Temple City Public Safety Officials Call for Vigilance
Residential burglaries up, trend expected through the holiday season.
TEMPLE CITY, CA (Dec. 11, 2017)—A large uptick in home burglaries was recorded in Temple City and surrounding communities over the past few months and according to Captain David Flores of Temple Sheriff’s Station, citizens should prepare for increased criminal activity through the holiday season.
Flores, Temple City’s top law enforcement officer, advises heightened caution and has made specific safety recommendations to counter methods he’s seen used in recent thefts.
“Many residents keep cash and other valuables at home rather than deposit them in banks,” Flores noted. “Knowing this provides an incentive for criminals to come to our community in search of easy targets.”
Bryan Ariizumi, the city’s public safety supervisor, echoed the Captain’s concerns and added that even keeping valuables in a safe does not deter the thieves. “In many of our recent cases,” he said, “where residents secured their cash and jewelry in safes, two to three-man crews were able to carry away the entire safes because they weren’t properly installed or secured to the house.”
While a number of criminal crew members have been apprehended, both Flores and Ariizumi note that the holiday season almost always sees an increase in home burglaries. Accordingly, the city and Temple Sheriff’s Station have jointly issued the following advisories for residents based on techniques used in recent break-ins:
- Most residential burglaries occur when people are not home. Thieves start by knocking on the door and if someone is there, they move on to the next opportunity. If there is no answer, they go around to the back of the home and smash in the glass of the rear sliding door. This allows crews access without setting off an alarm, since most sensors are triggered by the opening of the sliding door.
- If you do get a knock on the door, it’s best to acknowledge it, but don’t blindly open the door. Talk through the door instead. If things feel uncomfortable or suspicious, dial 9-1-1 right away. “We had a few reported cases where residents did not acknowledge a knock on the door,” Ariizumi said, “only to realize a few minutes later that crews were breaking into their home.”
- Install proper outdoor lighting and keep the interior well-lit at night so that it looks like someone is home. “We’re seeing a trend in evening burglaries. If you leave your home at night, look back at it from outside,” advised Flores. “Does it look like someone is there? It should.”
- Purchase home security alarms that include motion sensors and real-time alerts. To this end, Temple City is offering its residents a $100 rebate on the Ring™ Video Doorbell. Visit templecity.us/rebate for more information.
- “If you must keep your valuables and large sums of cash at home, put them somewhere no one would look,” said Ariizumi. “Don’t put them under the mattress. It would be preferable to keep your valuables in a safe, but make sure it’s properly installed. There are professional services that can install one for you.”
- Do the obvious: lock your doors and windows, even when you’re home.
- Report suspicious persons and those who appear to be casing properties. “When you call 9-1-1, articulate what’s going on,” said Flores. “For example,” he added, “‘A guy is standing on the street looking into yards. He doesn’t live here.’” Other suspicious activity includes cars driving slowly past, especially newer cars with tinted windows and paper plates. Take a photo if you can, but do it safely and without them noticing.
- Know your neighbors. “We talk a lot about this at Neighborhood Watch meetings,” said Ariizumi. “Know who your neighbors are—what kind of cars they drive, who is in the family. Know these basics so that you can report suspicious activity.”
- Lock your cars at night, even if they are behind gates—thieves can still gain access to take wallets, sunglasses and other items. Also, don’t leave a purse or computer bag in plain view, even if your car is locked. Most burglars aren’t going to smash in car windows unless there is something worth stealing.
- Identity theft remains high, so shred your documents. Recent arrests have yielded suspects with financials, billing statements and other information that was found in the trash and could be used to steal identities. “This is another example of an easily preventable crime,” Flores said. “If you’re asked what you want for the upcoming holidays, tell them you want a shredder.”
- With the holiday season in full force, thefts of packages from front porches are a given. Have packages sent to your workplace or have them delivered to a neighbor who is home all day. Use Amazon Locker if you order through Amazon; they deliver packages to a secure business location where you can pick them up. And if you must have a package left at your doorstep, make sure it’s not high in value.
According to Ariizumi, the city council has arranged for elevated police patrols that will continue into next year. Residents will also soon see a revamped Neighborhood Watch program focused more on the use of technology and continuing efforts to bridge a relationship with the Asian community, some of whom may feel disconnected from local law enforcement.
“We’re doing what we can to keep Temple City’s hard-earned ranking as one of California’s safest cities,” he said.
—To view other City news releases, visit templecity.us/pr—
Assistant to the City Manager
(626) 285-2171, ext. 4121