by Mike Widmer
Living in the Vail community offers much less chaos than just a few miles away where the traffic and activity increase dramatically as you get closer to the metro area. It’s a natural transition that occurs over time as neighborhoods grow and businesses emerge. In some cases, residents might even want to see stores closer to home and businesses more accessible even if it increases traffic and noise. Many residents feel comfortable in Vail and the surrounding area. That’s a great part of living in a smaller and less populated area. Sometimes it causes those who live here to drop their guard against some crimes that reach out to everyone no matter where they live.
Fraudulent credit card crime overlaps fraudulent purchases online that are destined for delivery. When a fraudulent purchase is made there is usually a delivery location that the criminal uses when they know the residents are either away for a short time or the residence is vacant. They follow the delivery tracking and know when the package is at the location. Then there are the thefts of packages that were delivered while the residents are away. And the theft of mail, from mailboxes, allows access to pre-screened credit card applications. Instead of filling out the application they often call in on phones that are prepaid. They can adjust the delivery location and mark their phone number as the verifying element for activation.
Because Vail residents visit the more populated areas to frequent stores, they also face the increased number of occurrences. Being vigil when parking in store lots and seeing who is paying attention to people coming and going is important. Locking your vehicle, avoiding leaving valuables in plain view and locking the door immediately after getting into your car are important as well. This doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid or troubled by worrying about crimes. It does mean that anyone who takes reasonable steps to avoid becoming a victim is well served by the effort. For example, not carrying a large purse when you go to the store eliminates the “purse snatch” crimes that are widespread nationwide.
In October of 2015, a female asked to use the victim’s phone in the parking lot of a bowling alley in Florida. The victim allowed her to use the phone. When the female returned the phone to her, she grabbed the victim’s purse and drove off, dragging the victim fifty to eighty feet where she tumbled to the ground, causing a head injury. I’m not opposed to acts of kindness, but if the victim had offered to make the call for her and deliver a message, the incident probably would have been avoided.
I recommend enjoying the lifestyle in Vail while being a little more careful and vigilant where ever you are. Vail has a very positive presence of Pima County Sheriff Deputies. They are very tuned to the lifestyle out here and I have found them always helpful. Reporting suspicious activity can sometimes be the one element that solves other crimes and prevents crimes as well.
Mike Widmer is a retired Police Sergeant from Tucson. He is the author of “Intervention” which deals with mass shootings. The sequel to “Intervention” will be out later this year. Both will be available at Amazon.Com, Barnes and Noble, Google Books and I-Tunes.