Full disclosure: Two of my friends had their cars broken into in downtown Detroit last week. These incidents happened within days of each other along the same city block in the entertainment district behind Detroit's Fillmore and Fox theaters – the exact area that this story references.

Detroit is often painted in a bad light when it comes to things like public safety, and while I – a proud Detroit resident – will gladly shout praise for The D any day of the week, the truth is, it's not just my friends who have been wronged. A rash of break-ins have been reported in this area of Detroit over the past couple of weeks.

So, how are the Detroit Police responding to this issue? Prohibiting street parking.

The Detroit Free Press reports that curbside parking will be prohibited in a small section of downtown Detroit just west of Woodward Avenue. Additional squad cars will be patrolling the area to not only enforce this new parking ban, but to keep a closer watch on the area in an effort to prevent larcenies.

This new initiative was started last Thursday, and according to local news site MLive.com, establishments along Park Avenue have already witnessed large amounts of cars being towed, even though no signage has been installed to inform drivers that street parking is not allowed. Thankfully, MLive also reports that these towing fees will be refunded. To help encourage this program, Detroit company Olympia Entertainment will reportedly reduce the rates on its pay-to-park lots in and around downtown.

As of this writing, it's unclear how long the ban on street parking will be in effect. The 2012 Detroit Auto Show is currently bringing lots of people (and their cars) into the city, which could contribute to this increase of break-ins. (Remember when a BMW-owned 7 Series was stolen during the 2011 Detroit show?) In the meantime, police are advising drivers to park in well-lit or secure parking lots.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 75 Comments
      TahsinZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Ban street parking to curb break-ins" I see what you did there...
      Masschine
      • 2 Years Ago
      Two ideas. One more street cameras. Hey in the city "we're" not speeding so it shouldn't make a big deal. You're out in public anyway, anyone can see you. Two stop with the piss poor sentence for stealing a car. 1-3 years for stealing something that might be worth at least $20,000? The average bank hall is $5,000 yet they can get 20 years if unarmed.
        Talisman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Masschine
        I agree. I think they are about to start serious persecution of minor crimes(at least that is what the police department said) because as you were alluding to, all this minor crime with minor punishments leads to much worse issues and criminals are not afraid of the consequences.
      phoenix_AE
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Author's friends" wouldn't include the guy who left his laptop in plain sight in the rental car, only to find the window smashed and the laptop missing, would it? We had a good laugh about that on the Wednesday morning ride back to the airport. C'mon, even in DC, leaving the goods out in the open is an invite. Thieves don't wanna' work hard digging through an empty car, they want low-hanging fruit. And nothing says "jackpot" like a laptop.
      Circe
      • 2 Years Ago
      They could probably make a hit series out of it- just plant car decoys with cameras in them- the ones where the car doors lock and the engine dies a half-block down the road? That never gets old! I could watch a hundred of those and still enjoy it.... And every one of those car thieves need to spend a good portion of their incarceration cleaning up the city streets and alleys that they help to befoul. Picking up trash and scrubbing filth off of walls is a fair punishment for taking other people's property and making everyone feel less safe.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sad to see a once glorious city become like this.
      dallasward007
      • 2 Years Ago
      The downtown areas in many Midwestern cities enough issues with attracting people, Detroit included. Adding another layer of difficulty, even one that's this small, will simply push people away from going to the downtown area. This sounds like a big gimme for the paid parking lot companies.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now the thieves will have to walk up the driveways.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honestly, what a hell hole. And to live in this place, there is a city income tax, on top of the state income tax (and of course, federal). And with all of these taxes, there as no jobs (go figure), crumbling roads, failing schools, abandoned mansions, empty skyscrapers, and a plan to destroy 1/4 of the city to retrench. Th population has dropped from 2 million to 700,000, and they still don't get it. Don't fight crime, punish the citizens instead. Don't encourage business, ask them to pay more. Well guess what? Atlas is Shrugging, and the people, along with the businesses are leaving. Just leaving Detroit and going to the suburbs means no city income tax and lower crime. Yet, they still don't get it... People of Detroit...go outside...look around you. Go to the Cass Corridor...where Herman Gardens used to be, the train station...you are at the end of your rope...time to try something new! Below is a link to a British photo spread on Detroit, a once great city: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2011/jan/02/photography-detroit
