Officials at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are urging residents to exercise caution and are increasing patrols so as to mitigate the risk of vehicle burglaries in crowded parking lots this holiday shopping season.
The department has implemented target specific patrols at Valencia Town Center that have already netted one suspect, said Sgt. Tom Vander Leek on the SCV Station.
On Thursday evening, he confirmed, deputies arrested a suspect during traffic stop just outside the mall.
“There was a $50,000 warrant on the driver,” he said of the suspect, who was booked at the station.
“The suspect was not actively breaking into cars,” he said. “But we can read between the lines.”
In spite of these increased patrols, deputies still caution residents to take steps to reduce the risk of burglary.
“Please assure that your vehicle is locked, and windows and sunroof are completely closed,” the station said on Facebook. “Take EVERYTHING out of plain sight in your vehicle, regardless of how low the value.”
The station asks shoppers to attempt to park in well-lit areas and to try to take extra steps to prevent would-be thieves from being able to see into their vehicles.
“If you have a windshield shade, put it up, even at night,” the station said. “This makes it much more difficult for a thief to see inside your vehicle.”
The station urges residents to report any suspicious activity to Sheriff’s deputies.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station can be at 661-255-1121, or 911 if it is an emergency.