Homeowner's Video System Helps Deputies Solve Burglary Mystery
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's Burglary and Fraud team have been investigating as many as 50 residential and vehicle burglaries that occurred over the past two and a half months reported in the Fair Oaks Ranch and Jakes Way areas of Canyon Country.
Detectives got the break they had been hoping for through a recent case in which a home owner's high quality camera surveillance system caught one of the subjects on video. Using the video and other investigative tools, detectives were able to identify one of the subjects involved.
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The investigation culminated early today when local detectives coordinated a special search warrant operation involving deputies assigned to the city of Santa Clarita/Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Community Interaction Team (CIT), COBRA team and the Juvenile Intervention Team (J-Team).
The operation involved the service of three search warrants in Canyon Country and two in Palmdale. At a residence in the 4500 block of Ridgewood Court, Palmdale, Santa Clarita deputies recovered several items including televisions, video gaming systems, and other electronics believed to be stolen in many of the Santa Clarita burglaries.
Deputies arrested two 16-year-old Palmdale residents and are looking for a third subject that detectives have identified as a 14 year-old male.
The young men were booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's station on felony burglary charges and will be transferred to Sylmar Juvenile Hall where they will be held without bail pending future court proceedings.
Detectives believe that these arrests will clear a significant number of Santa Clarita burglary cases.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station would like to remind all residents about how they can reduce the likelihood of being a victim of burglary or theft and how they can help us protect our community.
WORK WITH US TO HELP PREVENT OR REDUCE VEHICLE AND RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES AND THEFTS BY FOLLOWING A FEW CRIME PREVENTION TIPS!
The single biggest crime prevention tip we can provide pertaining to these crimes is to avoid being an easy or inviting target. Because we live in such a great and safe community, we can tend to let our guard down at times. Working together through constant communication and neighborhood watch we can make a difference. Here are some great crime prevention tips and ideas you can follow to to help us help you prevent burglaries and thefts:
Burglary and Theft Prevention:
• Call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, (661) 255-1121, at the first sign of anyone casing vehicles or homes. *casing = looking into vehicles or homes or loitering around them with no apparent lawful purpose.
• Report persons sitting in parked vehicles with no apparent purpose.
• Call 9-1-1 if you see anyone tampering with automobiles.
• Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see someone climbing over a fence into a back or side yard or breaking into a residence.
• Bottom line is: immediately report suspicious activity or persons in your neighborhoods to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
• Be a good witness - Try to get a vehicle license plate number. If you can't get the vehicle license plate number try to get as much identifying information about the vehicle or person as you can. Such as, color, make, model, damage, type of rims, stickers, etc. pertaining to vehicles. Clothing, scars, tattoos, oddities, etc. pertaining to people.
• Take a cell phone picture or video of the person or vehicle if you can safely do so. Save/store the information in your phone or PDA.
• Write down license plates of unfamiliar vehicles in your neighborhoods in case something comes of them at a later date. The information may solve a case should a crime be occurring.
• Lock your car doors.
• Remove all items of value, such as GPS devices, cell phones, computers, purses, checkbooks, and I-Pods if the vehicle will be parked in a driveway or on the roadway. Avoid leaving anything of value inside your car in plain view. At the very least, the items should be placed out of view or locked in the trunk.
• Don't leave garage door openers in your cars when they are parked on the street or in the driveway.
• Residents should also ensure their main and side garage doors are closed and locked.
• Develop knowledge of what's going on in your neighborhoods and be ready and able to identify when something is not right.
• Take a few precautions and send a strong crime prevention message to potential criminals. Such things as forming a neighborhood watch group and communicating with your neighbors can help. Posting signs or stickers warning of security systems, neighborhood watch, cameras, or dogs can also deter criminal activity.
• Install a security and/or camera system if possible. Try to use higher resolution cameras. Very low resolution cameras and recorders are of little help to law enforcement.
• Lock your car doors and all doors and windows to your house when you are away.
• You can tell the difference between solicitors and burglars. Solicitors will generally go to every house on the street and will look for houses that appear occupied. Burglars will skip several houses or look for houses that appear to be unoccupied. Solicitors want to contact as many people as possible, burglars and thieves generally want to avoid people.
• When possible and practical, leave a car parked in the driveway. Remember, do not leave valuables in it.
• Use lights on timers or motion controlled lights in and around your property.
• Install window slide locks or wooden dowels.
• Pick up newspapers and mail frequently.
• Reinforce front doors with better deadbolt locking and door jam systems if possible.
• Communicate with your neighbors and avoid establishing the same day-to-day patterns when leaving or returning to your home.
• Do not hide a spare key in a predictable place, like under the door mat or on the ledge above the door.
• Get to know your neighbors and be able to contact them in case something unusual is occurring at their house.
• Ask your neighbors to call the Sheriff’s if they see someone they don’t know around your house when you are not at home.
• Notify your neighbors when you will be on vacation and enter a "Vacation Check" request right here on SCVSheriff.com.
• Immediately report vehicles with covered or altered license plates.
• Immediately report vehicles with no license plates when they appear to be a model year that should already be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
• Complete a home inventory and make a note all product model numbers and serial numbers.
• Don't make excuses or assumptions for the actions of others. Be alert and report. When in doubt, let the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station check it out.
• If you are home when someone knocks at the front door and you are not interested in talking to them, aggressively announce your presence through the closed and locked door and tell them you are not interested. Immediately call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station if the person appears to have someone waiting for them in a car or matches the description of any Sheriff's crime report or bulletin.
Immediately report suspicious persons or vehicles in your neighborhoods to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station by calling (661) 255-1121. DO NOT WAIT! Anyone with additional information regarding these subjects or these incidents of residential and vehicle burglary are asked to contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Burglary and Fraud team by calling 661-255-1121 or report tips anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the web site http://lacrimestoppers.org..