Orange County Sheriff’s deputies in Aliso Viejo and city officials warn residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity following a rash of home burglaries in South Orange County.
Chief of Police Services Lt. John MacPherson asks residents to report suspicious people, vehicles or activities they may spot in their neighborhoods as burglars have broken into several homes during the day through rear-entry points.
"We are aware of several recent burglaries in the area, and I am deeply focused on this issue and keeping our community safe," MacPherson said through a statement posted on the city’s Facebook page. "In light of these burglaries, I am encouraging residents to call us immediately anytime they see suspicious people or vehicles in their neighborhoods and to remember the following tips."
- If a solicitor knocks on your door and seems suspicious, call police. Sometimes criminals disguise themselves as solicitors, so if the person seems suspicious, don't delay in calling police immediately.
- Never leave doors or windows, including second-story entries, open or unlocked while away from home. Be sure to lock them before you go to bed.
- Leave lights on when you go out. Place interior lights on timers to avoid coming into a dark home and to provide the appearance that someone is home.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- If you have a home alarm system, use it!
"Again, it's important for people to act as additional eyes and ears in their neighborhoods," MacPherson wrote. "If there are vehicles or individuals who are strange to the area, call us immediately. If it's suspicious to you, there is probably something wrong."
Deputies ask the public to call 9-1-1 for emergencies and (949) 770-6011 for non-emergencies. For information about starting a Neighborhood Watch program or other crime prevention programs, call (949) 425-2563.