Friday, February 16, 2007

Car Break-Ins On the Rise

We don't get that much crime in Sherman Oaks, but there has been a sharp increase in Burglary from Motor Vehicles (BFMVs) lately. There has been so much, I have been flooded my e-mail box with messages about this and the LAPD is pushing hard at meetings to educate people on how to have your car not become a victim to broken windows and lighter loads. We also got our first e-policing e-mail blast (a personalized e-mail about the area of LA you live in - read full blast below).

How to not get broken into

Everything here is so obvious, but we take things for granted (or we're just that lazy):

  1. Lock your doors: Duh! It has been witnessed on Dickens Street that the thieves will walk up and down the streets checking car doors until they find one unlocked.
  2. Don't leave your laptop in the car ever: If you can see it, so can they. Goodbye window, goodbye laptop.
  3. Not just your iPod: iPod Docking Stations are also being targeted.
  4. If empty is not an option: The LAPD will say leave nothing in the car. That is kind of hard to do. I do like to keep a sweater in case it is cold, water for emergencies, etc. However, this is out of sight and always in the trunk. To that I say this: clean the car so it looks like there is nothing in there. Who wants to break into a car that looks like it has nothing? So at the bare minimum, make your car look clean and clutter free inside!
What I Am Asking You To Do
  1. Spread the word to your neighbors
  2. Sign up for e-policing (check the box under Zip Code and a sign-up form will appear)

E-Policing Letter

Here is the first e-policing letter for Sherman Oaks (I am assuming West and North Sherman Oaks got e-mails today too.):


My name is Officer Nate Banry and I'm the Senior Lead Officer for the East Sherman Oaks area, or 9A89. This is called a basic car area and includes everything between Mulholland and the 101, and Van Nuys Blvd and Coldwater Cyn. One of my many duties is neighborhood watch. This is a program to not only help you be safe, but also feel safe in your community.

This newsletter is a part of the neighborhood watch program that keeps you informed about happenings in your area. You may not receive an email every month, but you will receive one when something is happening that you need to be aware of. I may take opportunities to inform you of ways to keep yourself safe from crime, as well as talking about crimes being committed in the area.

Burglary From Motor Vehicle (BFMV) crimes remain the biggest problem in the East Sherman Oaks area. These crimes are easily prevented. Most BMFV's are crimes of opportunity. The badguy's walking down the street, sees something he wants in your car, smashes the window, and takes it. Don't leave anything in your car someone would want to take. Don't leave your laptop in the backseat. Don't leave CD's, cell phones, wallets, or even clothes. If you don't leave them in your car and I can pretty well guarantee no one will break in. Oh, and always, always, lock your cars.

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