St. Clair County Sheriff's Department: Free Beer

You may have seen the posters -- "Free Beer," "Free Food" and "Free Smokes" -- that  went up recently in bus shelters south of Highway 44 in St. Louis. In smaller type: "That's what a thief sees when you leave stuff in your car." It's a pro bono, anti-crime effort initiated by the St. Louis Police Department's 3rd District with donations from Left Field Creative agency, Wall USA and Don Brown Chevrolet, among others.  "We needed a way to stop people in their tracks and make them think, without scaring them away," said Police Capt. Stephen Hobbs.

A recent rise in auto break-ins called for an "out of the box" way to raise awareness about the issue. "We couldn't appeal to the people committing the crimes, so we decided to reach out to the car owners, who all to often leave things in their cars, anything from loose change to CDs to cell phones to purses, to make them think about what all those items mean to a thief."

Officer Don Re of the St. Louis Police Department says, "the fact of the matter is you can't leave anything in the yard these days. Anything that can be seen through the glass window, if you can see it the bad guy can see it.  It needs to be removed."  The bottom line is; nothing is too small.  Thieves will smash a window for a dollar so they can buy a beer or some cigarettes.

This is a great message and shows just what happens when when law enforcement and creative media work together. We hope to see more of this in the future.

This post is adapted from the St. Louis Business Journal, and the American Police Beat. 



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