As we move into spring this month, many visitors and residents will be getting out to enjoy our beautiful county. But with more outdoor activity comes more opportunity for vehicle burglaries. In the spring and summer months, Humboldt County sees an uptick in the number of vehicle burglaries occurring, particularly in high tourism and recreation areas such as our local beaches and trails.
Vehicle burglaries, or car prowls, are a crime of opportunity. An offender makes a decision to break into a vehicle based on a perception that there are items of value inside the vehicle, which makes the potential payoff worth the risk. A car prowl can be completed in a minute or less, leaving very little investigative clues behind.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to practice burglary prevention every time you leave your home or vehicle. When it comes to vehicle burglary prevention, remember: Lock, Take, Hide.
Lock your car doors, even if you are home. In public places, it may be tempting to leave your vehicle windows down to avoid vandalism. However, this puts you at even more risk, leaving vehicle registration and insurance information accessible to anyone nearby and increasing your chances of falling victim to identity theft, burglaries at your home and vehicle theft.
Take your valuables with you. This include purses, wallets, cell phones, GPS units, computers, backpacks and more. Be sure to also remove garage door openers, key cards, and house, work or car keys from your vehicle
Keep the interior of your vehicle “showroom” clean. Even if you do not believe the item is of value, remove it from plain site.
Be cautious when storing valuables in your trunk. If your vehicle is equipped with a trunk release button on the inside, car prowlers can easily access your vehicle’s trunk space. While “hiding” items in your trunk may reduce the chance for your vehicle to be a target, the action will not completely protect you from theft.
To report a vehicle burglary or related criminal activity, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.