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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!