Council told that proactive citizens could help stem car burglaries

March 12, 2008
Santa Paula City Council

The Chief of Police told the City Council that a rash of car burglaries could be stemmed if the public is proactive in reporting suspicious activity.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Chief of Police told the City Council that a rash of car burglaries could be stemmed if the public is proactive in reporting suspicious activity. The City Council heard Chief Steve MacKinnon’s special report at the March 3 meeting.“We’ve been getting quite a spate of car burglary,” more than 50 that started almost exactly a month ago that are targeting “primarily” residential areas. “No area of the community has been immune” to the rising number of car burglaries, which have been reported throughout Ventura County.MacKinnon told the Council that he was making the special report so it would be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 10 to warn residents about the rise in car burglaries, and to ask them to act proactively to avoid becoming a victim. “We’re looking to them to lock their car and take things out” such as radios, CDs, purses and other valuables targeted by thieves that until recently were opening unlocked car doors to “see what they can find.”
But lately “We’re seeing break-ins” and smashed windows, as the thieves become “more aggressive to take those items out of the car.” MacKinnon said that Sirius satellite radio receivers that sit atop vehicle dashboards have become a hot item for the thieves.About eight months ago the Santa Paula Police Department requested public assistance, and citizens reacted positively. MacKinnon asked that residents again help: “People know their neighborhoods much more than we do,” and know who is familiar in the area.The family dog remains the best burglar alarm: “If your dog hops up and starts barking” at night, “look and then give us a call” if suspicions are aroused. “They know what’s right and wrong in their neighborhood.”Although there have been arrests countywide and the SPPD is working the cases, “We ask that citizens do some crime prevention on their own,” said MacKinnon. “If they see somebody walking around and if they know they belong in the neighborhood or not,” residents are asked not to hesitate and call the SPPD 9-1-1 or the SPPD Station at 525-4474 Ext. 2.



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