Crime Prevention

We, at the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, are dedicated to helping citizen’s combat crime in their neighborhoods. But we need your help!

The National Institute of Justice states crime prevention is any activity, public or private, that reduces criminal behavior.

Every crime must have three elements: an offender, a victim, and an opportunity. Remove any one element and no crime can occur.

When you take away the Opportunity, there is no crime. And remember that the key to your personal safety is AWARENESS. Don’t give criminals the opportunity by being aware of your surroundings.

When you take away the Opportunity, there is no crime. And remember that the key to your personal safety is AWARENESS. Don’t give criminals the opportunity by being aware of your surroundings.

Auto Theft/Auto Burglary

Auto theft is a crime that can occur in any neighborhood, in any county, and in any city. Auto thieves are most often thieves of opportunity and because of this there are a number of things that can be done in order to protect your vehicles. The FBI reports that Kansas law enforcement agencies reported 6,778 auto thefts in 2012 and 6,677 in 20111.

Citizens applying more crime prevention techniques in their homes and communities can help reduce this type of crime. As previously mentioned, auto theft is most often a crime of opportunity and because of this crime prevention techniques are often extremely useful in reducing the number of auto thefts and/or attempted auto thefts in a community. Below is a list of potential things that can be done to help protect your vehicles:

1.        ALWAYS lock your car and roll up the windows (even if you live in a rural area and have never had a problem with theft).
2.        NEVER leave your vehicle running and unlocked. This often takes place in driveways when people are trying to warm their vehicles up or in gas station parking lots when people are just “running in for a minute.” There are often people watching and waiting for a driver to make this mistake.
3.        When parking on the street, engage your emergency brake and turn your wheels all the way to the curb. This makes it difficult for auto thieves to tow your vehicle away.
4.        Don’t hide an extra key in your vehicle and don’t leave a valet key in your vehicle if your vehicle has one.
5.        NEVER leave valuables in plain sight. This includes keys, wallets, purses, cell phones, stereo systems, and packages of any kind. While the rates of auto thefts are decreasing, thefts or larcenies
from vehicles have remained steady in their numbers over the past several years.
6.        When in a public place such as a park or zoo parking lot DO NOT place your valuables in your trunk in plain view of other people. Place your purse, wallet, etc. in your trunk where no one can see
you or better yet, leave those items at home.
7.        Do your best to park somewhere where it’s brightly lit and there is a good chance that lots of people will be able to see your vehicle if someone is attempting to break in.
8.        DO NOT leave your vehicle’s registration and/or title in your vehicle. If your vehicle is stolen, having access to those documents makes it very easy for thieves to make a profit on your vehicle. In Kansas, someone attempting to sell a car to a legitimate salvage yard must provide the vehicle’s title in order to do so. Kansas residents are not required to keep their vehicle’s registration in their vehicle.
9.        DO NOT leave personal documents such as bank statements, SSN cards, credit card bills, etc. in your vehicle. If your vehicle is stolen or broken into, you are making yourself a prime target for
identity theft.
10.        Don’t believe that just because you drive an older vehicle, that you are safe from auto theft. The most targeted vehicles are often those that are 10 to 12 years old
11.        Invest in some type of anti-theft device. These can range from fairly inexpensive to very inexpensive but the idea here is that something is better than nothing.
12.        If you do have an audible anti-theft alarm on your car or truck, make sure that it is adjusted so that it is not going off constantly. A car alarm that is constantly going off will have no value
because neighbors will disregard it as simply being another false alarm.
13.        Consider etching the VIN into your vehicle’s windows. There are a number of products that will allow you to do this. These cannot be removed like engine, dashboard, and door VIN plates.
14.        If you have a garage, use it! Even though it may mean spending a Saturday cleaning it out, thieves are much less likely to steal a car out of a garage than out of a driveway or off the street.
15.        Write down your vehicle’s VINS and tag numbers and place one copy in your purse and/or wallet. In the event that your vehicle is stolen, this will greatly assist law enforcement and will enable
them to have your stolen vehicle’s information placed in the national crime computer system much faster. This should be done for each vehicle that you own

Here are some things that may want to consider if you are going to be purchasing a used vehicle:
1.        Be suspicious of any deal that may be too good to be true.
2.        When buying from a private party, make sure that the name on the title and registration are the same as the seller’s name on the seller’s driver’s license.
3.        We strongly suggest that you consider running the VIN of a vehicle that you are considering purchasing through your local police department in order to check and see if it’s stolen. This can also
be done
4.        If things “just aren’t adding up”, reconsider purchasing the vehicle. For example, inconsistent stories from the seller along with a missing or damaged VIN plate may indicate that the vehicle may
be stolen or embezzled.

Implementing the above crime prevention techniques will greatly decrease your chances of becoming a victim of auto theft and/or a theft from your vehicle.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this document is not intended to be legal advice, but is merely intended to convey general information commonly encountered when dealing with the subjects discussed herein. Because laws can change very rapidly, we cannot guarantee that any information on this document (or references contained therein) is current or accurate.  Additionally, laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and are subject to interpretation of courts located in each county.   Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and the information provided herein may not be an appropriate fit for your particular situation. The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, its employees, agents, or others will not be liable or responsible for any claim, loss, injury, liability, or damages related to use of this document or any reference provided herein.

