Best watchdog is a watchful neighbor

LASD car. Signal file photo.
LASD car. Signal file photo.
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There’s the latest doorstep electronic surveillance camera.

An alarm system can have someone at the door within minutes.

And don’t forget, the family dog that barks at everything.

However, if someone is still compiling a list of New Year’s resolutions for their safety and security, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies have a suggestion for premium protection: Get to know your neighbors better.

What you may be in need of, according to deputies, is an enhanced personal relationship with the people who live next to your home day and night.

“You don’t need to be best friends, unless you want to,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, wrote in post on the station’s Facebook page Tuesday.

“But get acquainted with who lives on your street, on each side of you, and across the street. You are the eyes and ears for each other,” she wrote in her post. “Our deputies have apprehended burglars and package thieves because a neighbor saw something, and called us.”

Miller included additional resolutions for SCV homeowners, including:

-Sign up for free Nixle reports at These reports are emailed to you and will list public safety and crime information for your area. Our Crime Prevention Unit deputies go through crime reports weekly, and Nixles are sent out listing crimes that were reported.

-Find out who the assigned Crime Prevention deputy is for your area at The deputies’ contact information is listed. Please keep the deputies in the loop for any crime concerns or issues in your neighborhood, Miller noted in her recommendation.

-No matter how safe your area is, always remove items from your car when you get home and lock up.

“Even if you have nothing of value, take it out,” Miller wrote. “If a thief sees items in your car, he might break the window just to check it out. Save the hassle of broken windows and just remove everything… A clean car is a happy car.”

And, in making their case, deputies needn’t look far to find an example of how neighbors help stop burglaries.

On Thanksgiving Day, they praised the vigilant acts of SCV residents working to protect one another after the residents reported a suspected burglary.

“We know of one suspect who sure picked the wrong house to burglarize,” a November post to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Facebook page reads. “Little did he know that our residents are on top of it.”

A 28-year-old man is suspected to have tried to break into a house on the 15900 block of Live Oak Springs Canyon Road in Canyon Country early on Thanksgiving morning, the post states.

The man thought no one was home, according to officials.

“He probably thought no one would see him. But the prepared homeowner, even though she wasn’t at the location, had a surveillance video system that detected motion,” the social media post read. “She received a notification that someone was at her doorstep, and then she remotely viewed a man trying to open her doorknob.”

The homeowner, who knew their neighbor, gave that neighbor a call.

The neighbor went over to check on the home and spotted the suspect attempting to get into the victim’s garage. The man was able to detain the suspect until deputies arrived.

The suspect faces charges of attempted burglary, possession of heroin, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and being drunk in public.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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