City Experiences Upsurge in Residential Burglaries

There have been 31 home break-ins in the city from Sept. 1 to Oct. 9.

The City of Watsonville is experiencing a spike in the number of residential burglaries in the last month. From September 1st through October 9th, there have been 31 residential burglaries.  Most are occurring during the day when residents are gone and most are happening on the eastside of town. Other neighborhoods have also fallen victim to this pattern.

The most common method of entry into the home is an open door or window.  The property most sought after are computers, televisions, video game consoles, jewelry, and in some cases, identification cards such as social security cards etc. 

The Watsonville Police Department encourages everyone to take immediate measures to prevent thieves from selecting your home.  We ask that residents remain vigilant, and look after one another. If you see anything suspicious, be a good witness by writing down the vehicle make, model, color and license plate. Also note suspect descriptions and direction of travel if they leave the area.

Always be sure to report in-progress activity by calling 911 and please have your notes ready for the emergency dispatcher. To report anonymous crime tips, call 768-3544     

Here are some tips we’d like to offer to protect you and your belongings.

Things a Burglar looks for when choosing a home:

  • Unlocked doors and windows. Most homes that have been victimized had at least one window that the owner had forgotten to lock.
  • A home with high trees or hedges that enable their actions to be unnoticeable?
  • A home that looks unoccupied. Are there newspapers piling up on the lawn?  Is the mailbox overflowing? Are vehicles in the driveway signaling some is home or not home?
  • Is there an alarm in the home? If a burglar eyes an alarm company sign or sticker, they will usually think twice about striking that home.
  • What's in the trash?  Is the box from the new 60" Plasma HD TV displayed on the curb for the garbage truck?
  • Dogs.  Burglars don't like dogs, not even small dogs that bark. Remember burglars don't like witnesses and don't like noise.
  • Spare Keys. Don't leave spare keys in obvious locations like under the door mat or in a planter near the front door. Burglars know to look in those locations.

Tips to prevent your home from being burglarized:

  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Be careful who you invite into your home. This is especially true for door-to-door solicitors, unfamiliar delivery people or service technicians. Make sure the company is reputable on don’t leave them unsupervised if at all possible.    
  • Leave a radio playing while away to make it seem as though someone is home.  
  • Keep shrubs and trees trimmed back, especially if they block windows and doors.
  • Use blinds, curtains, or something to block the burglars view of the valuables inside your home.
  • Keep the garage door closed at all times.  This includes the door leading into your home from the garage.
  • If possible, leave a car in the driveway when gone from the house.
  • Get to know your neighbors and join a neighborhood watch program.  An extra set of eyes keeping watch of your home is always helpful.
  • Consider an alarm system
  • Watch what you throw in the trash (i.e. boxes for televisions, computers, or any other expensive item)
  • When away for long periods of time, use timers for lights to give the home an occupied look.
  • Consider getting a safe deposit box for jewelry, especially expensive jewelry and identification cards such as passports, social security cards, etc.
  • Join a neighborhood watch group. For info call 763-5678
Watzon McWats October 29, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Burglars beware: our computers, televisions, and video game consoles are a decade old and not worth your time. Jewelry and ID cards are locked up. And our dog is a crack shot with the 12 gauge. There's nothing in here worth getting slobbered on.
Cathy P. October 29, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Thanks Chief Solano, the one about watching what you throw in the trash (or recycle) was one I never really thought about.
Watzon McWats October 29, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Especially in Watsonville, where it's almost guaranteed that at 4am the morning of trash pickup, someone will come rifling through your trash. I've even caught people in my driveway going through the trashcans.


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