Rockledge Borough thefts from vehicles significantly down this summer compared to last, police chief announces

Rockledge Borough Police Chief John Gallagher recently announced that theft from vehicles in summer 2023 is significantly down from its summer 2022 levels.

Chief Gallagher pointed out that during the summer months in 2022, there were 14 thefts from vehicles reported, including one catalytic converter theft. This summer, there was one theft from a vehicle reported, with no converters stolen.

The chief credited increased police presence via vehicles and foot patrols for the decline.

From his Facebook post:

Message from the Chief of Police


One of the most talked about crime challenges facing Rockledge in the Summer of 2022 was theft from vehicles. In fact, I started hearing about this immediately from concerned residents during my first month here, and rightfully so, because people were upset about it. Also, Mayor Jim Caffrey brought this to my attention on my very first day on the job, as he was worried about it, too.

For example, between Jun. 1, 2022, and Aug. 31, 2022, there were fourteen (14) thefts from vehicles in our Borough reported to police, and two (2) of those were thefts of catalytic converters. That’s no small amount for a community like ours. Residents were vocal about this during my first two Council meetings on Aug. 29, 2022, and Sept. 26, 2022. I heard them loud and clear.

Increased police presence through more proactive patrol in police vehicles and, most importantly, foot patrols (i.e., property checks along our business corridor and area checks in our playgrounds and public trails, including parking on streets and lots around those locations) to ramp up officer visibility to deter this crime was our new plan. Well, there’s great news. It worked.

For example, between Jun. 1, 2023, and Aug. 31, 2023, there was only one (1) theft from a vehicle in our Borough reported to police, and zero (0) thefts of catalytic converters. That’s truly a significant reduction in this crime category. I give all the credit to the officers who have done such a terrific job and the residents for helping us by target hardening their vehicles (e.g., keeping cars locked, and reporting suspicious activity).

Drawing comparisons between the above summer time periods revealed that foot patrols (i.e., again, property checks and area checks) climbed more than 40% in 2023. What’s noteworthy about that is that we had more officers last summer than we did this summer. So, despite decreased staffing levels, police performance in June, July, and August of 2023 actually improved.

We’re in the process of hiring more officers right now. Therefore, I’m confident that our community’s best days in terms of cutting crime and safeguarding quality of life are yet to come. Fighting crime is a job for all. Let’s keep up the good work together.

Thank you for supporting the Rockledge Police Department.

John Gallagher
Chief of Police
Rockledge Police Department

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