Here is the latest "City Watch" alert from Senior Deputy Tim Lohman of the Thousand Oaks Police Department. If you would like these updates directly from via email, click here for more information.
Now that summer is heating up and we are reaching triple digits it’s a good time to remember summer heat can be dangerous - even deadly - if you don't take the proper precautions. These basic heat safety tips may help avoid the dangers of heat exposure.
- During the hottest hours of the day, stay inside. If possible stay inside an air-conditioned building. The hottest hours of the day are typically from mid morning to mid afternoon.
- Never leave a person or a pet in the car in hot conditions while you run to do a quick errand. Children and animals can succumb to heat exposure and death very quickly in a hot car. Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens. It's never safe.
- Dress lightly, and when sleeping, use lightweight, breathable covers.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids when temperatures climb above 90 degrees, it's important to drink at least a gallon of liquid per day, preferably water.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages that are carbonated or contain caffeine when temperatures are high, as they can lead to dehydration.
- Move your exercise routine to early morning or later in the evening.
- Seek medical care right away if you become nauseous, start vomiting or experience cramps.
- Verify that seat belts and car seat restraints are not too hot before buckling yourself or anyone else into a car.
ON THE CRIME FRONT
In the last release of City Watch, we addressed the abundant amount of catalytic converters thefts from vehicles. We have recently seen a decrease in the amount of catalytic converters thefts being reported. This does not mean we should be less vigilant in reporting suspicious persons or activities, as the thefts can resurface at anytime, as one resident recently discovered.
A Thousand Oaks resident exited his home and heard the sound of a small saw being used underneath his motor home, which was parked on the street. When the suspect saw the resident, he quickly exited from underneath the motor home and jumped into the passenger side of an awaiting Ford Explorer. The vehicle then drove away.
Three suspects were arrested earlier this week in Ventura. The arrests were largely due to a citizen, aware of this crime trend and calling the police. Great job.
CRAIGSLIST USERS BEWARE
Craigslist has been a phenomenon for buying and selling items on the Internet. However, with most of these types of websites there are thieves lurking around looking at ways to scam you out of your property or using fraud to obtain your money. Therefore, we warn Craigslist users to beware, as two residents discovered.
An ad was placed on Craigslist selling an Apple iPhone. The Thousand Oaks resident (victim) arranged to meet the suspect and exchange the phone for cash. When the two met up, they exchange the cash and phone. The resident took the phone and photographed the vehicle and license plate of the suspect’s car.
The victim took his newly purchased phone to the nearest Apple Store to have it activated. To the victim’s surprise the phone had been stolen from the Apple Store earlier in the day. The suspect is still outstanding and the victim is without the phone and his money.
An ad was placed on Craigslist to sell tickets to Magic Mountain. The Thousand Oaks resident (victim) contacted the suspect and arranged to meet. Upon meeting, the cash and tickets were exchanged. The victim immediately drove to Magic Mountain and discovered the tickets were fraudulent.
The victim text messaged the suspect informing the suspect the tickets were fake and requested his money back. The suspect responded that he would return the money the following day. When the money was not returned, the victim set up a fake email account and contacted the suspect on Craigslist posing as a new buyer. The suspect and victim agreed to meet.
Upon meeting, the victim demanded his money back. The suspect pulled a knife on the victim. The suspect knowing the victim and his friends outnumbered him decided to throw the money to the ground and drive off. The victim was able to obtain the license plate of the vehicle, which led police to the suspect.
The majority of Craigslist users are trustworthy and well intentioned; however, scams and thieves still exist. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when buying from Craigslist. It is very important to take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline.
When meeting someone for the first time, remember to:
- Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home
- Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items
- Tell a friend or family member where you're going
- Take your cell phone along if you have one
- Consider having a friend accompany you
- Trust your instincts
- If its too good to be true it probably is
- Verify the items you are buying (receipts showing item was purchased)
BE ON YOUR GUARD
We continually remind residents to lock your doors and secure your valuables when you are away from home or your vehicle. In the last two weeks, we had a different set of circumstances because the residents were home when someone attempted or in one incident succeeded in entering the home when the resident was home. The following two incidents are reminders to be on your guard and lock your doors when you are home and report suspicious people in your neighborhoods.
A Thousand Oaks resident was home when an unknown suspect rang the doorbell. The victim did not respond to the doorbell. The suspect then entered the victim’s side yard through an unlocked gate and entered the backyard. The suspect then attempted to make entry into the residence through a sliding glass door at the rear of the home. The door was secured. The suspect looked through the glass door and saw the victim. The suspect took off. The suspect has not been located.
Two unknown suspects knocked on the door of a Thousand Oaks home. The Resident (victim) did not answer the door and went to her room. The suspects opened the unlocked front door and entered the residence. The victim locked herself in her bedroom when she heard the suspects in the home. The suspects ransacked the home. The suspects gathered up items and sat them by the sliding glass door. When they discovered the police were on their way, the suspects ran from the location.
As a safety precaution, always be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious persons or activities immediately. We depend on your eyes and ears to help combat crime. Remember if it’s a crime in progress and requires an emergency response call 911, otherwise contact (805) 654-9511 for non-emergencies.
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for these type of crimes. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).