Temperatures are rising, and it’s another warm summer here in Santa Clarita, which means fun in the sun at one of our many parks or the Aquatics Center, some outdoor grilling with friends and catching a game (or three) watching the boys in blue out at Chavez Ravine.
Unfortunately, as the temperatures climb, so do the number of burglaries, which, on average, jump about 10% between June and August. It’s important to remain vigilant, even as we slow things down and take time to enjoy the summer months. Here are a few simple things we can all do to help protect our property.
Take a few minutes to walk around your property and shore up any weaknesses you may find. Make sure that the sliding glass door latches properly and light up the path from your car to your front door. Leaving windows and unattended garage doors open in an attempt to cool things down during the day provides a would-be thief, walking or driving by, the opportunity to easily steal bikes, lawnmowers, tools and other items in no time at all, or even gain access to your home! A typical burglar will only spend around four to five minutes trying to break into a home, and leaving these things open provides direct access in a matter of seconds.
Many of us take advantage of the longer summer days by taking day trips, catching a late movie or just hanging out with good friends, which leads to arriving home a little later than usual. If this is the case, consider setting up timers for your indoor lights, which can help to deter would-be criminals from even thinking about breaking into your house.
Outside, having motion lights and nighttime landscape lighting can deter criminals as well. When you do go out, keeping your valuables in a safe or lockbox can go a long way to keep them out of the hands of thieves. And, as hard as it may be, don’t share your cool vacation plans or pictures on social media until after you return home. Criminals are looking for an easy target, so there’s no need to send out an invitation. Before turning in for the night, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of the #9PMRoutine. Set a timer in the evening and get in the routine of ensuring your windows, doors and vehicles are locked.
Speaking of vehicle safety, did you know that nationwide, grand theft auto was up 11.8% in 2020 over 2019 and reached the highest number of thefts since 2008? To help combat this, the city of Santa Clarita partnered with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station last year in launching “Guard That Auto,” which aims at preventing the number of auto-related thefts throughout the city. With theft numbers still up, let’s review the campaign and utilize these important tips to help “Guard That Auto”:
- Keep your keys with you and out of your car, knowing where they are at all times. Leaving the keys in your car is an invitation for crooks to steal it.
- Be mindful of your surroundings, paying special attention to where you park your car. Parking near a security camera, under a street light or in other well-lit areas are great ways to keep your car safe.
- Using a theft protection device, like the Club, is a simple yet effective method that decreases the chance of car theft.
- Clean out your car and take your valuables with you; thieves can’t steal what isn’t there.
To learn more about how you can “Guard That Auto,” please visit santa-clarita.com/GTA or follow the SCV sheriff’s and the city of Santa Clarita’s social media accounts. Here’s to a happy and safe rest of your summer.
Mayor Pro Tem Jason Gibbs is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].