Riverside Police Department
A Message from Chief Sergio Diaz
As many of you already know, crime rates are on the rise across the state as well as the nation. With the rapid pace of technology comes an increase in thefts of these technological devices.
Today’s criminal knows that almost everyone carries a cell phone or other electronic device that can be sold on the black market or in legitimate retail business. One segment of our community that has been recently targeted by criminals is the college student population. Students at our educational institutions are almost certain to be in possession of a cell phone, laptop, or electronic tablet. Apple products seem to be the target of choice and the criminals typically refer to thefts of these products as “Apple picking”.
Thefts of these devices can occur in many forms, including thefts directly from one’s person, as well as burglaries from vehicles, homes and businesses. Please follow these safety tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:
Protecting Yourself in Your Home or Apartment:
¨ Lock your door, even when you intend to return home shortly or even if you are just going down the hall. It takes a thief only seconds to enter an open room and steal your property.
¨ Keep your garage door closed at all times except when you are actually going in and out of the garage. Lock or secure doors and windows when you are alone or asleep.
¨ Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away and when you will return. Do not prop open outer doors.
¨ If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to make the telephone call for them instead of allowing them access to your home.
¨ Know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
¨ Do not leave keys in hiding places. Thieves will find them. Carry your keys or make sure that anyone who truly needs them has their own copy.
¨ Call the police to report suspicious persons or activity in or around your neighborhood. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1; stay calm and get away at the first opportunity.
Protect Yourself When Walking
¨ Be attentive and alert! Avoid using your cell phone or music player while walking. Wait until you are in a safe, well-populated area to use your cell phone or other devices.
¨ Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit, commonly traveled routes and avoid shortcuts through dark or isolated areas. Let friends and/or family members know where you are going and when you will be returning. Walk purposefully, know where you are going and project an alert and no-nonsense image. Have your door keys ready; carry them in your pockets, not buried in a purse.
Protect Your Automobile, Bicycle or Moped
¨ Always lock your car. (One in five stolen cars was left with keys in the ignition.)
¨ Lock bikes to immovable objects with hardened alloy locks and chains or U-shaped locks.
¨ Do not leave tempting valuables or property visible inside the car. Lock these items in the trunk or leave them at home. (Ideally, you should lock items in the trunk before you arrive at your destination. A criminal in the parking lot may be watching what you put away).
¨ Lock mopeds as you would bikes.
Protecting Yourself and Your Property
¨ Never leave valuables unattended.
¨ When using an electronic device in a public place such as a coffee house, avoid sitting near entrances and exits where a criminal can quickly grab your property and flee.
¨ Look into your car before getting in. Lock your car doors and keep your windows rolled up.
¨ Never pick up hitchhikers.
¨ Drive to a police or fire station or open place of business if you feel you are being followed.
¨ Do not stop to help occupants of stopped or disabled vehicles. Call 9-1-1 to get assistance for stranded motorists.
¨ Most thefts are crimes of opportunity. Criminals exploit our lack of attention and care to take what is not theirs. You can increase your chances of holding on to what belongs to you by practicing situational awareness and common-sense precautions.
Be safe and take care of each other.
Chief's Office Information
4102 Orange St.
Riverside, CA 92501