Vehicle Burglary Prevention Tips

Dep. Christopher Varela out of the Perris Station submits these vehicle burglary prevention tips. He says vehicle burglary is a crime stati...

Dep. Christopher Varela out of the Perris Station submits these vehicle burglary prevention tips.

He says vehicle burglary is a crime statistic that continues to be a problem for Menifee. Most of the time it's due to people leaving valuables in their car. I talked to him over the phone and he said that there are actually residents leaving their wallets in the car, in plain sight.

Interestingly, just this morning our neighbor found her car window smashed in with her GPS gone. Perhaps there's this idea that Menifee is a rural neighborhood far from the city, and that's creating a false sense of security.
In the City of Menifee one of the largest crime trends is theft from vehicles. This continues to be a constant problem for the residents of Menifee. Below is a list of simple prevention tips every resident should use to help prevent vehicle burglary.

  • Lock all the doors and secure all the windows to your vehicle.

  • If you have an alarm on your vehicle please activate it at all times.

  • Remove all valuable items (GPS systems, lap tops, wallets, money etc.) from the vehicle. Simply "hiding" them in the glove box does not work.

  • Do not leave keys, garage door openers or paperwork with identifying information in the vehicle.

  • Try to always park your vehicle in the garage. If this is not possible then purchase a light that will completely light up your drive way.

  • If the vehicle is parked in the garage, then please still complete the above listed bullet points.

Theft from vehicles continues to occur in Menifee because the above listed simple prevention techniques are not being followed. It would appear to be common sense to lock and secure all doors and windows to a vehicle, as well as remove all valuable items but I can tell you it is not being done.

The thieves walking around the neighborhoods are looking for vehicles with unlocked doors and unsecured windows. They are looking for the vehicles that have valuables in plain sight. It is fast and easy to smash open a window and take the valuable items lying in plain sight within a vehicle. It is even easier if that vehicle is not secured.

If the residents of Menifee begin to follow the above listed prevention tips I am confident theft from vehicles will decrease. Thank you for your time.

Submitted by:
Deputy Chris Varela of the Menifee Police Department


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  1. I have a couple of questions about this:

    1. If I don't put the valuables in the glove box or console how does that prevent my windows from being broken? It sounds like my windows may still be broken but the thief just won't get my GPS or iPod.

    2. How can I not leave "paperwork with identifying information in the vehicle"? Doesn't the law require me to have my vehicle registration in the vehicle while in operation? I know it's always asked for at sobriety checkpoints.

    3. My vehicle is parked in my garage. If someone breaks into my garage they are getting into my vehicle whether it is locked or not. And the thief also has the secrecy provided by my garage walls and doors. Heck, I've got enough tools in my garage for a thief to tear through my house walls and doors and get inside my house if they wanted. Locking my car doors is the least of my worries in my garage.

    I know that this is written from a best-case scenario, but why can't we be provided with real-world tips instead of these far-from-reality tips?

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. I agree with you Dave! Well put... how about better lighting on the streets, we have a cul-de-sac and ONE very dull street light! At night between the foreclosed houses and the houses that do not have exterior lighting make it a VERY dark street and not very safe. I've had my truck broken into twice and had nothing of value in the car WITH all these precautions in place. (Truck was not parked in garage obviously)

  3. You're not going to get anywhere talking crime prevention with Deputy Varela. He is not concerned with crime prevention, only police reaction.

  4. We haven't had any problems in our neighborhood...but I would recommend investing in some motion sensor lights for the garage area..all the homes in our tract have them and you know right away if anyone is out there..

  5. I've had my car stolen out of my drive way, my neighbors have too. My neighborhood in the last 2 years has experienced a variety of different vandalism. Peoples work trucks tools have been stolen, bikes, skateboards, tools out of garages, and side mirrors on cars, and valuables left in cars left open.

    When my car was found months later the police would not do finger prints off my car or the knife left in it. Nothing was done!!

  6. Prevention is great, but more than 2 police officers patrolling our very vast city will help also.

  7. Wow, all you guys have is complaints. Deputy Varela was just offering some small helpful tips.Of course its not going to prevent every single vehicle theft but it may detour a few. You would be surprised how many people dont follow those small common sense tips then cry to the police about there stupidity. And as far as the Deputy not being concerned with crime prevention.... thats ridiculous, of course they dont want vehicle thefts to happen, then they have to come to your house, listen to you whine and cry about your stuff being stolen and half the time its because people didnt follow those small tips. I cant imagine having a deputies job here in Menifee. No matter what the circumstance is, someone is alway criticizing. This deputy is trying to be somewhat helpful and all you can do is complain its not enough. How about thanks for those tips and try them out instead of being so cynical. I know its so much easier to always point your finger at someone else but as a society we really need to start taking responsibility instead of expecting everybody else to cater to us.You dont want your car broken into.... Park it in the garge, lock it and secure your residence. While that may not work 100% of the time it works at least 80% and thats better then nothing. The police need everyones help in detouring crime, its not just a one person/department job. If you aren't part of the solution then guess what part you belong to. If you have some better tips then Deputy Varela feel free to add them otherwise keep your unproductive comments to yourself.

