An unsuspecting couple leaves their car window rolled down on a hot summer day to keep the vehicle cool while they quickly pop into a store.
Knowing what a safe community Santa Clarita is, they leave a purse under the front seat, and a laptop on the floor in the back.
What they don’t know is a thief is lurking in the parking lot, looking for easy targets.
In the five minutes it takes the couple to complete their purchase at the store, two new items have been added to “The Stolen Collection.”
Santa Clarita was recently ranked as one of the Top 10 cities in the United States with the least amount of property crime by Reviews.org, based on 2016 FBI crime data.
In an effort to keep property crime in the Santa Clarita Valley low and help residents protect their valuables, the city of Santa Clarita and the SCV Sheriff’s Station have partnered to bring a new public safety campaign to the city.
“The Stolen Collection” aims to prevent crime by sharing safety tips with residents so they can protect their personal property. The campaign has a goal of decreasing the number of thefts from vehicles and homes in Santa Clarita.
In Santa Clarita, there were a total of 3,216 property crime reports in 2017. Of those, 454 reports involved theft from unlocked vehicles.
An additional 523 reports were made for vehicle burglaries where a window was smashed or a door lock was pried.
In nearly all of those cases, items of value were left in plain view within the vehicle.
Residents are encouraged to check that vehicle windows are completely rolled up and doors are locked, every time they park.
In addition to ensuring that valuables are kept out of sight, it is recommended that car interiors are completely clean and organized, to show thieves there is nothing worth stealing.
Theft from vehicles does not only occur at crowded venues. When at home, parking a car in the garage and locking the doors adds extra security and makes it harder for criminals to steal.
“The Stolen Collection” campaign features advertising around Santa Clarita and public outreach through local media outlets.
Residents are also asked to report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Station if they see someone trying to add to “The Stolen Collection.”
Learn more by visiting SCStolenCollection.com.