Rash of car burglaries cause concern in Los Banos

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comSeptember 19, 2013 

A recent string of vehicle burglaries has led police to remind the public about the importance of locking doors and removing valuables from cars.

“We all have busy lives and in general Los Banos is a safe place, but we should remember to take precautions,” Police Chief Gary Brizzee said.

Los Banos has recently experienced many car burglaries on the east side of town, Brizzee said, and his officers are providing extra patrol in the area.

Police believe residents can reduce the risk of having items stolen from their cars by following some simple tips:

• Always keep doors locked

• Keep valuables out of sight and when possible do not store them inside the vehicle.

• Use outside lighting and install motion sensors

• Investigate strange outside noises from a safe location or neighborhood dogs that may be barking

• Work with neighbors to embrace some form of a neighborhood watch system and report suspicious activity to the police department

Brizzee said residents should call the police if they see someone behaving suspiciously near parked cars. He said it is also important to provide law enforcement with a precise description of the car and person near it.

Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said residents should also keep records of the items in their vehicles.

“It’s also very important to record the make, model and serial number of your valuables, including your firearms,” Reyna said. “It’s not uncommon for us to respond to a theft where victims are able to only provide a basic description of their stolen property. This can make it difficult to reunite victims with property we recover.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about forming a neighborhood watch program can contact officer Noah Jones at (209) 827-0603. To leave an anonymous crime tip, call (209) 827-7070 ext. 288 or visit www.losbanos.org and click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or contact Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at (855) 725-2420 or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org.

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