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Dont fall victim to auto burglary
Ceres Police Chief Art deWerk. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

We are pleased to hear that Ceres Youth Baseball has over 1,100 children signed up to play this year and encourage all to join us at Costa Fields on Saturday, March 29 at 8 a.m. for opening day! Local teams have already started practicing in preparation for the arrival of baseball season, which means that the parking lots of practice fields will be full of vehicles most every day of the week. With the increased activity at the parks, schools, and parking lots, we can expect criminals to start looking for opportunities to commit auto burglaries. In fact, there already was an incident in Ceres where several cars were burglarized in one night while the owners were on the ball fields. In this recent instance, the suspect(s) smashed a window to gain entry and took a purse that contained all the typical things like a wallet, credit cards and other personal items.

Auto burglaries occur in cycles in most communities. For example, during foggy winter months, the holiday season and during times when there are more public activities like sporting events and activities, the police are called on more often to investigate the increased number of auto burglaries.

There is much that can be done to protect your vehicle from being burglarized. The first step is to make sure that nothing of value is left in your vehicles. Auto burglars specifically look for purses, backpacks, bags, wallets, high tech devices, brief cases, et cetera; anything of value or that may contain something of value in vehicles. Leaving these things in your car seriously increases your chances for becoming an auto burglary victim. Another frequent mistake is to move your valuables into the car's trunk after parking. You have to assume that someone is always watching, so when you think your valuables are safe once placed in the trunk, you may actually be increasing the odds of becoming a victim; the crooks will know for sure that you have something valuable in your vehicle if you took the time to try hiding it in the trunk.

Being mindful about where you park is important as well. During darkness, park your vehicle in well-lit areas and try to find a place where there is lots of activity. Car alarms are helpful, especially if they are of high quality and not prone to problems. I also recommend the use of a steering wheel lock, not only because it helps thwart car thieves, but because it will help give the appearance that the vehicle owner is being cautious and unlikely to have left valuable items behind.

Residents can continue to assist our police officers by reporting suspicious activity to Ceres Police Dispatch by calling 538-5712. This will prevent crime from occurring and let the criminals know that crime will not be tolerated in our community.

We hope to see you at Opening Day!