News release - 10/9/2013

Published 10/9/2013 (all press releases for this day)


Jeri Williams
Chief of Police
Oxnard Police Department

R. Jason Benites
Assistant Chief

Scott Whitney
Assistant Chief

OXNARD POLICE DEPARTMENT

NEWS RELEASE

INCIDENT: Crime Alert: Fumigation Burglaries 
DATE/TIME: 10/9/13 / 4:22pm
LOCATION: City of Oxnard
PREPARED BY: Miguel Lopez, Community Affairs Manager, (805)385-7631 or miguel.lopez@oxnardpd.org
CONTACT PERSON &
CONTACT INFO:
Detective Crystal Walker, (805) 385-7668 or crystal.walker@oxnardpd.org

DETAILS: The Oxnard Police Department would like to notify residents that the community is experiencing fumigation burglaries. To date, we have seen a total of 26 such burglaries, with 24 coming in the last 6-months—an average of one per week.

 
Fumigation burglaries have occurred throughout the city, with a higher concentration occurring in the Cal-Gisler, Kamala Durley Park, and Bartolo Square neighborhoods on the south end of Oxnard.  
 
Primary property targeted and removed from these burglaries include: Electronics (TV, computers/laptops/tablets, Gaming systems, and DVD players), jewelry, tools, cash, clothes, purses, and firearms in 3 separate incidents.

Thieves are increasingly targeting tented homes, putting their health and safety at risk especially during the exposure period.  Entering any tented home is hazardous, because extermination companies use deadly gases to eradicate termites and other pests from properties.
 
Open and unlocked doors and windows have been the primary method and point of entry in almost half of the fumigation burglaries in Oxnard—most likely during the ventilation period of the process when homes have to force out air.  In other cases, however, doors and windows have been pried, smashed, or used bodily force to gain access.
 
This problem is not unique to the City of Oxnard.  Earlier this year, Ventura Police also warned residents about residential burglaries at homes that are tented for fumigation.  Similarly, cities throughout Los Angeles County have experienced similar crimes in the last 18-months.
 
There are a number of steps that residents can take to further protect themselves and their property.  The Oxnard Police Department encourages residents to remove small valuables such as money, jewelry, keys, personal documents, flat screen televisions and small electronics.  Residents are also encouraged to advise neighbors so they can be vigilant and help report suspicious people or activity during planned fumigation dates. Furthermore, residents can ask fumigators about installing alarms and sensors at jobs, such sensors can alert fumigators' cellphones if anyone enters a tented building.
 
The Police Department has taken actions to reduce the number of these types of burglaries. We also ask that you assist by taking a proactive approach to deter such criminal activity. We can all take small steps to help our neighbors and one another avoid becoming a victim.
 
Help keep our homes and neighborhoods in Oxnard crime-free and safe.  We remind residents to be extra aware and vigilant. If you see suspicious activity, please report it to the Oxnard Police Department at 805-385-7740, or dial 911. Anonymous information and tips can also be made with the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (805)385-8255.

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