Protection from Abuse and Stalking
Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders and/or Protection from Stalking (PFS) orders are designed to protect individuals who are being victimized by either their significant others or by known stalkers. While these orders are not specifically restraining orders, they are designed to limit the contact between the victims and their abusers or stalkers. The abuse/stalking process is designed to provide quick and immediate protection. However, the process may require time, expertise, or more than one hearing. If you have questions, you should seek help from an attorney or victim services advocate. The Kansas Crisis Hotline (1-888-363-2287) or Kansas Legal Services (1-800-723-6953) may be able to help you find an attorney or advocate.
At the bottom of this article are the links to the appropriate PFA and PFS forms. These are the basic forms and they do not cover every situation. Keep in mind that the Clerk of the District Court cannot help you with these forms and also cannot give legal advice to you or tell information about the protection order process. In order to complete these forms, a trip to the Sumner County Courthouse at 501 N. Washington in Wellington must be accomplished. There you will need to go to The 2nd. Floor to the Clerk of the District Court a representative will assist you with this procedure. Hours of operations are as indicated below: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the exception of holidays.

Things to consider prior to going to the courthouse:
•        Bring a copy of all or any case numbers assigned by your local police department
•        Bring defendant (the person you need the protection order against) information to include as much personal information about the individual as possible. This may include:
1.        Social security number
2.        Driver license number
3.        Height and Weight
4.        Color of hair and eyes
5.        Work location (name of business and address)
6.        Home, work and cell phone numbers
7.        Home Address (mandatory)
8.        Vehicle information
9.        Full name including middle name
It is highly recommended that you carefully read the PFA or PFS paperwork to ensure that you meet the requirements and complete the paperwork accurately so as to save both yourself and the court
staff time.

The following link gives in depth information about both types of protection orders:

Talking with Kids About Drugs
Don’t put off talking to your children about alcohol and other drugs. As early as fourth grade, kids worry about pressures to try drugs. School programs alone aren’t enough. Parents must become involved, but most parents aren’t sure how to tell their children about drugs. Open communication is one of the most effective tools you can use in helping your child avoid drug use. Talking freely and really listening show children that they mean a great deal to you.

What do you say?
•        Tell them that you love them and you want them to be healthy and happy.
•        Say you do not find alcohol and other illegal drugs acceptable.
•        Many parents never state this simple principle. Explain how this use hurts people. Physical harm – for example, AIDS, slowed growth, impaired coordination, accidents. Emotional harm – sense of not belonging, isolation, paranoia. Educational harm – difficulties remembering and paying attention.
•        Discuss the legal issues. A conviction for a drug offense can lead to time in prison or cost someone a job, driver’s license, or college loan.
•        Talk about positive, drug-free alternatives, and how you can explore them together. Some ideas include sports, reading, movies, bike rides, hikes, camping, cooking, games, and concerts. Involve your kids’ friends.

How do you say it?
•        Calmly and openly – don’t exaggerate. The facts speak for themselves.
•        Face to face – exchange information and try to understand each other’s point of view. Be an active listener and let your child talk about fears and concerns. Don’t interrupt and don’t preach.
•        Through “teachable moments” – in contrast to a formal lecture, use a variety of situations – television news, TV dramas, books, newspaper.
•        Establish an ongoing conversation rather than giving a one-time speech.
•        Remember that you set the example. Avoid contradictions between your words and your actions. Don’t use illegal drugs, period!
•        Be creative! You and your child might act out various situation in which one person tries to pressure another to take a drug. Figure out two or three ways to handle each situation and talk about which works best. Exchange ideas with other parents.

How can I tell if a child is using drugs?
Identifying illegal drug use may help prevent further abuse. Possible signs include:
•        Change in moods – more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, euphoric. Less responsible – late coming home, late for school or class, dishonest.
•        Changing friends or changing lifestyles – new interests, unexplained cash.
•        Physical deterioration – difficulty in concentration, loss of coordination, loss of weight, unhealthy appearance.

Why do kids use drugs?
Young people say they turn to alcohol and other drugs for one or more of the following reasons:
•        To do what their friends are doing
•        To escape pain in their lives
•        To fit in
•        Boredom
•        For fun
•        Curiosity
•        To take risks

Take A Stand!
•        Educate yourself about the facts surrounding alcohol and other drug use. You will lose credibility with your child if your information is not correct.
•        Establish clear family rules against drug use and enforce them consistently.
•        Develop your parenting skills through seminars, networking with other parents, reading, counseling, and support groups. Work with other parents to set community standards – you don’t
raise a child alone.
•        Volunteer at schools, youth centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, or other activities in your community.

For More Information
State and local government drug use prevention, intervention, and treatment agencies.
State and local law enforcement agencies. Private drug use treatment service listed in the telephone book Yellow Pages.
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)
P.O. Box 2345
Rockville, MD 20847-2345
Fax: 301-468-6433

Sumner County, KS
Darren Chambers, Sheriff
Phone: 620-326-8941