The holiday shopping season is here and the Chula Vista Police Department would like to offer several suggestions to keep your car safe from break-ins.
Vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity; however, residents can minimize their chances of being a victim by taking a few simple steps:
- Keep all car doors and windows closed and and take your keys – even if it’s just a quick errand.
- Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the car.
- About 30% of vehicle burglaries are from vehicles where the doors, windows, vents or sunroofs were not locked or were down.
- Do not leave valuables or packages in your vehicle, but if you must, place them in the trunk.
- Consider storing your valuables before you reach your destination, or be alert for people watching where you hide valuables in your car.
- If your vehicle has a built in security system, use it.
- If you don’t have a security system installed, it is worth the investment - it may also qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance.
- Park your vehicle in an area that is visible to the public and well-lit at night.
- If possible, park your car in the garage.
- If garage parking is not available, the next best option is to park your car in the driveway and install motion-sensor security lighting on your home.
- Never leave an electronic garage opener in the car. It can provide a thief easy access to your home.
Headed to the shopping mall? Burglars are, too.
- When you pack the car, bring as few items as possible with you - leave jewelry, watches, laptops, etc at home.
- Keep any necessary valuables like keys, identification, and credit cards on your person.
- Keep a list of serial numbers (include make and model information) for the commonly used electronic equipment you may keep in the car, like CD players, stereo faceplates, MP3 players, GPS units, laptops, etc.
- Keep a copy of this inventory in a safe place such as a safe deposit box.
- We also suggest that you engrave your driver’s license number on your valuables to aid in their recovery, should they be lost or stolen.
- If you see something that looks suspicious, call 9-1-1.
Suspicious activity may include:
- A person looking into parked cars who may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left in plain view inside.
- The sound of breaking glass or a car alarm could mean a vehicle break-in.
- Any vehicle cruising slowly with lights at night with lights off, or following a course that seems aimless or repetitive is suspicious. Occupants may be "casing" for a burglary.
- Persons walking around a neighborhood pulling on car door handles may be looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from.
Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately about all suspicious activity. We need the community’s eyes and ears to assist with catching these criminals.
If your car is burglarized, please report it to the police department immediately.
These simple steps should be used whenever you park your car, whether you are just “running in for a minute” or parking for the evening.
In addition to protecting your own property from criminals, you can be a good neighbor by watching out for suspicious persons or activities in your area. No one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live there, so the Police Department depends on the assistance of concerned, responsible residents to report suspicious persons or activity. If you see something that looks suspicious, call 9-1-1.
Police Public Information Office