News release - 2/26/2014
Published 2/26/2014 (all press releases for this day)
OXNARD POLICE DEPARTMENT
DETAILS: In our ongoing efforts to inform residents of what is happening citywide, Oxnard Police have examined crime trends and offer crime prevention tips under our umbrella initiative, “Operation Safer & Stronger.” This is the second installment of the year, reviewing data for the month of February. This month, we focus on burglary prevention and hope readers and residents will continue to share this information with neighbors, family and friends.
“It is our hope to have a more informed and engaged community, that can serve as partners in public safety,” said Jeri Williams, Oxnard Chief of Police. “There are small steps we can all take, to make it more difficult of becoming a victim of crime – and, we can all share that with the circle of people around us” Williams added.
A burglary, under California Penal Code 459, is defined as the entering of a building or structure (or vehicle, when doors are locked) without the owner or resident’s consent and it was entered with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein. Burglary is a felony and can be punishable by imprisonment in state prison or county jail depending on the degree.
The Oxnard Police Department has seen an increase in burglaries to residences and to vehicles.
To date in Oxnard, the entry method most used in residential burglaries is bodily force. This includes window smashes, pried doors or cut locks.
For vehicles, window smashes, followed by unlocked doors, are most prevalent. Electronics and jewelry were taken. We continue to encourage residents to not leave any visible valuables in your cars, or to secure them in your trunk, out of sight.
Most often, residents ask, “How could this happen?” They thought they lived in a “good” neighborhood. It is not a matter of living in a “good” neighborhood or not. The thieves more than likely come from OUTSIDE the neighborhood. The best way to deter them is to not give thieves the opportunity, or frankly make it more difficult, and report any suspicious activity to the Police.
“Calls of suspicious activity by neighbors and community members have led to significant arrests thus far this year. With your help, we can make it more difficult, and continue to remove these individuals from our streets and our neighborhoods.” said Williams.
Below we offer some tips to help prevent burglaries to your home or vehicle:
· An unlocked car is an invitation to a thief - lock your vehicle before leaving it and take the keys.
· Close all of the windows - thieves can open vehicles through the smallest of openings.
· Lock your vehicle even if you only make a brief stop at a gas station, store or mall.
· At night, park in well-lit and active areas.
· Keep your registration in your wallet or purse, not in the car.
· Do not leave your garage door opener in your vehicle. It can be stolen and used to return and enter your house.
· Remember, most burglaries can be prevented!
· Always lock your doors and windows even when leaving for “just a minute.”
· Never leave a house key available: under a doormat, in a flower pot or on the ledge of the door. These are the first places a burglar will look.
· Make your house look “LIVED IN.” Use timers so that lights, radio and TV go on and off throughout the house to indicate someone is home. For longer trips, be sure to stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor collect them daily.
· Remember, if you come home and see a broken window or open door, don’t go in. Confronting a burglar can be dangerous. Contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.
· Whenever you move to a new home, have the locks changed.
· Consider alarm systems..
· The best crime prevention tool ever invented is A GOOD NEIGHBOR!One of the best crime fighting teams are neighbors working in conjunction with the police department, and reporting all suspicious activity.
Another way the community can help Police is by documenting serial numbers. Many times, a victim of a burglary calls to have a report taken but cannot provide the serial numbers to the items taken. These numbers are critical in recovering and returning stolen property to its owner. This information is used to positively identify stolen property and/or contact the victim.
Most products are manufactured with a serial number inscribed, engraved, printed or stored on the device. The easiest way to find a serial number is to look on the packaging in the area of the UPC code. Oftentimes, the model number and make are also located with the serial number.
The best way to document serial numbers is to write them down and keep them in a safe place. An alternate means of documentation is to photograph the product and the serial numbers and then email both to oneself. Save the emails in a folder on your email-home page. Email can be accessed from most anywhere and you can still provide this information to police in the event you are away from home and you are the victim of a burglary.
Law enforcement officers can’t be everywhere at once, but you can play a part in a more vigilant neighborhood. You know what is normal and what is going on in the neighborhood. If you see, hear, or feel something may be suspicious, call the police immediately.
“In most cases of burglaries and theft, someone has seen something but did not report it,” added Williams. You can always report anonymously by calling our crime tip hotline (805) 486-8362. The direct number to dispatch is (805) 385-7740 or 9-1-1 (emergency). Calling the police on suspicious activity before anything happens is the key to prevention. Most times, thieves will not target an area where residents keep calling the police. Additional numbers to call are: Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 982-7070, Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or visit www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org
If you would like information on how to start your own NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP, contact your beat coordinator or Crime Prevention Detective Crystal Walker at the Oxnard Police Department (805)385-7668 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
DATE / TIME PREPARED: 02-06-14/1600 hours
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