This holiday season, the La Habra Police Department is reminding residents to take precautions against theft with this catchy phrase: Lock It, Hide It, Keep It.
“The majority of our petty theft crimes from vehicles are because people leave (valuables) on the front seat, or on the floorboards, or in the back seats,” Lt. Brian Miller said. “It only takes five to seven seconds for someone to smash it, take your stuff, and leave.”
The first step, Miller says, is to lock vehicles and doors. Thieves will check door handles as they’re walking past vehicles, he said.
“You’d be surprised how many people don’t lock their car,” Miller said.
Step two is to hide valuables in the trunk until they can be safely stored inside your home. Commonly stolen items include computers, briefcases, cell phones, purses and wallets, stereos, and gym bags, according to the La Habra Police Department.
“This is all about a crime of opportunity,” Miller said. “If they see a purse, a computer, anything valuable that’s showing and they can grab real quickly, that’s when they smash the window and run.”
Step three is to take your valuable items with you instead of leaving them in the vehicle.
The program started in 2014 in response to an uptick in petty theft in the city – one of the most common crimes during holiday shopping season.
The department also encourages residents to require a signature when packages are delivered or to have packages arrive when someone is home to receive them to decrease the chance of having items stolen off door steps.
Lock it (lock doors and windows, even if it’s just for a few minutes)
Hide it (conceal items in the trunk until they can be stored at home)
Keep it (take valuable items, such as your purse or cell phone, with you when you leave the vehicle)