        Talisman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Detroit has a lot of problems obviously but you should at least be accurate and up to date when commenting on it. Taxes here suck(based on service recieved), yes. The Job market here has been steadily growing in the past year and seems to have boomed in the last half of 2011. All friends I knew that were unemployed are now employed. We are actually ranked as one of the fastest growing markets job wise in the U.S. However, they have gotten significantly better with maintaining roads. It's at least as equal to everywhere else where the only issue is how fast you can react to what the weather does to them. Some abandoned mansions from the early 1900's? Sure. Go buy them for super cheap and restore them if you want to see them returned to their former glory. Failing schools? We do have too many. But we also have some of the best public schools in the entire state that parents from the suburbs send their kids into the city just to go to. All of the Skyscrapers downtown are being steadily bought up by people like Dan Gilbert as the demand for retail and housing grows downtown as people continue to move back in. The transformation of all the buildings is very interesting to watch. The plan isn't to "Destroy" 1/4 of the city, the plan is to minimize where people live. Obviously a city built for 2 million with only 700-800,000 people is too big. That is a completely logical concept. Don't fight crime? The Police Department actual just started their entire overhaul putting hundreds of more officers on the streets between 4pm and 8am in an aggressive policing technique pioneered by New York in the 90's. And saying they are not encouraging business is incorrect. The governor actually put into place where business now get extra tax benefits and the amount of start ups in Detroit is overwhelming. I personally know of several Los Angeles and New York residents that moved here to start their businesses and are having great results. New shops, tech start ups, and restaurants are popping up everywhere due to how cheap rent and space is and how much traffic is growing in midtown/downtown. Not to mention the new Light Rail and regional transport system on the way. Now dont get me wrong, Detroit is not what it used to be. And we wont ever get back there(camparing new Detroit to old Detroit makes you miss how far weve come in the past 20 years when there was NOTHING Downtown and nobody moving back down there). But we are on our way to something different and surprisingly nice. We have more than our share of issues(particularly how to clean up some of the worst neighborhoods and our city financial issues) and reasons to leave but to say people here don't "get it" and that we aren't trying something new is just plain incorrect.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Talisman
          And part of those tax beaks you mentioned is specifically in the notice of the recall (that is the link I included - from the recall people, not the governor's people). No, the people most assuredly have not 'gotten it.'
        snap_understeer_ftw
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        It's really difficult to disagree with you It's rather sad it's come to this for the once great Motor City
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Well, there's Detroit and then there's the suburbs where a lot of cars are made. Hamtramck, Madison Heights, Warren, etc. GM is in Detroit, but the Tech Center is in Warren. With wages so low and jobs more or less non existent, the income tax is irrelevant. There are still boarded up houses in parts of the city from the 68 riots...should have been torn down 30 years ago.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      stiggosaurus
      • 2 Years Ago
      Detroit gave up on car theft a long, long time ago. I worked at OnStar in their vehicle tracking department all throughout college. Detroit was THE absolute police department to deal with on vehicle tracking cases. We could give them an exact, 100% spot-on location for a vehicle, and they'd just ignore us for days at a time. When they finally did get around to going to the location we gave them (that's assuming they ever bothered--often they didn't), the vehicle would have of course already been stripped at chopped at that point. It was one of the absolutely most frustrating things I had to encounter while working there. I felt so sorry for the customers in Detroit who were paying good money for the OnStar service, but the Detroit PD was being absolutely moronic over it. I'm still perplexed to this day why they were so bullheaded about going after the cars we called in on.
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stiggosaurus
        The reason is because it was white guys cars getting stolen and the PD was too busy going after norwegian-on-norwegian crime. Like anything else, it's a matter of priorities; property crime just wasn't and isn't to this day.
          yeah right
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          whatever, Im a former p.o. from detroit and most of the "white" people who claim they were car jacked or had their vehicle stolen were in fact renting them out for crack or buying dope and got robbed. Stop supporting the drug trade in the city and your precious vehicle wouldnt end up in detroit. Seriously who in the world drives from Macomb or Oakland county to houston-whittier and chalmers and then says "oh my car was stolen" really!!!! As far as on-star, I have recovered many vehicles using on stars assistance, so I don't know what your talking about, maybe you didn't give the right location of the vehicle or made officers jump through hoops to get the required information because they are not the owner of the vehicle, I had several of your "operators" tell me they wouldnt disclose the info needed because of this reason. Anyways , yes Detroit is screwed up, so don't go where your not welcomed.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      White flight affects crime rates? How odd.
      Rick Intihar
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about we just burn the whole city down and start over?
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        So sad. My father and grandfather grew up in the Detroit area during the 50s-late 60s, you could call them Detroit's glory years. Sad to see so much decay within half a lifetime.
        donnieorama
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        It'd look about the same as it does now.
          Gorgenapper
          • 2 Years Ago
          @donnieorama
          There is little that fire cannot cleanse.
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @donnieorama
          No..it would look better. Think of the area around Mt. St Helen's 20 years after the blow...
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