UPDATE: Madison PD issuing "report cards" to prevent car thefts - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Madison PD issuing "report cards" to prevent car thefts

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Officers call it a new approach to an old problem. They hope simple visual checks will help prevent car-related thefts around the Capitol City.

Thursday morning, Sgt. Bernie Gonzalez announced this new patrol effort -- an effort he says will only cost the price of some paper, he calls it Crime Prevention 101.

"Basically it's a pass/fail thing," says Gonzalez. "They (officers) will know whether the vehicle passes or fails, and then place a report card on the windshield."

Officers are set to start security checks, in neighborhoods at greatest-risk for car theft. They will patrol certain streets and parking lots looking for unlocked doors, downed windows, and personal items in plain view, which could attract would-be thieves. Gonzalez says officers will not physically enter a vehicle; they will only "peak inside" and make observations.

Regardless the outcome, the owner of that vehicle will receive a so-called report card. If their car was left properly unintended, they receive a passing report card. Gonzalez says the hope is these people will continue to practice their good habits. If their car was not properly secured, police hope a piece of paper (not a ticket) will encourage smarter thinking.

Right now, police will target Madison's north side. In particular the retail areas in the High Crossing Blvd. neighborhood, where thefts are high. Eventually, Gonzalez says it will become part of a citywide patrol effort.

At Thursday's announcement, Sgt. Gonzalez cited success of a similar program in Arlington, Texas.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police say there have been problems around Madison regarding car thefts.

Thursday, Madison Police plan to introduce a pro-active effort to address this issue through "report cards."

Find out how they work, Thursday on 27 News, and here on wkow.com.

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