Wilmette saw the highest number of burglary to motor vehicles in four years in 2012, with burglary to residential, autos, commercial buildings and non-residential burglaries (which includes garages) up 21% between 2011 and 2012, according to the Wilmette Police Department.
The Village saw 141 auto burglaries in 2012 (compared to 109 in 2011) and 55 non-residential burglaries (up from 17 in 2011).
To lower that number, the Wilmette Police Department launched a public information campaign called It Only Takes a Minute, which aims to encourage residents to lock their belongings, including the car doors. The Police Department reported seeing crime lower in the fourth quarter of the year, in part due to the efforts of the Department.
"Locking your doors is really an act of citizenship," Brian King, Wilmette Chief of Police.
King explained that criminals will often go down one or two streets or alleys, going from garage-to-garage or car-to-car to find unlocked ones, burglarizing the unlocked ones and moving onto the next.
When a criminal finds no unlocked garages or cars, they are less likely to return to that neighborhood or the city in the future.
"The more they get, the more likely they are to return," King said. "We are a low-crime community, but we are not a no-crime community."
Wilmette's reported residential burglaries were at a six-year low in 2012, with 38 reported burglaries. This is partially due to several successful arrests at the end of 2011 which broke up a burglary ring.