question is if I can run, do pushups, do situps, and pass the agility test for the academy do you think I would have any problems going through the hiring process? I think an x-ray I had done some time ago did show that I have some onset osteoarthritis in one ore both of my knees. Would this disqualify me? Thanks.

A: Our physical fitness standards for hiring are the same as Indiana Law Enforcement Academy standards. If you can pass the physical agility testing process you should be able to go through the hiring process otherwise. Prior to final conditional offer there is a physical which must be taken, and a final determination can be made, but it sounds like you should be able to compete in the process. Good luck!

Q: If you are arrested but the charges are dismissed, why does the arrest still show up on your background checks? This is from an incident about 3 years ago and i have had several employers ask about it and have been denied employment.

A: If no charges were made in an arrest as an adult, that does not negate the actual incident that led to the arrest. As such, even if no criminal charges were filed, that does not mean the incident for which you were arrested is no longer counted as an actual arrest on your criminal history, and it will stay a part of your permanent record.

Q: In this past Sunday’s newspaper it showed a home burglary on our street on the map that is in every week. Wondered how I could find out the particulars of that incident, so that we could be more alert. Thank you.

A: You may want to call and find out about Neighborhood Watch program in your area. These are available in most areas of the city. You can receive alerts via phone, and also information pertaining to your neighborhood area is disseminated at monthly meetings for your area. Link is here.

Q: I have a girlfriend who is 16- she is having problems with her parents.They tell her to leave the house and I believe mistreat her. She cant take it anymore she wants to runaway can you help us please?

A: A great resource she can look into is the Youth Service Bureau here in South Bend. They offer family services for at risk teens, runaways, or for mediating between teens who are facing a choice of running away, and work with teens and parents to encourage a resolution to the conflict in the home. Also their Street Outreach provides education and prevention services to runaway, homeless and street youth who are subjected to or at risk of sexual exploitation. For youth in need of support and services, Street Outreach workers are available to assess needs, assist with accessing referral services, provide shelter through Safe Station or elsewhere, and support their efforts to reconnect to the community.

Also, The Youth and Family Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer support to youth and families in need. Professionally trained counselors provide assistance during difficult times, including crisis management and referral services to other community resources. (574) 235-9396 or (866) 460-4616.

(574) 235-9396 ~ (866) 460-4616

Identity Theft- Who Commits This Crime? April 15, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, News Releases.
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We all know that scammers try to get your financial information from on-line sources and phony solicitations so they can set up accounts and steal your money, but what you may not know is a huge number of identity thefts are committed to simply apply for jobs using another persons name and personal information. But perhaps the most surprising statistic is that fully 50% of identity theft is committed by friends, family or an acquaintance of the victim!

To say that most of us let our guard down when it comes to dealing with friends and relatives is probably a true statement. It’s human nature- and we wouldn’t be acting human- if we treated a cousin, old high school buddy or grandson like a thief for no reason, and we’re not suggesting you start. But still, your privacy is just that- private. Financial information, your social security number, bank account information, passwords and PIN codes should be treated the same way you would treat a diary. They need to stay that secure. Your bills, statements, wallet, and other paperwork need to be kept isolated in your residence or office. By secure we mean locked in a file drawer or at least in a secure room that is your private space. And last but not least, never leave this sort of information in your vehicle.

No one wants to think that they could be victimized by a person they trust and willingly allow in their home or car, but sadly this statistic is true. Keep the temptation away from everyone that visits and you will never have to deal with this disturbing trend.

Don’t Let a Burglar Ruin Your Holidays December 21, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, News Releases.
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It’s no secret that burglars can target a residence or business based on the belief that a particular location has more desirable property to steal. With that in mind, the SBPD highly recommends that residents do their best to obscure the boxes or packaging of Holiday gifts. When it’s time to throw packaging out make sure it is either in a trash bag or in the case of larger boxes, cut them flat and turn the label sides in, so would-be burglars can’t tell what the box contained. And once again, keep blinds or curtains closed during nighttime hours, so thieves cant look inside of homes and see gifts and packages.

A few simple measures can prevent a burglary.

Text Message Phishing Scheme Hitting Bank Customers December 18, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, In The News, News Releases.
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The SBPD has been alerted to a fraud that is currently in progress in the area. Individuals are being sent text messages that state:

“This is an automated message from Teachers CU.
Your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 1-866-###-####”

The telephone number provided is not connected with TCU and the text is not legitimate. The usual warning applies, if you receive a text or email alert that claims to want personal or financial information, it is probably an attempt to steal your money or identity. If you feel that you need to verify the information, find a legitimate source for the financial institution’s contact information and utilize it. Do not under any circumstances use the contact information provided by the suspect email or text.

