It was an interesting Friday last week. I work at Ramstein, and park over at the BX parking lot....like I've been doing since 1994.
Sometime around the middle of the day....the security cops came through the parking lot. They came to visit each and every car. So they gave out two things. First....if your door was unlocked on the car, you got a ticket. Second....if anything of value was shown on the car-seat or in full view....you got a "warning".
The emphasis of this is that they've had a huge trend for four years going on. People are getting robbed at a significant rate off-base. They publish these stories weekly in the base paper. There must be at least a dozen car episodes where various things are stolen. In the vast majority of cases, the cops know that the folks are leaving their doors unlocked. So the wing commander appears to have taken the action to make people fearful on base....and maybe they will take that habit home as they leave the front gate.
I typically lock my car all the time.....so I didn't get a ticket. As for valuables on the seat....I started laughing. There might be a newspaper or two, a bag of cookies, a umbrella, a empty can of Mountain Dew, my aluminum baseball bat (for educating problem people), a map, a bag of peanuts, five or six Tic-Tac containers (some full, some empty), a flat-head screwdriver, a car-wash token, some cough drops, and some alcohol disinfectant. I was expecting a warning note that I have valuables....but they insulted me and just skipped my car....thinking I had nothing of value.
I'm guessing around a dozen guys got tickets, and at least fifty folks got letters of warning about valuables in the car. The only thing I was curious about....two hundred feet away....safely within the compound area is the VIP parking area. I was kinda wondering if the cops walked through that parking lot. I have doubts.
So it's a new and fresh week....with potential tickets.