Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Notes from Sunday's crime meeting

Sunday meeting discussed car break-ins among other items.
Thanks to friends at Plainfield's Hillside Area Neighborhood Watch for forwarding notes taken at Sunday's meeting hosted by Council President Annie McWilliams on the spate of recent car thefts and burglaries in the neighborhood.

Those who were helping work on the VWB District's Old-Fashioned Christmas House Tour will no doubt find these notes helpful since they were unable to make the meeting --

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Council President Annie McWilliams hosted an event for the community to address the recent rash of burglaries and crimes in Plainfield.  Below is the summary followed by the details of what was discussed.  

  • We are all in this together.  Be aware of your surroundings and your neighborhood.  If you see something suspicious of a non-emergency nature like someone sitting in a car for too long, or someone hanging around a particular area that causes you to take notice, you must call the non-emergency number 753-3131.  The police cannot stop someone without probable cause.  If you call the police to express concern, they have probable cause and can investigate.  We cannot stress this action enough.  People who are in our neighborhood and our city need to know that they are not welcome here if they are here to commit crimes.  
  • Of course, in a real emergency, you should call 911.

Here is a more detailed report of what was discussed by Dir. Hellwig and Lt. Brian Newman (a Plainfield resident for over 20 years).


- There have been about 68 car break ins

 40 of them took place with unlocked cars that had items visible on the front seat such as cell phones, IPods, computers, and GPS

Generally, this happens between midnight and 5am

ACTION:  Lock your car and do not leave anything visible (including GPS cables, cell phone cables) on your front seat


- Many arrests have been made

- Most crimes involve getting money for narcotics and are done by repeat offenders

    Plainfield police department strategizes regularly on where crimes are occurring and how police resources should be allocated

- Plainfield Narcotics division has a high success rate in breaking up activities related to narcotics

- At this time, a pattern of how burglaries are committed cannot be determined

- Again, most of the burglaries are committed by drug addicts


- Plainfield police are riding around areas in undercover cars.  Even though they are not visible to residents, they are policing areas and are looking for signs of criminal activity

- Be aware of who you hire to do work around your home.  Many criminals pose as workers - they do the work requested, but then come back and rob the homes

    Know the people you hire

- One of our neighbors is a prosecutor for breaking and entering offenses.  Her professional experience indicates that burglars are not heroes and do not want any trouble 

   They want  to get in, steal, and get out 

If someone comes to your door who you do not recognize, ask what they want through the door.  The fact that they know someone is home will deter them from trying to enter  the premises.  Again, if there is anything suspicious, call 753-3131

- Kids should be in school during the day.  If you see children roaming the streets during school hours, call 753-3131 or the board of education and report the kids who are out of 


- Know your neighbors and neighborhood.  Watch out for one another

- Do not leave clues about what may be in your house.  For example, if you just bought a 57" flat screen TV, do not put the box on the front lawn for all to see.  Have neighbors pick

   up mail and news papers


- There is no profile that fits the criminals performing burglaries

- Copper and other metals are being stolen to be turned in for money so that the criminals can buy drugs

- Alarm systems are a deterrent as well as camera systems

- Have lights on motion detectors

- Block associations, and communicating with each frequently is a great way to police neighborhoods.  Awareness is key

- Director Hellwig has a great working relationship with the County Prosecutor's office and has been responsible for bringing in grant money to help with protecting Plainfield

- We learned that between 300 - 400 repeat offenders are released and move back to Plainfield.  Plainfield works closely with authorities to supervise offenders

   The Plainfield police periodically do sweeps on these offenders to see if there are any violations

    There are meeting every 3 weeks with Plainfield police and prosecutors, parole, and probation officers, and the FBI to review the situation


- One of our neighbors who is knowledgeable about the justice system indicated that parole officers can deny residence to offenders.  The parole captain can work with Director Hellwig to discuss the situation in Plainfield and it is possible that some repeat offenders can be denied residence in Plainfield.  HANW will do additional investigating into this matter to learn more.  We will schedule a meeting with Director Hellwig and get back to you on the results of the meeting.

BOTTOM LINE:  Report suspicious activity to 753-3131.  Be aware of your neighbors and what is going on in your neighborhood.  We are all in this together. 

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Hi Dan, Thank you so much for posting this. I hope it helps.


Anonymous said...

Very good job by the Director and by the Council President. Alot of the things that is going on within the City should be posted to allow the citizens to protect themselves. I am proud that the Police Division finally informed the citizens of what they are doing to combat crime. By your report, they are doing a very good job. Everybody has to work together to beat this. The police cant predict where a criminal is going to be, they need citizens to call up and say....this dont look right. Thank you Dan for this post

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan for the informative post.
Thanks to the Director of Public Safety and to our Council President for allowing the citizens to have direct contact with those who are elected to perform certain functions. Our Police Division is doing things that the average citizen dont know about. Im happy that the Citizens got to see their tax dollars at work. The Police Division has 6 square miles to patrol, which means that they cant know what is going on (Suspisious) in a certain neighborhood. So call the police when things dont feel right. Dont invite criminals to your yard by leaving valuable visible in your car. And have more of these type meetings Council President.
Thanks Dan