Tuesday Aug 16 2011
Rash of car burglaries plague Loomis
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
Thieves recently burglarized vehicles in Loomis neighborhoods and at Del Oro High School. At least eight vehicles have been broken into since July 20, in Loomis, according to Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff’s office. The most recent break-ins involved the vehicles of five Del Oro leadership students attending an evening meeting at the school on Aug. 8, said parent Karyl Villa. Villa said at approximately 8:30 p.m., a thief smashed the windows of four vehicles and entered an unlocked vehicle, and stole an entire sound system, wallets, electronics and other items. She said the thief smashed her son’s car window and stole his newly installed audio system with speakers and subwoofers, valued at $2,500. Villa said the school surveillance camera captured images of the individual entering the car. Villa said she reviewed the video and described the suspect as a white male, of average weight and heighth, between the ages of 18 to 25, with light brown or brown hair, wearing a light colored t-shirt. Villa said his vehicle was also caught on camera and is possibly a dark Pontiac GTO. Villa said school authorities are attempting to retrieve the vehicle’s license number from the video. Villa said she has offered a $100 reward for the return of the items. Erwin said another car was entered at Del Oro on July 30. She said “that person left their window down enough for their purse to be taken.” On July 21, on Sherwood Court, a thief smashed the window of a car sitting in a driveway and stole thousands of dollars worth of cameras and computer equipment. Chris Gibson said thieves may have used a rock from a flower bed to break the window of his vehicle sometime between midnight and 1:30 a.m. Gibson said the tablet computer taken from his vehicle is a special motion-computing, ipad-type item used by doctors offices. He said two Olympus FE 370 cameras were taken – one silver, one black. He said the cameras contained hundreds of irreplaceable family photos. On that same night on Day Avenue, Erwin said, thieves used the “same exact set-up” and broke into a truck. Gibson said a carton of cigarettes was stolen from that vehicle. Erwin said on July 20, a vehicle was entered by “unknown means” on Camphor Court and gift cards and a backpack were stolen. Erwin offered tips to avoid becoming a victim of a vehicle burglary. She said items of value should not be left in a vehicle. “If there is nothing to take, the thief will most likely move on,” Erwin said. She said items should not be placed in the trunk because most modern vehicles have a trunk release latch and thieves can simply open the trunk and take what’s in there. “If you must leave valuables in your car, limit your potential loss by carrying only what you need – do not carry all of your credit cards in your wallet. Never carry your Social Security card,” Erwin said. In the event of a vehicle break-in, Erwin said, contact law enforcement immediately. She also advised keeping at home and in a secure place a photocopy of the front and back of driver’s licenses and all credit cards. “This will make it much easier to contact each company to report stolen cards,” she said. Erwin also advised, “If you see anyone acting suspiciously and who does not belong in the neighborhood, call law enforcement immediately. Many thieves are caught after residents call and report this sort of behavior. Do not confront thieves yourself – it’s not worth getting hurt.” Meanwhile, Villa is a mom on a mission to improve security at Del Oro and to let people know thieves are out there targeting the high school. She also said she is hoping the parent teacher club can help fund the purchase of upgraded surveillance equipment for the school.