Between late August and October of 2012, Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies have taken report of five residential thefts in Oak Park and one in Casa Conejo. The thieves mainly stole jewelry and in one instance, an unloaded gun. None of the stolen property was locked or secured in the home. Some of the jewelry was hidden in drawers or under clothing, but not secured. The gun was in a closet and not a gun safe.
A common thread to the residential thefts is the victims all had services come into their homes, such as house keepers and carpet cleaners. Most of the victims left their homes unattended with the workers inside.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is recommending residents keep themselves safe from residential thefts by following some preventative tips.
- Keep all jewelry and precious metals in a locked safe.
- If the safe can be carried away, keep it with you. (While the work is being done).
- If you don’t have a safe, place all jewelry and precious metals in a container and keep it with you. (While the work is being done).
- Research all services you plan to use for licensing, reviews and call to find out if they complete background checks on employees.
- While a service company is in your home, don’t leave or sequester yourself away from the workers. If you actively watch and interact with the workers, it is less likely your property will be stolen.
- If law enforcement needs to respond to a theft, it is helpful if there are pictures of the jewelry, the fair market value of the item is known, an inventory of the jewelry was completed, and the date and time it was last accounted for. This is helpful for any item stolen, along with serial numbers.
- Consult your homeowners insurance agent to determine if your jewelry is covered.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is actively working on the cases and suspects are being questioned. The VC Sheriff's Department website is www.vcsd.org.
Ventura County Crime Stoppers Hot Line: 1-800-222-TIPS