Your police department needs your assistance! We have recently begun to see an increase in residential and vehicle burglaries in a few areas. Here’s what you can do to assist us in preventing them from occurring:
- Immediately report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 9-1-1, or our emergency number 650-903-6395. Don’t worry about making the wrong call. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and protect your neighborhood!
When calling the police department, here are a few things that will really help us, help you.
- Physical description. This includes height, weight, age, ethnicity, facial features, glasses, accent, tattoos or other distinctive features.
- Clothing description. What are they wearing? Hat, sunglasses and pants? What colors are they? Were they carrying a backpack or bag?
- Did you see any tools or weapons? From a crowbar to a firearm to a knife these details are extremely helpful to officers as they arrive on-scene.
- Direction of travel. Where did you last see the suspicious person? Were they heading east or west? Were they on-foot or a bicycle? Did they flee through your backyard?
- Associated vehicle. If you believe a vehicle is associated with a suspicious person, get as much information about that vehicle as you can. Do you know the make and model? Are the windows tinted? Is it a 2-door, 4-door or hatchback? Are there any specific stickers on the vehicle, or body damage that would distinguish it from other vehicles?
- Be mindful of your surroundings. If you see anything (person, place or thing) that is unusual, report it. See something, say something.
- Do not feel compelled to open your door if a solicitor (who should have a Mountain View permit) comes to your door. If you don’t want to answer your door, you are NOT obligated to do so. Make some noise by turning on the television, or say “I’m not interested.”
- Burglars are opportunists looking for easy wins. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight, like in the front seat of your vehicle, or the diaper bag atop your stroller in the driveway.
- Don’t leave blinds open or curtains pulled back. Even if you’re going out for a short trip, don’t tempt burglars by allowing them to see the inside of your home. This also includes any (un)attached structures, like sheds and garages.
- Invest in good locks whether they’re padlocks on a side gate, an exterior structure or good deadbolts for your home, they’re worth the small investment.
- Take a moment, especially during these warmer days, to secure your windows and doors. Make sure everything is locked up before you leave the home.
- Leave a radio on. This often deters would-be burglars from breaking-in if they think someone is at home.
- Cut back bushes and shrubs to eliminate hiding places for burglars.
- Surveillance cameras are also really helpful and are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. They’re also a great way (interior and exterior cameras) to capture valuable information.
- Lock your doors. Often we find ourselves rushing around especially during the morning hours. But it’s important to remember to take a moment and ensure all doors are locked. Leaving one open is an easy in for burglars.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Burglars are tempted by what they see. If there’s nothing to entice them, they are more likely to move on.
Talk to your neighbors and post these tips in your neighborhood group to get the word out! These few simple safety measures will not only help keep make your neighborhood safer, but will assist us in preventing burglaries from happening in the first place.
If, however, you find your home or vehicle has been broken into, please take the following measures to protect you and your family:
- Do not enter your home if you find a door ajar or a broken window. DO NOT put your safety or the safety of your family in jeopardy by interrupting an in-progress burglary. Call 9-1-1 immediately and place yourself a safe distance away from your home.
- Once officers clear the interior of your home — and they give you the OK — you are safe to enter. Be mindful that you do not touch anything inside as the officer may want to dust for fingerprints.
- If your vehicle has been burglarized, do not touch anything. This is considered a crime scene and officers will want to see it exactly as you found it.
Read more about effective and inexpensive ways to protect your home with advice from MVPD’s Lt. Chris Hsiung.
Print out, email and post this BurglaryFlyer to help us get the word out!