Tustin Police Warn Residents to Keep Snow Blowers Out of Sight to Thwart Crime

A lot of news releases cross our inbox and when one arrives from any OC police department, I take notice.  The City of Tustin’s police force, by all means an excellent police department, issued a release below about robberies at homes in the Pepper Tree neighborhood in Tustin and issued tips for residents.

And while the information is great, it was cut and pasted from a place considerably North of Tustin.  Why?  Well, Tustin Police want residents to keep their snowblowers out of sight as they might be an invitation to theft.

From the warning:


Hi Dan Chmielewski,

Tustin Police Department has had two residential burglaries in the Pepper Tree Area. Tustin Police Department has already started conducting patrol checks but encourages the public to remain vigilant and to call the police immediately if they see anything suspicious.

Some recommendations to consider in order to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

• Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
• Burglaries do happen in the daylight hours.
• Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors. Deadbolts are good for outside doors.
• Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
• Keep your garage door closed and locked, even when home. If you do leave your garage door open and it is an attached garage – lock the door into the house.
• Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
• Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
• Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
• Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security. Even a wooden dowel or a track blocker will help prevent the door from opening.
• Just because it’s horrible weather outside – that doesn’t stop the criminal activity.

• Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
• Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
• Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
• Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”

• Adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for front, side, driveway and backyards. Suggestion: delayed motion sensors…which may make a thief think you’ve just flipped a switch inside the house.
• Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
• Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
• Use alarm decals, beware of dog decals, and/or community watch decals near doors.

• If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door, Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
• Use a cellular phone or a neighbor’s phone to call police.
• Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
• Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
• Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

v Get to know all your adjacent neighbors
v Invite them into your home and establish trust
v Agree to watch out for each other’s home
v Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
v While on vacation – pick up newspapers, and flyers
v Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
v Return the favor and communicate often

The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!  Suspicious Activity = door-to-door solicitation, strange vehicles in area, people asking for work, anyone with stories that don’t add-up, and anyone carrying items from someone’s home, or carrying back-packs, bags in the area.

Emergency or Crime in Progress: 9-1-1
Dispatch (For a Report or suspicious activity): (714) 573-3225

For full details, view this message on the web

All and all, great advice from a great set of cops.  But snow in Tustin?  The only thing frosty in Tustin is former Mayor Jerry Amante’s relationship with TUSD and council member Deborah Gavello.

  3 comments for “Tustin Police Warn Residents to Keep Snow Blowers Out of Sight to Thwart Crime

  1. junior
    January 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Courtesy of Tustin Area Historical Society

    Snow in Tustin? Not likely, but …. Many long-time Orange Countians will never forget that early January in 1949, when the familiar landscape changed to a bizarre winter wonderland. Heavy snow laced Southern California, surprising locals with the strangest weather OC has ever faced. The snowfall began on the evening of January 10, after a long rain spell in the midst of a wave of bitter cold. Over the next two days, the temperature averaged between 20 to 25 degrees throughout Orange County. An overall average of two inches of snow hit, with greater concentrations in the Santa Ana Mountains and other elevated areas. Silverado raised the most eyebrows, with reports of snow reaching over six inches. Irvine Ranch reached four inches of snow as the flatter areas of Orange, Tustin and Irvine all reached three inches on January 11, 1949.


  2. Marcus Wilson
    January 9, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Must be a boiler plate template on how to reduce crime. But my hat’s off to the Tustin Police Department. It’s better to educate people than it is to refuse a police report (or talk them out of it), like the, uh, umm, police department “next door”.

  3. January 30, 2012 at 4:27 am

    This is insane! I used to live in Pepper Tree and would never think of this type of theft/consider it possible. But quick question… why are there snow blowers in Southern California anyways? Regardless, this points to why Orange County Property Management and safety is so important — there are always going to be bad eggs out there and making sure everything is secure is crucial to living stress free. Very interesting article though.

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