The San Diego Police Department releases helpful advice to protect yourself from auto crime. Valuables left in vehicles at the beach is a major reason for the opportunity crime. Read below and protect yourself in the future!

Make the suspect’s job harder and remove the reason for them to be there in the first place. The goal is to make them stop victimizing your neighborhood through prevention.

Leaving property in your vehicle:

The number one way to prevent vehicle burglary is to remove everything from the vehicle and lock the doors. Removing property from the vehicle removes the suspect’s reason to be there. Whenever possible take valuables with you. If you must leave items in your trunk, please put them there prior to your destination. Suspect(s) may watch you park and what items you are trying to conceal either in your trunk or hidden within the interior of your vehicle.

Parking tips:

Do not let your guard down when parking in a secured parking garage. Many vehicle thefts and vehicle burglaries occur in these areas. Here are other parking tips:

• Lock the vehicle and roll up windows
• Do not leave a key with the vehicle, especially hide-a-keys
• Do not leave the vehicle running unattended. Many vehicles are stolen this way.
• Park in well lit areas
• Use your vehicle security system.

Be a hard target, most of these incidents are crimes of opportunity.

Here are a few other measures that will help the police:

Please report suspicious activity by calling 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154. Suspicious people may be looking into vehicles, appear nervous, appear lost, circling the same area, wearing unusual clothing for the weather conditions (large jacket in summer time or gloves), or be acting as a lookout. When in doubt, call police. Most arrests start as a call from a concerned citizen. When describing the suspect to police, pay attention to details such as height, weight, clothing and anything distinguishing (facial hair, tattoos, something that makes them stand out).

Record serial numbers and mark property with your driver license number. Your license number is safe and your property can always be connected to the crime.

If your vehicle has been broken into or stolen and the crime has just occurred (the suspect is there or running away) call 911. If the crime was not witnessed then call non-emergency police service (619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154). Pay close attention to anything that may have been left behind by the suspect. Do not touch any evidence. Depending on the circumstances, the report may be taken over the telephone.

Be prepared to provide your vehicles license plate number, a list of missing items, and their serial numbers if possible.

We had numerous crime cases over the weekend, the loss of purses, laptops, duffel bags were just some of the valuables taken. It does not matter if you are parked in your driveway or just outside of your home, please follow these tips. Also remember to remove your garage door openers from your vehicle’s visors and interior if you are not parked secured in your locked garage. This allows suspects to access your garage and sometimes your homes.