Tis the season to steal

by Cougar News Contributor 601 views0

By Samara Khudir

The holiday season may be one of the greatest times of year, but the crime rates may increase in local areas.

Despite the fact that the Valencia Town Center is known for being one of the “safest” towns, shoplifting is still an ongoing problem, so most shops in the Valencia mall have security at the front doors.

“When we notice any kind of suspicious activity, we must notify Loss Prevention,” said Macy’s employee Ryann Brooks. “After contacting Loss Prevention, they then act as undercover shoppers to detect any suspicious activity.”

The presence of uniformed security officers also increases around the Christmas gift-giving season, store employees say.

“There is just more opportunity to commit a crime during this time of year,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Dubin.

“Many shoppers will have their hands filled with shopping bags and will put their bags in their cars to continue shopping,” he said.

“They are in a rush and don’t use their sound judgment to hide their just-purchased items, and people see the large amounts of bags in cars and break into them and steal things from inside the car,” Dubin said. “The demographic of those who commit crimes varies; it is not necessarily focused on a certain race or age.”

Two weeks ago, for example, there were three vehicle burglaries at residential areas and one a block away from Town Center Drive. The thefts occurred in the late afternoon, and the criminals smashed car windows and unlocked the doors. Items  stolen included an iPod, sunglasses, Canon camera and air-conditioning equipment, all of which were visible from outside the vehicles.

“I urge everyone to please secure all personal belongings, and do not leave items unattended or visible in your vehicle,” said Deputy Regina Yost. “Remember to secure your vehicles by rolling up all windows and locking all doors. Be cautious of your surroundings, and if possible, park in well-lit and highly visible areas.”

There were 10 arrests made two weeks ago in the Valencia area, some of which included petty theft and shoplifting from local businesses.

“I think people commit more crime of stealing during the holiday season because that is when shoppers spend the most amount of money, and they will do whatever they can to save some money.” Milana Morfino, a casual mall shopper said.

“This is supposed to be the happiest and holiest time of year,” Morfino added, “yet I feel like people lose sense of what the holidays are actually about.”

To learn about other local crimes, visit the LASD website:


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