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.
As technology has advanced over the years, so have thieves. They manage to find new and innovative ways to steal your property. Not only is it unsettling to be victimized once but to be a victim a second time is a tragedy.
This following information gives us something to think about and yet another way to protect ourselves from becoming a victim.
In the thefts from vehicles we have had in the city, items stolen from cars have included garage door remotes, money and GPS systems, which had been visible on the dashboard or windshield.
Victims from these thefts may come home to find they have been victimized a second time. The thieves can use the GPS stolen from your vehicle to guide them to your house. They can use your garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to your home or steal valuables from your garage.
Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS is stolen.
Most people store a lot of personal information in their phones some of these items include bank account numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and your friends and families phone numbers. Keep in mind if your phone is lost or stolen you have given the thief full access to all of your information.
The following situation did not occur locally, but something to keep in mind: A woman had her purse stolen. The purse contained her cell phone, credit card, and wallet. About 20 minutes later, she called her husband from a pay phone telling him what had happened. The husband told her he received a text from her asking for the bank PIN number. The husband replied to the text message with the PIN number unbeknownst to him it was not his wife.
When they made their way to the bank they discovered the thief had withdrawn money from their account. The thief used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
Things to avoid:
- Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.
- When sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
- Also, when you're being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.
Occasionally the city of Thousand Oaks gets saturated with solicitors. The following information is being provided to assist in determining if the solicitor is in fact legitimate.
The following requirements are for door-to-door solicitors:
The city of Thousand Oaks issues a photo ID permit badge to each solicitor. You have the right to ask to see the ID badge anytime someone approaches your door.
Solicitor licenses and permits expire at the end of each calendar year, therefore it's important to check the expiration date on the badge as well as the type of permit they have for example: Taxi driver, street vendor, door to door solicitor, etc.
Solicitors who are representing non-profit or religious organizations that are not selling products but rather soliciting donations are exempt from having the ID badge. They are however, under city ordinance, required to carry a copy of the current years City of Thousand Oaks Business Tax Certificate (business license) for the organization showing that they are non-profit or a religious organization. Time restrictions also do not apply.
Now, per state law, if a solicitor has literature that provides representation of their non-profit group or religious organization then this could serve in lieu of a Business Tax Certificate.
There are time restrictions when solicitors can approach your homes. Soliciting is permitted between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. standard time and 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daylight savings time.
The Thousand Oaks Finance Division can answer questions regarding solicitors or verify the authenticity of a permit Monday thru Friday for 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M at (805) 449-2201.
If the solicitor does not have the proper permit or is aggressive in anyway contact the Thousand Oaks Police Department immediately.
On the Crime Front
With school starting and so many children either on the way to school or home, this is a good time to remind your children about the dangers of strangers. No matter what age they are we need to instill the proper procedures for reporting suspicious people and what to do if approached by a stranger. The quick thinking of these victims involved and the description provided in this incident led to the apprehension of the suspect.
On August 28, 2012, at about 7:30 p.m., a female minor was walking home from Thousand Oaks High School. A white adult male, driving a black truck, stopped and contacted the female, while remaining in his truck. The male offered the female money. The female, frightened by the male, declined his offer and hurried home. She reported the incident to police.
The following day, two other female minors were skateboarding near CVS Pharmacy located at 125 North Reino Road, when a white male driving a black truck approached them. The male subject offered them money, but the girls declined his offer and walked into the store. Approximately five minutes later, the girls walked out of the store. The male subject again approached them and proceeded to offer them money.
We ask that you report suspicious persons or activities immediately. 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).