Don’t Be a Victim of Auto Burglary or Theft

Thefts from vehicles are routinely reported to the San Gabriel Police Department and it remains one of the most frequently occurring crimes in the United States. Vehicles are easy targets and often contain property attractive to thieves. Even the most amateur thief can stroll through residential neighborhoods and parking lots and find plenty of opportunity. Help reduce this crime in our community by taking these simple steps that will make your vehicle a little less inviting to a thief: 

• Never leave your car unlocked, or the windows open. Leaving your car unlocked is an open invitation for a thief to help himself. Even leaving your window open a small amount can be enough for a thief to unlock and open your car. Thefts can occur even in the few moments you might be inside a building and your car is not in your view. 

• Never use a Hide-a-Key box on your car. Thieves will look for these. 

• Never leave home or office keys in your car. The keys, along with any identifying paperwork left in the car could lead a thief to your home or business. 

• Never leave valuables in clear view. Do not leave purses, cellular phones, backpacks, laptop computers, gym bags, shopping bags, packages, etc. visible from the outside of your vehicle. A thief may not know what is in a bag but will be willing to break a window or door lock to find out. If you must keep property in your vehicle, place it in the trunk so it is not visible to the opportunist. Place it there prior to arriving at your destination so you are not seen putting it away when you arrive. Thieves may be watching and targeting your car.

• Avoid leaving your car in an under-used or unattended lot. A frequently used lot means more witnesses, so a theft is less likely to occur. If you are parking at night, or will be returning to your car after dark, park in a well-lit area. Stay away from areas that are concealed, obscured or remote. 

• When at your home, park inside of a garage if possible. Lock your vehicle and close/lock your garage door. If parking in a garage is not an option, park in your driveway or on the street in front of your home. Leave outdoor lights on or use motion sensing lights. 

• No matter how safe the neighborhood is or how nice the shopping center appears, thefts can always occur. By following these tips we can reduce the thefts in our community. 

Some of the most common items stolen are backpacks, briefcases, duffle bags, cell phones, lap tops, money/coins, sunglasses, and other items that are valuable or may contain valuables.  Don’t leave any of these, or other valuable items in plain view.  Hide them, take them with you, or lock them in the trunk.

These are just a few tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of auto burglary. Be proactive, look around, and most importantly, if you see something or someone suspicious, don't hesitate to call the San Gabriel Police Department at 626-308-2828.