While home breakins have decreased, vehicle burglaries seem to be the new norm for the criminals. There was a report of an attempted breakin on Avenida Calma which, from the sheriff's report, turned out to be a real estate agent attempting to enter. In Alcala, a white pickup truck with no license plates entered the gated area and stole items of value from a garage. It was caught on surveillance but no ID of the two men in the truck was possible. A van on Via Reposo was broken into and valuable tools stolen. On Avenida Brisa a set of golf clubs were stolen from a car parked on the street. On Avenida Calma, car windows were smashed in an probable attempt to steal a computer that usually sat in the back sit of that car.
I had hoped to announce that we have our Neighborhood Watch sign mounted at the front entrance but we have run into some bureaucacy in getting it mounted. We are currently working with the County to make this happen sooner than later. Please consider creating Neighborhood Watch groups on your block as has been done on Via Reposo and Avenida Feliz. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors and lower your risk.
When the Sheriff's Department presented at our annual Town Hall meeting they encouraged us to eliminate crimes of opportunity. Cars parked in driveways and on the street encourage vehicle breakins. Our Restrictions prohibit parking cars outside the garage. If your garage is full of something other than vehicles, consider renting some storage space. Leaving garage doors open also serves as invitation to criminals. Our Restrictions also state that garage doors are open for egress and otherwise are to be kept closed. Your trash cans should be out at the street for the shortest duration possible. Have a neighbor put them away after pickup if you plan to be away.
Several reports have been passed onto me that residents think cars look suspicious. Get the license plate and call the sheriff - 911 if you believe there is any chance of danger. Better to be safe than sorry and the sheriff's department has urged us to err on the side of caution and call them. Take a picture when you can - always carry your cell phone with you. Please spend some time reviewing the documents on how to reduce your risk of being a victim. The brochures are available on the www.whisperingpalms.org. Please be reminded that there is NO SOLICTING allowed so solicitors should also be reported.
Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. Remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can serve the same purpose and also in the case of a medical emergency.
Below are some interestering thoughts from a burglar's perspective. They are cunning in their attempt to make their acts as simple and quick as possible. Note #6 in the second section about the Facebook page. Wait until you come back from vacation to share your excitement about your trip. Even saying that you'll be out for the night visiting friends is a red flag.
13 THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. The sheriff also says the freezer is alway checked.
11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it athttp://www.faketv/.com/%29
8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU:
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and noisy neighbors.
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor.com/ and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.
More Protection for you and your home:
Here's another way to thwart someone's evil plans for you -WASP SPRAY
The wasp spray can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate than pepper spray. With pepper spray, they need to be close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for antidote.
President, The Greens at Whispering Palms
858 832 1018