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Thefts from cars of electronic devices on the rise in Palmdale

March 30, 2012 | 10:37 am

Photo: A GPS navigator on the windshied of a car. Credit: Los Angeles TimesSheriff’s officials are asking for the public’s help in combating what they described as a “rising trend" of burglaries and theft of electronic devices from cars in Palmdale.

According to detectives and crime analysts at the Palmdale sheriff's station, the majority of thefts appear to be “crimes of opportunity.” Valuable electronics, such as iPods, tablets and GPS devices are being stolen from the seats of cars, authorities said.

“These items are easily recognizable, and criminals are taking advantage of the easy pickings,” said Lt. Cory Kennedy, who oversees the Palmdale Station’s Detective Bureau, in a statement. “These crimes are not fully planned, but bad guys just take a quick look into the vehicles to see what can be taken.”

The Sheriff’s Department is deploying additional deputies and patrol volunteers to help monitor parking lots, said Lt. Larry Gregg of the Community Oriented Policing Services Bureau. But while such efforts would help, authorities “really need the assistance of the public,” Gregg said.

Residents should ensure their vehicles are locked and that valuables left inside are stored in a secure area, such as the trunk, Gregg said.

Authorities are also urging residents to participate in community crime prevention programs, such as Neighborhood Watch and Park Watch, and to report people sitting in parked vehicles "with no apparent purpose."

They also encourage citizens to get a license plate number if they spot suspicious activity; take a cellphone picture or video if it can be done safely; and report "the first sign of anyone casing vehicles or homes" to the Palmdale sheriff’s station at (661) 272-2400.


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-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

Photo: A GPS navigator on the windshied of a car. Credit: Los Angeles Times