The community has been made aware of several vehicle break-ins recently. These appear to be crimes of opportunity.
The board of directors monitors local criminal activity on an ongoing basis. Private Security conducts random safety patrols every day both during the day and night. Their primary focus is on deterring and preventing crime. They can be contacted at 877-260-1259 for any questions or concerns. However, they are not a police force.
It is very important that all of us do our part in deterring crime; that includes homeowners, guests as well as the homeowners association. We all jointly share this responsibility.
The board also works very closely with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and their crime prevention unit. They have also made a number of visits to homes within our community to review home security measures and to participate in Neighborhood Watch organizational meetings.
There are however, limits to what the homeowners association can do. Law enforcement and the HOA cannot overcome crime without the support of homeowners individually and as a community. The homeowner association is responsible to prevent and address crime in the common areas. The individual homeowners are responsible to secure their own homes and property.
Also, it is extremely important that anyone who has been a victim of a crime should file a formal report with the Sheriff’s Department. This will allow the Sheriff’s Department to develop trends and patterns to assist with apprehending the criminals.
The following are some tips and hints to optimize the security of your own homes and property:
- Lock your cars that are left in the driveway and ensure that all valuables in the car are out of sight.
- Always lock your house doors and windows even when leaving for “just a few minutes.”
- Never leave a house key available: under a doormat, in a flower pot, or on the ledge of the door. These are the first places a burglar will look.
- Exterior doors should have dead bolt locks with a one-inch strong metal bar extending into the door frame. Sliding doors and windows should all have ventilation locks as well as auxiliary locks to bolster security.
- Ensure to use good locks for garage, patio or other doors that lead out through a storage area or a spare room.
- When you leave for vacation use timers so that lights, radio and/or TV go on and off throughout the house to indicate someone is home.
- For longer trips, be sure and stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor collect them daily. In short, make your house look “lived in.”
- Install a wide angle lens viewer in the front door. Never open the door without knowing who is there.
- Most of the homes in the community have sophisticated alarm systems yet few people actually activate them. Use these alarm systems at night and when you leave the home. It only takes a few seconds of time to turn the systems on. Post a sign in your front yard indicating that your home has an alarm system. Even if you don’t have an alarm system consider buying a sign that indicates you have one.
Any homeowner can request a personal security analysis of their home by the Sheriff’s Department Crime Prevention Unit. For arrange for a visit, please call 760-966-3587 or 760-966-3588.
In addition, there is a wealth of information on the Sheriff’s Department web site: www.sdsheriff.net/
You will see direct links to a variety of tools and databases that might be of interest to you on the Sheriff’s web site including access to crime reports through www.crimemapping.com. Other tools available include ‘Who’s in Jail’, ‘Arrest Warrant Lookup’ and ‘Sex Offenders E-mail alerts’. We encourage homeowners to sign up for the monthly newsletter that the Sheriff’s Department published. You can enroll for it on their website.
The HOA would welcome the opportunity to host another crime prevention seminar. Also, let us know if you and your neighbors are interested in establishing a formal Neighborhood Watch. Please contact Stella Estrada with NN Jaeschke at [email protected] or at 858-795-7052 if you are interested in either.