Don't be a target, secure your valuables

  • Published
  • By Corey D. Zimmer
  • 55th Security Forces Squadron
For many being stationed in America's heartland may contribute to a complacent attitude toward the security of possessions.

Most people, especially in military society, want to believe their fellow Airmen and guests are basically decent, trustworthy people who live by the same Air Force values, as they do. While most people are generally good and look after one another, some lack personal integrity.

We must constantly remind ourselves there are always negative elements within our society. We're a melting pot of different morals and values and we're all thrown together without boundaries.

Since January, there have been seven thefts, four of which have one common factor; property being left unsecure, many times in the Offutt Field House or one of the base parking lots. Regardless of where you leave your property, if it's left unsecure, it's easy pickings for the "crime of opportunity" specialist. These vermin can usually be stopped by one simple thing: securing your belongings.

The going rate for a keyed padlock is $5, while a combination lock is a mere $3. Compare that to the cost of replacing an Airman Battle Uniform. Replacing the pants, blouse, name tapes, rank insignia, function badge specialty badges and paying for tailoring could easily amount to $200 or more. Besides that, what price would you pay to avoid the hassle of cancelling credit cards, constantly monitoring bank accounts or credit scores and in some extreme cases, the re-issue of Social Security cards or driver's licenses?

Don't forget the post 9/11 ramifications and more serious anti-terrorism and force protection costs of having your unsecured stolen ID card or restricted area badge winding up in the wrong hands. Would you want to be the owner of the one lost badge that caused a complete wing badge re-issue, just because you couldn't use a $5 lock or simply push the lock button on your vehicle door to secure your valuables?

Bottom line: If you don't secure your valuables, someone else will act on the opportunity so they can enjoy them more than you. Take the time to secure your property, use a lock, secure your vehicle, watch for people acting suspicious and become a hard target against these opportunistic criminals. Doing so will help keep our base and your fellow Airmen safe.

Report all suspicious activity to security forces at 294-6110 or to Offutt's Air Force Office of Special Investigations at 294-3126.