As the holiday season draws near, many people will begin shopping for new gifts for loved ones and for themselves. This includes potential thieves who may be window shopping out of unattended homes and vehicles.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s department is drawing attention to its property crime awareness campaign, urging residents not to let their purchases and possessions become part of this season’s “Stolen Collection.”
“Thieves are always on the lookout for an easy target,” Captain Robert Lewis said in a statement. “By leaving gifts, boxes, bags and packages where crooks can see them – may leave you a victim and set you back financially to replace these items. Take a few extra seconds to ensure that your items are hidden and locked up.”
A promotional website created by the Sheriff’s Department, scstolencollection.com, and features masked criminals posing with designer goods. According to the site, Santa Clarita has one of the ten lowest rates of property crime in the nation. Despite this, there were still 3,126 reported property crimes in Santa Clarita last year, 454 of which were reported thefts from unlocked vehicles.
In order to further reduce the amount of property related thefts and crimes this year, the department advises residents to follow these safety tips:
* Lock valuable items, shopping bags and packages in your trunk and out of sight when your car is parked.
* Avoid putting your Christmas tree in front of a window where thieves can see it and your gifts.
* When possible, require a signature for any delivery you are expecting.
* Track package deliveries via text or email so you know when they will arrive.
* Have packages shipped to your workplace, or someplace where someone can receive it, so it doesn’t remain on your porch while you aren’t home.
* Consider installing a home surveillance camera.
* Do not forget cell phones, purses and other high value items in vehicles.