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Burglaries Spike, Assaults Down in One of Safest Cities in US - Crime Spotlight on Thousand Oaks, CA

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April 4, 2011
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Burglaries Spike, Assaults Down in One of Safest Cities in US - Crime Spotlight on Thousand Oaks, CA

Thousand Oaks, CA is still one of the safest cities in the US, but it’s not as peaceful as it used to be. The city’s 2010 crime report is out – and the stats for home intrusion are grim.

Residential burglaries were up 27 percent in Thousand Oaks last year compared to 2009, due in part to an increase in organized theft rings that are targeting the Conejo Valley, said Capt. Bill Ayub, Thousand Oaks assistant police chief. This and other statistics were revealed recently in the Thousand Oaks Police Department’s annual crime stats report. One burglary ring would routinely park a work truck in the driveway of a home in foreclosure or under renovation and steal major appliances. Neighbors might have mistaken the burglars for workers, Ayub said.

Police Target Burglary Rings

Clearly these organized rings (and I’ve read similar reports from around the country) are not made up of kids on drugs looking for cash, or jewelry and electronics that quickly translate to cash – these planned thefts are the real thing. The good news is that when a gang is busted, it can have a big impact on criminal activity.

In October officers arrested three men they suspect are responsible for more than 30 such break-ins. In all, 199 residential burglaries were reported in T.O. in 2010, 42 more than in 2009. It’s possible that two other residential burglary bands are at work in Thousand Oaks, Ayub said. One group—dubbed by officers the Arboles Corridor Burglars—may have hit 25 to 30 residences along the arterial road and its side streets last year. “For a low-crime community, 25 to 30 break-ins are significant; it’s huge,” Ayub said.

Assaults Down while Thefts Up

In 2010, there were 138 assault related crimes—including rape, robbery and homicide—in the city, 26 fewer than the 164 incidents reported in 2009. There was only a single homicide in T.O. in 2010, compared to two in 2009. “Crime is still very, very low compared to cities of comparable size throughout the nation,” Ayub said. “Really what we’re seeing is an uptick in theft-related incidents.”

It’s also interesting that these rings are targeting homes that are foreclosed or under renovation – and in California, the percentage of homes that are vacant is very large, and growing. Plus, major appliances bring major cash.

Chances are your community is not quite as safe as Thousand Oaks – so you’ll want to do everything you can in your quest for peace of mind when protecting your home and family. Of course, the best deterrent is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems, and as the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. From California to Texas to Florida to Maine, in thousands of cities and towns all across the country, FrontPoint is on the job.

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