Residential Alert for Cal Heights

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cal-hts-streetCal Heights Neighborhood Association president John Royce sent out a message last night warning Cal Heights residents of a recent spate of burglaries. We print it here verbatim…

I’m sorry to report that burglars are targeting our area. Eighteen burglaries were reported in Beat 20 during the month of April, four in California Heights, with the latest occurring on the 3500 block of Orange Avenue. They are gaining access through open windows or doors, especially in the back, but are even prying open those that are locked.

These are crimes of opportunity, and as Officer Brown points out at our community meetings and we’ve alerted in our past e-blasts and newsletter articles, there are simple things we can all do to lessen our chances of being burgled and increase the chance of apprehending those responsible. Incidents typically occur during the day when people are at work. Burglars are inherently lazy. The last thing they want to do is find you home. So anything we can do to make their task more work or make them think we’re at home, the better the chances they will move on to easier pickings.

It sounds silly, but quite often burglars gain access through open windows and doors, so keep them locked, and keep shades and curtains pulled so they can’t be sure your have a nice flat screen for the taking. The more you can do to make your house appear occupied, the better. We think about these things when we are vacation, but consider making them part of your daily routine. Keep your porch crap cleaned up and pick up newspapers before you leave for work. If you tend to be home during the day, offer to pick up your neighbors’ ads that appear during the day or ask a neighbor who is home to take care of yours. On trash day, try to arrange for your trash and recycle containers to be brought in soon after the trash is emptied, consider leaving a radio close to your front door, and have energy efficient lights on timers. A growling dog on the other side of a door is very effective.

Report any suspicious or unusual activity. Is someone unfamiliar across the street? Is there a strange car parked in your neighbor’s driveway at a time when they are usually at work? It stands to reason that the more you know about your neighbors, the better your chances of identifying activity that is out of the ordinary. So get to know them! One of the best ways to facilitate this is Neighborhood Watch. It has proven very effective. The spate of burglaries last summer and fall were followed by several arrests because vigilant neighbors reported suspicious activity and gave the dispatcher clear descriptions of the persons and vehicles they were reporting. CHNA has been encouraging the formation of block by block neighborhood watches for some time. Sadly, most of us don’t pay attention until we are victimized. LBPD would love to help you. Take the first step and call 570.7229

At last month’s quarterly meeting with Commander Billy Quach, neighborhood leaders were warned that crimes of opportunity will likely rise as the economy stumbles. While there has already been a spike in such activity, our crime stats remain at twenty year lows. Still, we are part of a vast urban complex. Nothing we do will guarantee that we won’t fall victim to a crime, but we must do our part to lessen our chances. And to help the police help us, report every incident, no matter how minor. If the police don’t know it’s happening, they won’t have the opportunity to increase patrols.

LBPD asks residents to call police dispatch (911 or 562-435-6711), if they see any unusual activity, especially if they see an unrecognized car in their neighbor’s driveway during daytime hours. Each observer should make an effort to call and not presume someone has already called police. Every bit of information helps.
Callers should try to provide as much information as possible (describe people, clothing, action, direction of travel, etc.) without putting him/herself at risk. Our police department does not want you to put yourself at risk.

North Division officers and detectives, both uniformed and undercover, are focusing their efforts in our area.

Our best wishes go out to those who have been victimized.

John Royce
President, California Heights Neighborhood Association

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