This summer we continue to experience heat in the triple digits in Santa Clarita. As a result, folks may leave their car windows rolled down to keep their vehicle cool as they step away for a quick errand. Some even leave purses, laptops and shopping bags visible in the backseat. As harmless as this seems, it makes you the perfect victim for a thief looking for their next mark.
This is why time and time again, you’ll hear public safety officials reminding residents to lock their cars, roll up their windows and remove all valuables. These simple actions can prevent your valuables from becoming part of “The Stolen Collection.”
Santa Clarita was recently ranked as one of the Top 10 cities in the United States with the least amount of property crime by Reviews.org, using FBI crime data. However, that doesn’t mean crime is nonexistent in our community.
In 2017, there were a total of 3,216 property crime reports in the city. Of those, 454 reports involved theft from unlocked vehicles. An additional 523 reports were made for vehicle burglaries where a window was smashed or a door lock was pried. In nearly all of those cases, items of value were left in plain sight.
In an effort to keep property crime in the Santa Clarita Valley low and help residents protect their valuables, the city of Santa Clarita and Santa Clarity Valley Sheriff’s Station have partnered to bring a new public safety campaign to the city – The Stolen Collection.
The ads for The Stolen Collection are light-hearted and even comical – burglars dressed in black, posing with high-end handbags and luxury items. The ads resemble what you would see in a fashion magazine, and it was intentionally created this way to capture your attention. However, the message behind the campaign is far more serious. It reminds us that thieves exist in our community, and if you’re not careful, you can be an easy target.
Every time you park, please double-check that vehicle windows are completely rolled up and doors are locked. In addition to ensuring that valuables are kept out of sight, it is recommended that car interiors are completely clean and organized, to show thieves there is nothing worth stealing.
Theft from vehicles does not only occur at crowded venues. When at home, parking your car in the garage and locking the doors adds extra security and makes it harder for criminals to add items to The Stolen Collection.
One of the ways you can get into the habit of locking your doors is by adopting the
#9pmRoutine before you turn in for the night. Set a nightly alarm on your smartphone, watch or other device as a reminder to do the following:
1. Remove valuables (electronic devices, wallets, etc.) from your vehicle.
2. Ensure that vehicle doors and trunks are locked.
3. Check that all house and garage doors are closed and locked.
4. Turn on exterior lights.
Follow the SCV Sheriff’s Station and the city of Santa Clarita social media for #9pmRoutine tips and reminders. You can even help us spread the word by sharing what you do to prevent theft with the hashtag #9pmRoutine.
Our goal with the Stolen Collection campaign and #9pmRoutine is to decrease the number of thefts from vehicles and homes in Santa Clarita. Also remember, if you see something, say something, and don’t just ignore it. Report suspicious activity to the non-emergency SCV Sheriff’s Station line at (661) 255-1121, or submit an anonymous crime tip at LACrimeStoppers.org, or call (800) 222-8477.
To learn more about “The Stolen Collection,” please visit SCStolenCollection.com.
Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]