From time to time our staff at Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. (SBI) likes to pass along helpful information that we feel can keep you from becoming a victim. We hope that these stories and tips will help you in the future.
LONG TERM PARKING:
A family left their car in the long-term parking at Los Angeles Airport while away and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration that was in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home in Marina Del Rey and burglarized it.
- Tip: If you’re going to leave your car in long-term parking, DO NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener. This gives us something to think about in the age of electronic technology that we now live in.
Recently a victim had their car broken into while they were attending a football game. Their car was parked adjacent to the football stadium and was specially allotted to football fans. Items stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.
When the victims returned home their house had been burglarized and their valuables were stolen. The thieves used the GPS to guide them to the house and then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gained entry. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish so they knew how much time they had to burglarize the house.
- Tip: Something to consider if you have a GPS is not to put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.
A lady, shopping at a large retail mall, sat down on a bench near a food court when her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit cards, and wallet was stolen by a suspect in what we term as a “snatch and grab.” Twenty minutes later when she called her husband from a pay phone telling him what had happened her husband replied, “I received your text asking about our PIN number and I sent it to you about 5 minutes ago.” When they called the bank, an employee told them money had already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “husband” from her contact list and got knew how to get the pin number.
- Tip: Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like: Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, Sister, etc.
- Tip: When sensitive information is being asked of you via texts always CONFIRM by calling back.
- Tip: When you’re texted by “family and friends” to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you can’t reach them, use common sense before going to that meet location.
PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART SCAM:
A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children’s seat of the cart while she reached for an item from a shelf. Her wallet was stolen and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home she received a phone call from store security to say that they had her wallet, no money was in it, but it did have her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by the store security that they hadn’t called her. By the time she returned home her house had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were from the store security they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.
- Tip: Keep your purse slung over your shoulder and hold it securely against your body and never leave it unattended even for a split second.
- Tip: If you should lose your purse and receive a call that it’s been recovered always call the store back to verify the information did in fact originate from that store.
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