Crime Prevention 101: December 8, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, News Releases.
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The SBPD would like to take the opportunity to remind drivers of the hazard associated with letting vehicles idle unattended. With colder weather moving in, many motorists start their cars and leave them idling with the doors unlocked so they can enter a warm car. This practice invariably leads to an increase in motor vehicle thefts in our community.
In the absence of a remote starting mechanism, which will start the engine but keep the steering and transmission locked, we encourage people to simply resist the urge to let vehicles idle. This is a simple crime prevention tip that everyone can use.

Interested In Crime Trends? December 3, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Crime Prevention, In The News, News Releases.
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The SBPD Crime Prevention Unit will conduct the regular monthly City-Wide Crime Meeting tonight (12-03-2009) at 6:45 PM. at the SBPD Headquarters auditorium.
The meetings are held for the purpose of discussing the previous month’s crime statistics, police operations, crime prevention and trends by geographical region. The department has held these monthly meetings at both the headquarters and various locations for many years.
We would like to re-introduce the program to both the media and the public, as crime is an obvious concern however members of the public may not know of these open-house programs in which the citizens can interact with law enforcement.
Please feel free to attend.
(Note: The meetings are specific to the City of South Bend alone. We do not collect or analyze crime data from other police jurisdictions)

Beware of Counterfeit Money November 27, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention, In The News, News Releases.
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The South Bend Police Department has seen an increase in both the quantity and quality of counterfeit U.S. currency in recent weeks. At one large retail location within the last three weeks, the SBPD was summoned and presented with five counterfeit $100.00 bills that eluded detection until it was too late. The highest quality bills are produced by a method in which a real U.S. $10.00 bill is washed until the ink is gone, then the paper is passed through a high quality printer rendering a counterfeit $50 or $100.00 bill. By utilizing this process, the “feel” of the bill is maintained and it will pass the counterfeit detection pen test used by many retail establishments. On the other hand, simply scanning and printing $20.00 bills on a good bond of plain paper is alive and well and these forgeries are still finding their way into cash registers.  
Without a doubt, the best method for merchants and the public to not fall victim to these thieves is by being properly trained in what legitimate bank notes look like. The re-designed U.S. currency makes use of many printing techniques to improve legitimacy however if retail staff or consumers are not aware, these upgrades are useless. There are very few forgeries that will pass most of the tests that the average person can perform on the spot. Detecting forgeries immediately helps law enforcement, consumers and retailers at the same time.
The SBPD urges everyone to be familiar with the elements of legitimate currency. For examples of real U.S. banknotes look here: http://bit.ly/524vf1

Prevent Car Break Ins! October 11, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention.
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As school is back in, days get shorter and darkness stays longer, we commonly see an increase in vehicle break ins. Vehicle break ins are nearly always a crime of opportunity.

Two key points to remember to prevent break ins? Lock your car, and keep valuables out of sight!! We want to urge citizens to follow tips in order to not become a victim of vehicle break-ins, how to prevent becoming a target:

—make sure your vehicle is secured and locked
—keep GPS units, cell phones, iPods, radar detectors and other electronics OUT OF SIGHT
—remove keys from the ignition
—lock toolboxes in the bed of trucks, especially company vehicles and work trucks.
—keep serial/owner applied numbers in a safe place
—park vehicles in well-lit areas or install a motion sensor light near where cars are parked

“The best course of action is not to leave anything out in your vehicle that can be seen,” says Crime Prevention Sgt. Lee Ross

According to Sgt. Ross, simply locking items in a car trunk will not stop a vehicle breaking/entering suspect.

“In many of the cases we’re investigating, the suspects can break into the vehicles in as little as 20 seconds,” said Sgt. Ross.

Sgt. Ross also cautioned against keeping garage door openers inside vehicles or inside women’s pocketbooks.

“Officers are seeing a trend where a car is broken into, and a vehicle registration is taken along with a garage door opener,” said Sgt. Ross. “In some cases, the suspect or suspects have gone to the victim’s house, opening a garage and possibly making entry into a residence.”

South Bend Police investigate many vehicle larcenies all over the city. There are some patterns, but the common theme is randomness. Based upon a vehicle simply not being locked as criminals try door handles in a parking lot, can make your car a target. ALWAYS lock your car and keep your windows secure may be enough. Keeping tempting valuables like GPS units, iPods and purses will be enough to prevent a smash and grab. Take these easy steps to prevent your car and you from being vicimized.