City Encourages Community Members to ‘Value Your Valuables’
The City of West Hollywood is reminding vehicle owners that many vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity and the easiest way to prevent theft from a parked car is to lock all car doors and remove all of valuables — to Value Your Valuables.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, theft of vehicle contents and parts continues to rise. Larceny-theft from motor vehicles is the most common of all theft categories, with an estimated 1.3 million incidents in the United States in 2016. These types of crime often take 60 seconds or less. A smash-and-grab can be completed in as little as five seconds.
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 in reducing crimes of opportunity.
Value Your Valuables postcards provide nine top tips to avoid vehicle burglary:
- Wherever you park, take ALL of your belongings with you.
- Always lock your car.
- 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 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:
1) 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.
2) 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.
The City of West Hollywood provides crime prevention and personal safety tips on its website; for information, please visit www.weho.org/publicsafety.For more information, please contact Kristin Cook, the City of West Hollywood’s Director of Public Safety, at (323) 848-6492 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.