Holiday Safety Notes from our Public Safety Committee

Property crime is generally low in our area, but does up-tick during the holidays. Burglary-Theft from Motor Vehicle (BTMV) is the biggest one. Go to www.lapdonline.org and click on crime maps in your area hyperlink (http://www.lapdcrimemaps.org). Enter the address of concern and click on the GO button under all the colored dots. Only crimes that are reported (documented) are listed.

First, foremost, and easiest — don’t leave ANY mail by your mailbox for the postman. Wait to hand deliver it to the postal carrier or better, take it to the post office or drop-off location yourself.

Keep packages out of sight in your vehicle at all times while shopping.

If you return to your vehicle to drop off packages before continuing shopping, be sure to drive around, like you’re leaving, and then park in another spot.

Don’t leave anything visible in your vehicle while parked unattended, even for a moment, including in your driveway, anybody’s driveway, or on the street, and keep it locked. Prime targets are iPods, GPS units, laptops, cell phones, purses and the like. If your in-dash radio has a removable faceplate, consider taking it with you when shopping, etc.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Walk like you own the place.

Watch for suspicious activity in your neighborhood, such as someone staring into car and house windows, checking door handles, etc. If you see someone like this, it’s a 911call, although not a high priority 911 call. Get a good description without placing yourself in jeopardy. Police will respond.

Best not to let the world see your tree or other seasonal decoration with all the presents under it through that big window on the front (or side) of your home or business.

When disposing of boxes, especially those that once contained electronics, best to take them directly to a recycling center. Next best is to cut up and place in your blue bin, stored out of sight, and placed at the curb on the day of pickup. Don’t make it easy for scavengers to get a peek at all the new and expensive stuff you’ve recently bought. Never leave the empty box sitting in your driveway, parkway or other highly visible spot on or near your property.

Be alert for scams and door-to-door solicitors, especially requests for charitable donations. Also be alert to scams on public transportation and mall parking lots.

Watch for the delivery truck (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.) in your neighborhood. If you’re friendly with your neighbor and they get a package left on their doorstep while they’re not home, consider holding it for them until they return. And let your neighbor know you’d appreciate the return favor. You could possibly prevent a theft. Yes, the thieves are that bold!

Take Action: The Census Forms are Here

A message from Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa


Controller Greuel, along with Councilmembers Perry, Parks, and LaBonge
joined Mayor Villaraigosa to fill out and send off their census forms.

My fellow Angelenos,

I just took 10 minutes to fill out the 10 questions in my Census form, and I am encouraging all Angelenos to do the same. It critical to your community and your city that you make yourself count in this year’s Census.

Your participation will help decide the future of our City for the next ten years. The census determines the number of representatives we can send to Washington, the amount of child-care and senior centers we can have, and the level of federal funding we will receive.

Yet, with each new decade, the census still manages to miss some of our most vulnerable residents: young children in low-income homes, large families living under one roof, minorities, renters, recent immigrants, and the homeless. In the 2000 census, it is estimated that 76,8000 Angelenos went uncounted. This was the second highest undercount in the nation.

What did the undercount mean for the City of Los Angeles? The loss of $206 million. In our dire economic climate, we simply cannot afford to leave that money on the table.

All of you should have already received your census forms in the mail this week, so if you have any questions or did not receive your form, please visit one the many Assistance Centers opening across the City tomorrow. To find out where the nearest one is located, call the City Hall info line, 3-1-1.

With only thirteen days left until National Census Day, we need your help to represent the interests of four million Angelenos. Because each census form represents about $2700 in federal funding for your community, we need you to not only turn in your own form, but bring up the census to your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, and tell them what the census means to their city and their community.

Tell them it is safe, confidential, and easy. Tell them that it will make a real difference in the future of our City. And tell them that by standing up and being counted, they will assume their rightful place in America’s story.

Thank you,
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

For more information on the Census visit http://www.lacounts2010.org

Census Safety – Good Info to Share with People

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:

** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.

** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information.

Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census.

REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ASK, YOU REALLY ONLY NEED TO TELL THEM HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE AT YOUR ADDRESS. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION.

The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Any one asking for that information is NOT with the Census Bureau.

THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION. No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

City Announces Prescription Savings Card

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has launched the LARx Prescription Savings Card Program. The purpose is to provide prescriptions at a lower price. The card will offer prescriptions at a 5% to 40% discount. There are no age, income, or other restrictions on the card – and no enrollment fees.

The card and discounts will be offered at http://forlarx.com

Public Libraries, Recreation & Parks facilities and Senior Centers including those operated by the Department of Aging will have the cards readily available.

For a list of participating locations in Granada Hills, go to our LARx Info page.

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