Underscoring the fact recent burglaries in Oakmont occurred in unoccupied houses, Santa Rosa Police Detective Nolan Cleall shared preventive strategies from his police car at a June 1 virtual Town Hall focused on home safety.
“The real key is not to get items stolen in the first place,” said Officer Cleall who stressed that burglars are always looking for “an easy mark.” To make it more difficult for them to steal, he suggested 1) investing in good door locks with a dead bolt 2) using wooden dowls to secure sliding glass doors and windows and 3) installing alarm or camera security systems. He also stressed writing down serial numbers on electronics and computers to facilitate recovery in case they are stolen.
“If you see an odd or out of place car in the neighborhood, call the police and we’ll come and check it out,” he said, adding Santa Rosa has 6,000 property crimes a year.
OVA Board Member Wayne Van Bockern, formerly in law enforcement, also noted a security sign alone also can be a good deterrent as well as motion sensor lighting and using timers on house lights.
Noting it is “painfully common” for mail thieves to follow UPS and FedEx drivers, Officer Cleall suggested residents get tracking numbers for their online orders, schedule deliveries when they know they will be home and use the “informed delivery” option from the post office which emails a picture of the mail they are scheduled to receive.
Acknowledging he also receives calls from scammers, the police detective reminded residents that the IRS and Social Security Administration do not go out and arrest people. “If you can’t verify the information and it doesn’t sound right, it’s probably a scam.”
OVA Board Member Mark Randol expressed concern about people speeding on Stone Bridge Road and Oakmont Drive and running the stop sign at the intersection of the two streets. “People are walking dogs and crossing the street,” he said, advocating for increased traffic enforcement.
A question about installing speed bumps to slow drivers down drew a response from Paul Lowenthal from the Santa Rosa Fire Department. “We do not support using them because it slows down our response time and takes a toll on our equipment,” he said.