Dec 03

Dont Let Thieves Steal the Holidays

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is getting ready for the upcoming holiday season.  A couple years ago I sent out some holiday crime prevention tips, and since they are still relevant, I wanted to share them with everyone as a reminder.  As a troubling fact, thefts from motor vehicles continues to represent the greatest increase of any reported crime in Whittier, so hopefully this advice and your actions can help reduce this statistic. 

Don’t Let Thieves Steal the Holidays


With the holiday season in full swing, many have already begun the quest to find that perfect gift for friends and family.  Unfortunately, while we are out shopping, so are the criminals who are looking for an opportunity to burglarize vehicles of unsuspecting victims.  Whittier Police would like to remind you of the following safety tips to help reduce the odds of becoming a victim.

Secure your vehicle.  Lock doors and roll up windows.  Close sunroofs and raise convertibles.

Park your vehicle in a well-lit area, near open businesses, at a location where shoppers frequently pass, and away from enclosures, large trees, or shrubbery where people can lurk.  Many stores and parking lots have outdoor camera systems.  Parking in close proximity to cameras can assist in deterring criminal activity.

Do not leave valuables in plain view.  This includes obvious items such as wallets, navigation equipment, cell phones, computers, iPod and IPads, purses and backpacks, but also obscure items such as loose change, CD’s, sunglasses, and cell phone chargers.  Any property left in view is not only a sign there could be other valuables, but is also an open invitation to a thief.  

Never park your vehicle, exit, and conceal valuables under a seat or in the trunk.  Do not cart out your newly purchased gifts and place them in your vehicle and return to shopping.  Criminals often sit in parking lots and watch for this type of activity. Once you walk away from your car, it literally takes only seconds for a burglar to smash a window and retrieve your belongings.

Lastly, be aware of your surroundings.  When pulling into a shopping area, look at the cars and people in the parking lot.  If you get a strange feeling or see anything that concerns you, act on your intuition.  Notify security and/or call the police.  Your safety is always a priority!

These tips are applicable year round, and not limited to just parking lots.  Practice good safety while parking in your own driveway or to the front of a residence.  Please report any suspicious activity by calling (562) 567-9200, or 911 in the event of an emergency.


Lieutenant Jay Tatman

Patrol Division – Public Service Area 4

Whittier Police Department