  8. A simple fix for your automatic garage door opener is to replace the wall switch with an upgrade. This upgrade switch costs about $30 and will allow you to LOCK OUT all remote control signals. This is great when going on vacation or locking up for the night. It also includes buttons to open the door, control the lights as well as display that current time and temperature.
    Takes about 3 minutes to install it and I highly recommend it.
    You can even get another type controller that will automatically close your door after a preset time period for those that continously forget to close their door or drive off before verifying that it closes all the way and stops.

  9. A while back my neighborhood had 12 cars hit in one night. Mine wasn't one of them. Why, I have a well lit house ad the cars are lit up as well. Nothing obnoxious. Light up your area

  10. i had my truck window smashed in broad church! I foolishly left my bag in plain view. I realize now it's a stupid habit, but thing i wanted to point out is how they smash the window. The folks at the Perris pd told me that the bad guys use a cheapo pop rivet tool that makes a sharp tap on the window which shatters the window into a crystalized mosaic that they can easily push inward and grab your stuff without opening the door...They make virtually no noise and they're gone in ten seconds. they don't want to open the door if they don't have to. beware

  11. There was an attenpt of brake-in into our home in the menifee greens neighborhood early this week until today thieves accomplished their goal and broke into our house. They were looking for cash and took our rent and bills money for this month. This was the only time that we had money in the house overnight. we were planning to take the money to the bank today:( The break-in actually happened during the day while we were gone, between 12pm-5pm. please be very careful and let's watch out our homes. We are devastated:(

  12. To the above. The fact that this was the only day you had cash makes me a little suspicious. This sounds like someone that knows you or your situation is responsible.

    FOLKS!, The majority of ALL home break ins occur during the day when you are at work.
    You should have a Safe in your home, securely bolted to the floor. These cost about $300 for a really good quality fire rated safe. You can get them at Staples, Office Depot, Lowe's and Home Depot. Get one big enough to hold all the important paperwork, cash and jewelry. It's a very small investment for the safety and security of your valuables.

  13. Car Thefts are on the decline. At least according to this article in the Press Enterprise today. Here is the link.

  14. To Anon at 8:36: you have no idea. These tips are so common, in fact they are right from the search tool for crime prevention. The only proven way to deter crime like we have, is to be alert and report all suspicious activity to the police dept and then they muct follow up. If there is no follow up, then there is no point. Anyone can forward an internet search, but it takes effort to be involved on the ground level and meet the people, go to neighborhood watch meetings, talk with local volunteers.

  15. I secure my property the old fashioned way... armed!

  16. another thing is to have double deadbolts on any window type doors or French doors..we see so many as locksmiths that are not equipped that easy to get into....and lock your doors! a good lock is a good deterrent..the harder to get into the better.

  17. Crime will continue no matter what until our government gets a spine and makes punishment fit the crime. This is how Singapore went from the highest crime to the lowest in the world.
    Shoplifters get their hand cut off. Rapists get their genitals cut off. Murderers are executed. So-on and so-on.
    The deputies themselves have told me that even if they catch these thieves in the act, they are right back on the street within a day or so. Our prisons are so overcrowded with illegals, murderers, etc. that there is no room for these hoodlums.
    Our justice system is really pathetic when you can be given a life sentence and then parolled after a year or two.

  18. All this because of the dirt cheap housing prices......bringing in the rif raf. Can anyone say Perris south?

  19. HOME INVASION robbery took place today off Menifee Rd. Don't know the details.

  20. A while back my car was broke into. It was in driveway with lighting. The 2 guys were caught after beaking into many cars in several areas around here. They popped my locks out of my doors and dismantled my built-in TV/DVD player. They were in my car for over 10 minutes atleast but no one saw them. There wasnt much I could do to prevent it. But now I make sure to leave nothing valuable in the car overnight.

  21. NEVER leave anything valuable in your car, especially in plain view. Don't even leave change in view because they will break your windows to get a few quarters.
    Don't even leave an empty cooler in your car. I've seen cars broken into just because teenagers hope there might be beer in the cooler.

    I personally caught some dude in my car several years ago and when I approached him as he saw me he ran. I was stupid and proceeded to chase him down and pound his face into the ground. When the cops showed up I told them he tripped while running away from me. They laughed and said "you know they tend to stumble when running scared". LOL

  22. Home Invasion:

    That did occur, and one of the bad guys actually jumped into my backyard while my wife and son were home alone!!! My two labs chased him out and over the neighbor's wall, while my wife called 911.

