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The idea that someone is checking out parked vehicles during the night and stealing from them prompted neighbor Marklin Brown to post a warning on RanchoMurieta.com Wednesday. He’d learned the hard way, he said in response to a phone call about the post.

Brown said usually he removes any valuables and locks his truck when he parks it in his driveway, but Tuesday night was one of the few times he didn’t do either.  He’d just returned from a trip, and he got a little careless. Because this is such a safe community, unlike others he’s lived in, he was lulled into complacency. 

In the morning, the wallet and GPS device he’d left in the unlocked truck were gone. Brown spent the rest of the morning canceling credit and ATM cards, and trying to replace his driver’s license and file a police report.

In the past two months, there have been seven reported thefts from vehicles, and virtually all the vehicles were unlocked, Security Chief  Greg Remson said Wednesday.

“You’ve got to take away the opportunity,” he said. That’s the perennial message from Security and law enforcement officials: remove valuables from vehicles, close them up, lock them up, and also keep garages locked.  “They’ll take anything of value,” Remson said.

He said all but one of the incidents occurred in the area above the second Guadalupe Drive in the North area. The thefts have taken place on different days of the week, with one theft per night. Residents are asked to be vigilant and to report anything out of the ordinary to Security in a timely manner.


Andy Keyes's picture
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 289
Post rating: 120

Question for CSD on "Security"

I have heard several times from CSD security personnel that, "we know who these people are".  My question is that if CSD knows or has reasonable suspicion of who is responsible for the petty theft and other non violent crimes here in the community then do they share that information with law enforcement?  Also I would ask  Marklin if SSD dusted the truck for prints?

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

call the SSD

Perhaps if residents see anything out of the ordinary, they should call SSD?  and then make CSD the second call?  Our security officers have no powers of detainment unless they actually see a crime comitted and determine they want to make the risk of a citizen's arrest.  Seems that if something is actually occuring out here, the SSD is needed.

As an afterthought, if a security officer wants to make a citizen's arrest in a property crime, they must, at minimum, first call the SSD, make a written record of license plate numbers, etc., in addition to any other unwritten policies the dept has. If they perform a citizens arrest immediately when observing a property crime, this is against dept policy.

I have seen some advocate for RMA fines when laws are broken.  Too bad that won't work, since that blurs a distinction between homeowners non-ARC rules and actual crimes that require actual law enforcement and the court system.

Bill Clark's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 194
Post rating: 690

Neighborhood watch?

Maybe it's time that our community organizes a neighborhood watch program.  At a minimum, it might be helpful if we had a group of residents watching our streets during the summer months when the knuckleheads are out of school.  Boots on the streets  might deter some of these crimes.

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

Revisiting Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch comes up periodically. Last year there was a presentation on that and other crime prevention programs at a meeting the Rotary Club hosted. Coverage of the meeting is available here.

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

Nghd Watch

Maybe it's time that our community organizes a neighborhood watch program.  At a minimum, it might be helpful if we had a group of residents watching our streets during the summer months when the knuckleheads are out of school.  Boots on the streets  might deter some of these crimes.

 

One thing that I have learned from the Nghd Watch mtgs that I've either attended or read about is that it is about neighbors being aware of what is usual and not usual and knowing who to call when there is an issue.  It isn't about residents patrolling the streets, but residents being watchful around their own residents (looking out the window when they hear a noise for example, or a dog bark).  It's more about being aware and informed and ready to make that phone call.

Part of that awareness might be better reporting from both CSD and SSD about any activity in the area, on how well they are coordinating, etc.

Marklin Brown's picture
Joined: 08/12/2007
Posts: 196
Post rating: 104

The Actual Warning

My reaction to the theft was really not so much to reiterate the "theft of opportunity" mantra repeated ad nauseam, but to point out that even though 98% of the time one might be prudent, the perimeter is constantly probed by the night dwellers after we tuck ourselves in and they are the owners of the night. I do not believe they are from outside of the community from my past experience. If they are, it says something. If they are not, it says something else.

I don't say any more than if the rattlers are out, I say the rattlers are out.

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