Yucca Valley, CA– Are you in the habit of leaving your vehicle unlocked with valuables inside while it is parked in the driveway? Do you routinely hide your valuables and lock your vehicle when running errands or at work but feel your neighborhood is safe enough to not bother with securing it while at home? During the past three weeks, unknown suspects have been targeting residences in Yucca Valley searching for unlocked vehicles. Upon finding a vehicle that is unsecured, the suspects will enter the vehicle and take whatever they can in a short amount of time. Items include loose change, iPods, laptop computers, electronic books (such as Kindle), electronic notepads (such as iPads), cell phones, briefcases, and GPS devices, just to name a few. These suspects will choose a neighborhood and select homes within a two or three block radius in which to steal items of value.
They have been so successful that they are branching out and targeting large neighborhoods in broad daylight. Areas that have been targeted so far include residences in Yucca Valley near Blue Sky Country Club, portions of Sky Harbor and Western Hills. These thieves are so confident they are striking during the day and boldly approaching vehicles in driveways and inside unlocked garages. There will be several members of the “crew” that will have various duties. One or two will be lookouts while one or two will quickly search the unlocked vehicles for valuables. They will target each residence in a block radius quickly and efficiently and be out of the neighborhood undetected within an hour.
We would like to remind residents and visitors to secure your vehicles at all times; even when in your driveway for a few minutes. Keep valuables from view or remove them from the vehicle completely. When parking your vehicle in the garage, make sure the garage door is closed and secured; even the single side door.
Also be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. There is a possibility that this “crew” has conducted surveillance on an area before they actually go in and burglarize the vehicles. Suspicious activity includes a person (or persons) or a vehicle who seem to have no purpose wandering in the neighborhood. Residents are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department immediately at 760-365-2364 if you witness unusual activity or witness a strange person going through a neighbor’s vehicle. You will need to provide the dispatcher with a description of the person(s) and / or vehicle. Be as descriptive as possible and write down as much as you can on a piece of paper. Start with anything that stands out, such as a window decal or sticker on a car window or bumper or any body damage. When describing a person, remember to start with their head and work your way down. Once again, anything that stands out will help law enforcement identify the potential suspect quicker.
Arden Wiltshire, Police Safety Specialist
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department / Town of Yucca Valley Police Department
Morongo Basin Station
6527 White Feather Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
ROD HOOPS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County