In Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Captain Anthony LaBerge’s first public address on crime, he called for the community to be vigilant in preventing crime. He said that too often citizens create opportunity for crimes to be committed against them.
He said that vehicle burglaries have slightly increased, but that the Sheriff’s Department is noticing that a lot of the burglars get their loot from unlocked cars. He sited an incident just yesterday where a man left his car running as he ran into a convenience store to get his morning coffee and his car was stolen.
High dollar electronics were also on his list. GPS units, satellite radio receivers, in-car televisions and other after market accessories usually stick out like a sore thumb. La Berge insisted that people take these items out of plain view when they are away from their car.
Some home burglaries can also be easily avoided. Again, locking doors at night and putting lights on timers when you’re away can reduce the chances that your home will be targeted. Also, some people put their hide-a-key devices in obvious places. Capt. La Berge urged people to get creative with where they hide extra keys.
He also said that street robberies are rare. But tips to keep yourself safe include: having your keys ready when you exit a building, walking with confidence, and looking people in the eye. This lets potential robbers know that you are aware of their presence.
Another mode of crime prevention is organization and information. La Berge said that he would like to see more neighborhood watch programs. Joining with neighbors to keep an eye on your street puts many eyes on what’s dearest to you.
Information is also key. The Sheriff’s Department is looking to revitalize programs like Business Watch, which spreads news on identity theft tactics and how to prevent them. It also sets up communication between business neighbors that serves to protect everyone in the area.