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Deputies ID vehicle-theft trends

Posted: May 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Since the beginning of the year, there have been more than 300 reported incidents where a thief has stolen property by breaking into a locked car, authorities said Thursday.

The thefts have cost an estimated $300,000 combined, an average loss of about $1,000 per victim, according to a statement from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

The trend was discovered through an analysis by the Crime Prevention Unit of the Sheriff’s Station, according to a statement.

Typically, a thief will break into a car by smashing a car window and stealing a purse, wallet, electronics or other items.

Sometimes, residents going to the gym would try to hide their purse in their car under clothing. Then a potential burglar would wait until the person was inside the gym to break into the car.

The solution to the problem could come through common sense: If motorists take valuables out of their cars, place them in the trunk or were more attentive when handling their purses and wallets, potential thieves wouldn’t have the opportunity to steal, the statement said.

Although property crimes are down more than 15 percent in 2011 compared to the same 5-month time span last year, these types of vehicle thefts make up about one-third of all property crimes in the Santa Clarita Valley.

To address the problem, deputies have performed surveillance at areas where vehicle thefts had been reported.

The Crime Prevention Unit was formed earlier this year to better track crime trends affecting the Santa Clarita Valley.

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