Holiday season crime prevention

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SBPD Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick

Hello Seal Beach.  It is time again for us to keep our properties, cars, and selves, safe as we enter the 2010 holiday.  Please join me along with all the men and women of the Seal Beach Police Department and practice the following crime prevention habits designed to protect yourself and your property from criminal activity.

When you see something that you feel is wrong, out of place, or rubs your common sense wrong, think of it as suspicious activity and call the police to check it out.  Don’t waste any time doing it!  If you don’t call and let us know before a crime occurs, it’s likely we’ll be there later after you or your neighbors, the victim, discover the crime!

Trim the shrubbery around your home.  If it’s big enough to hide behind, the one hiding just might be a crook.  Use security lighting to brighten your shadowy areas, and install a house or car alarm.  Please do not leave wrapped holiday gifts next to windows or doors within view from outdoors.

If you park on the street or in your driveway—please lock your vehicle with its windows rolled up!  The vast majority of our vehicle crime takes place against unlocked vehicles parked with public access.

If you park in your garage, ensure the garage exterior doors are closed and locked.  I can’t tell you how many times our residents report things stolen from their garages, only because they left their garages unattended with the garage doors left open.  Please close your garage doors when you are not in the garage!  Do not be surprised to see an officer at your door at 3 a.m. asking you to close your door.  Let your neighbors know if they left their garage doors open before we do!

Do not leave valuables within your car, visible through the windows.  Today, thieves’ favorites are iPods, laptops, tablets, cellphones, GPS tools, and other small electronics.  Please do not leave wrapped holiday gifts in plain view.

Lastly, the SBPD has a zero-tolerance posture to alcohol or drug DUI.  When you are out partying, make sure someone is a designated driver who knows and understands his or her role responsibilities.  We consider ourselves fortunate if we arrest drunk drivers before they damage property, or worse, hurt themselves or others.  The SBPD has a terrific reputation for getting to you within three to four minutes, or sooner, to your emergency call.  For other non-emergencies, it may take just a little longer—but not much.  We will employ a host of resources to answer your call as expeditiously and efficiently as possible.  We may sometimes include officers, K-9s, and helicopters from neighboring police departments depending on the level of service needed. Know that our personnel are here for you.  We take our responsibilities very seriously and with great dedication.  We do not want you to become victims, so please practice these holiday safety tips throughout the entire year!  I hope that when we meet in the future, it is to merely to exchange friendly waves at each other!  Let’s keep the surf, sun, and fun in Seal Beach!

Jeff Kirkpatrick is the chief of the Seal Beach Police Department.

Holiday season crime prevention