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In response to two nights of car break-ins involving more than a dozen vehicles, Community Services District Security has stepped up overnight patrols and publicized a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the burglars.

A white plastic flashlight was recovered from a vehicle that was burglarized after thieves broke a window to gain entry. Items stolen over the two nights include more than $300 in cash, a Dell laptop computer, garage door opener, pocket knives, a passport and Palm Pilot.

Security Chief Greg Remson said Thursday that additional Security officers patrolled the community on foot and in patrol vehicles overnight in an effort to catch the car burglars.

The Sheriff's Department also provided support, Remson said. Security requested the sheriff's help with late-night patrols after a half-dozen break-ins occurred Wednesday.

Remson said there were no calls about suspicious activity or reports of break-ins overnight.

On Thursday, Security issued a wanted poster publicizing the $1,000 reward and the photo of the flashlight left behind by the burglars.

The series of break-ins began when eight vehicles were reported burglarized early Monday.

The crimes marked a departure from car burglary episodes the gated community has experienced in the past, which typically targeted unlocked vehicles. Although some of the burglaries reported Monday were crimes of opportunity, where thieves took advantage of open garages and unlocked cars, others involved locked vehicles that were pried open or had windows broken to gain entry.

Flashlight

This flashlight was left behind by the burglars, officials believe.

Some residents later reported seeing suspicious activity and suspects in the predawn hours during the first series of the break-ins, but no one called Security.

That changed with Wednesday's burglaries, when Security received nine calls about suspicious activity and break-ins, beginning at 12:46 a.m.

Of the six vehicles that were hit Wednesday, five were parked in driveways and one was in a guest parking area, Remson said.

Windows were broken, but there were no pry marks on the vehicles, he said. Nothing was reported taken from one of the cars where a window was smashed to gain entry, and in another instance, a box of tests was the only thing taken.

All of the incidents occurred in lower Murieta North, where the golf course and wooded common area connect properties and provide an alternative to using the streets.

Anyone who has information about the break-ins is asked to contact Security at 354-CARE and 354-3742. The sheriff's Rockingham substation can be reached at 875-9600.

Remson added these safety reminders to help prevent thefts from cars:

  • Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even in front of your house.
  • Always lock your car doors even for a short trip for gas or groceries.
  • If you have a car alarm, use it.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even in a locked car. Put them in the trunk.
  • Better yet, do not leave any valuables in the car at all. Even an empty bag or gym bag may invite theft.
  • Carry the registration and insurance card with you.
  • Don't leave anything with your name and address in the car.
  • Don't leave a spare car or house key in the car.
  • Don't leave your wallet in the car, even if it is parked in the garage.
  • Park your car in the garage if possible.
  • If you park in the driveway, do not leave a garage door opener in the car.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27727
Post rating: 1387

Adding to the reward...

The CSD's policy for the $1,000 maximum reward allows the amount to be enhanced through contributions, so RM.com will contribute $250 to the reward to maybe get something rolling. You can join in too, publicly or privately.

John Dekker's picture
Joined: 08/30/2007
Posts: 46
Post rating: 51

I will be happy to add $100

I will be happy to add $100 to the reward for the arrest and conviction of these criminals. It is imperative that they be prosecuted, and if they are juveniles, their parents must be held responsible for damages

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Me too

Amen, John. Me to, I'll do $100.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

How to Add to the Reward

For those wondering how to add to the reward, I just received an answer. Make a check payable to RMCSD and in the memo section put the reason: Vandalism Reward.

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