WIBW-TV Topeka Campaign Targets Property Theft

Topic: Safety Initiatives

"Lock it, remove it or lose it." That’s the message WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan., got out to its viewers during its winter campaign to help law enforcement fight back against property theft. In addition to a 30-minute primetime special featuring the Topeka police chief and the sheriff of Shawnee County, the station produced an aggressive public service campaign, including regular announcements and stories in morning and evening news casts. The on-air effort educated viewers on how to prevent becoming a victim of theft. The online component of the campaign included tips, statistics and interactive maps of areas with the highest property crime rates. The impact of the "Lock It, Remove It or Lose It" campaign was dramatic. When the crime statistics came out for December, car thefts were down 40 percent from the previous year, and there was a 29 percent decrease in the overall crime rate. "Property theft usually spikes in December because there are more targets and opportunity," said Capt. Ron Brown of the Topeka Police Department. "Not only did we not see a spike, we saw a double digit reduction. We’ve never seen reductions like that in the 27 years I have been here."

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