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Crime Alert - Crime Doubles at the Holidays

Top 10 Reasons Why People Become Crime Victims During the Holidays

11/15/2012

The San Carlos Police Bureau of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office wishes to advise the community that property crime rates almost double in this City during the holiday period. We will be moving into that holiday period starting next week.

San Carlos is a very safe City but complacency and a lack of basic crime prevention measures can make you vulnerable to becoming a victim of property crime.

Here are the top 10 reasons people become property crime victims in San Carlos during the holidays and all year long:

  1. They leave their car door unlocked thinking that no one would dare steal from them in San Carlos. That's not true; they will. 
  2. They leave items of value in plain view in their car. Even if your car is locked, people will break your window to get that item. Do not leave anything of value in your car; including and especially your wallet or purse. 
  3. They leave their purse in a shopping cart or anywhere else and walk away from it. 
  4. They leave their laptop, ipad, iphone, or other high value gadget out in plain view and turn their back on it. 
  5. They engage illegal solicitors by either buying something from them or allowing them to do work on their car or house. This is often a ruse to steal. 
  6. They tell illegal solicitors "I'm not interesed" but then do not call the police. Door-to-door illegal soliciting is one of the most common ruses criminals use to see if someone is home. If no one answers when they knock, they see that as a green light to break in without being observed. (More information on illegal soliciting will be provided to you in the coming week.)
  7. They see a suspicious person or car in their neighborhood and they don't call the police. People will sometimes justify not calling by thinking "it's probably nothing" or "I don't want to bother the police." It's never a bother to call us to ask for a service you pay us to provide and, if what you saw is enough to give you concern, there may be something to it. 
  8. They don't lock their house. Burglars will often go house-to-house looking for an unlocked one. 
  9. They go on vacation and their house looks like they're on vacation because newspapers are piled up, lights are always off, no cars are around, etc. If you go on vacation, take measures to make it look like someone is home. Have a neighbor get your papers, put lights on timers, allow someone to park their car in your driveway, etc. 
  10. They respond to email solicitations from bogus accounts and end up defrauded by someone who conned them into something.
This alert is not meant to scare people. In fact, few communities in the Bay Area can boast about having the low crime rate San Carlos has. But, we do have crime and when people do not take basic precautions, they are more vulnerable to it.

More detailed crime prevention information can be found at www.crimepreventiontips.org.

The Sheriff's Office will have extra patrols out at key times and places during the season. We ask that you do your part in keeping crime down by taking basic crime prevention measures. Working together, we can have an impact on crime.

Thank you and we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

-- Greg Rothaus, Police Captain, San Carlos Bureau, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office