    The RSO's responce time was AWESOME!!! Within minutes, my small tract was swarming with Deputies and Undercover Deputies, what appeared to S.W.A.T., a helicoper...IT WAS TRULY IMPRESSIVE!!

    To top it off, the RSO caught each of the four bad guys!!!

    I can't thank the RSO enough for their work, which seems to be thankless by those who do nothing but complain.

    Again, I was very, very impressed. THANK YOU RSO!!!

  23. Having watched the RSO respond to the burglary yesterday in Menifee Lakes, I am thoroughly impressed! Within minutes of the 911 call, our neighborhoods were literally swarming with law enforcement, they positioned at nearly every intersectionthe helo was brought in, deputies were posted on the hilltops (no kidding), the dogs were brought in, and they caught all 4 of these teenage thugs within a few hours. One of them was caught hiding in the backyard of my neighbors house. It all ended peacefully and there are no 4 less bad guys roaming around.

    Bravo to the RSO! Great job guys. Thanks for all your efforts.

  24. Was this an actual HOME INVASION where people were home at the time, or was it a car theft?
    Were there weapons involved?
    Were these teenagers local, or from another city?

  25. The following information was provided by "The Californian"

    MENIFEE ---- Police arrested four 17-year-old Moreno Valley boys suspected of burglarizing a Menifee home Tuesday morning and a Perris home on Monday, authorities said.

    The arrests were made after an extensive search near the 30600 block of Spring Deep Terrace, which is just northwest of Mt. San Jacinto College, Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Forbes said. Tuesday's in-progress burglary was reported at 9:22 a.m.

    Monday's burglary took place on the 100 block of Worth Street in Perris, Forbes said.

    All four suspects were booked at Juvenile Hall for the burglaries.

    Anyone with information about the alleged crimes is asked to call the sheriff's department at 951-210-1000.

  26. Prosecute these punks as adults and cut off their hands to prevent them from ever robbing anyone ever again!

  27. Thank you for posting the tips about car thefts. I have been leaving mu GPS in my truck, and I will no longer do this. I have been seeing some unsavory looking characters wandering around my neighborhood lately, and I wondered what they were doing there. Could be that they are some of the bandits described in the article.

  28. Here's an idea... Ask your menifee pd to stay and patol menifee and leave us over here in Romomland alone. Its nice and quiet here and when we need someone we will call the Riverside Sheriffs out, that will free up your mpd to patrol menifee instead of looking for ways to increase menifee's revenue by "stalking/patroling" Romoland.

  29. that is so good to hear about the response time....very good to hear and those kids should be punished to the full extent

  30. Just pummel the person breaking into your car

  31. To Pippi,
    If you see unsavory looking characters wandering around your neighborhood you should call the Non-Emergency phone number for the Sheriff's Department and report it. This is a way to proactive and if the individuals are not supposed to be around they will run when they see the Sheriff's deputies arrive.
    Better to be safe then sorry!
    We do this all the time in our neighborhood.

  32. To Anon at 7:50. Where is Romoland? I thought that is Menifee now.

  33. Where are the parents when these teens are out breaking into cars and homes. I think they should go to jail too for lack of keeping them at home and out of trouble. I live by a pool and the number of kids under 16 alone without parents, even late at night is amazing. They tear up the pool area, break things, and tag everything. Parents just want them out of the house. I am tired of paying for repairs for our area and Menifee Lakes. Also, if people would clean out their junk filled garages and actually park their cars in there, that would help alot. No one seems to use a garage for vehicles anymore. Why not?

  34. To above,
    I feel your pain. Too many slobs around that have so much junk they store it in their garages. I personally believe it should be mandatory that you park at least 1 car in your garage.
    As for the teenagers messing things up. Call the cops and have them arrested. Maybe then the parents will start paying attention. If you live in a HOA then report it to the management company. Provide videotape or pictures of them in the act.

  35. Does anyone else have large SUV'S or Trucks that can't fit into their garages? I wish I could trade mine in for a smaller car, but that is just not possible.
    So sorry folks, our cars are parked in our driveways !!

  36. It is unfortunate that when you have a mixture of cultures coming together this the effect. The culture I am talking is Theives and crooks, gangs and drug dealers moving into a once relative little or no crime area. An area where you trusted your neighbor verses putting up Cams and motion lights. When you allow those who never had be given what those have worked for, they will not have no respect for their surroundings.

    This is coming from a man who has seen enough of urban inner city life. Hoping to enjoy and have my kids also get a glimpse of what America use to be and not what it is becoming; a land where the lazy and slothful are given more credit than the hard working.

  37. To Anonymous dated 8/02 at 750 am.
    I hate to tell you, but Romoland is withing the city limits of Menifee. Menifee's north border is Mapes and the east border is Briggs. Stop complaining. When you call the Riverside Sheriff's Dept, you will get the Menifee PD.

    If Romoland wasn't occupied by a bunch of tweekers, the cops wouldn't