The City of West Hollywood and its Block By Block Security Ambassadors are distributing reminder postcards throughout neighborhoods and businesses to encourage drivers to be mindful of their surroundings and their belongings. Prevention and awareness are key to reducing crimes of opportunity. Car break-ins and thefts have stabilized a bit in West Hollywood recently, but the city and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station have struggled with ups and downs in that type of crime. The recent arrest of a group from Oakland for car burglary in West Hollywood validates the theory that many of the thieves come from far awy.
The “Value Your Valuables” postcards provide nine tips to avoid vehicle burglary:
- Wherever you park, take ALL of your belongings with you.
- Always lock your car.
- Remember that underground and multi-level parking structures are target areas for criminals looking in cars for electronics, backpacks, money, spare car keys, purses, cellphones, packages, and sporting goods.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Close all vehicle windows, including vent or wing windows.
- Avoid parking in alleys or dimly lit areas.
- When entering gated, underground parking areas, check your rearview mirror to make sure that someone doesn’t sneak in behind you.
- Put your valuables in your trunk before you arrive at your destination.
- Call 911 to report a theft in progress.
Two additional tips to keep in mind include:
— If you must leave valuables in your car, lock them in your trunk or place them out of sight before reaching your destination. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, in your glove compartment, or in the trunk and will then know where the valuables are for a quick smash-and-grab as soon as you leave the area.
— If you park in your driveway or on the street,install motion sensors or photocell lights near where you park. Motion sensors will trigger a light to come on when it senses activity in the immediate area. Photocell lights will turn on at dusk, and then off at dawn automatically.