Crime Prevention & Safety

Did you know…

  • The top four stolen vehicles in the City of Milpitas are: 1991-1995 Acura Integra, 1990-1993 Honda Accord, 1993-1998 Honda Civic, 1987-1991 Toyota Camry.
  • The top five stolen vehicles in the nation are: 1991 Honda Accord, 1995 Honda Civic, 1989 Toyota Camry, 1994 Dodge Caravan, 1994 Nissan Sentra.
  • During the winter months, numerous cars are stolen within the City of Milpitas and within Santa Clara County due to car owners warming up their vehicles and leaving them unattended.

What are some preventative measures to protect your vehicle?

  • Always lock your car and take your keys
  • Never leave the vehicle running and unattended
  • Never leave a spare set of keys in your vehicle
  • Use auto theft deterrents (steering wheel locks and /or alarms)
  • Park in well-lit areas and be familiar with your surroundings
  • Park in attended lots
  • Keep all valuables and packages out of sight
  • If you have a garage, use it and lock your car in the garage.
  • Park with your wheels sharply toward the curb and put on your parking brake.
  • Thieves will often use tow trucks or flatbed trucks to steal your vehicle and this will make it a little more difficult for them.

What are some Anti-Theft Systems and other preventative options?

  • Anti-Theft Systems – Including siren or horn alarms, starter disablers, motion sensors, remote control activation, panic buttons and shock detectors on doors, windows or trunk lids.
  • Steering Wheel Locks – Steering wheel locks are visible from outside the vehicle and prevent the wheel from being turned more then a few degrees.
  • Collars – Collars are devices that wrap around the steering column and prevent the steering column from being stripped and exposing the starting mechanism.
  • Fuel or “Kill” switches – Inexpensive switch inside the vehicle cuts off fuel supply or “kills” electrical current and must be flipped before vehicle will start. Check if vehicle’s warranty is affected before installing.
  • VIN etching – The vehicle identification number of your vehicle is etched on windows and / or major parts to make them easier to trace.
  • Vehicle Tracking Systems – Hidden transmitters allow stolen vehicle to be tracked by police or by global positioning satellites.

Vacations are suppose to be a time for fun and relaxation – a time to “get away from it all.” Unfortunately, there is no vacation spot in the world that is 100% safe from criminal activities. Therefore, the crime prevention measures that you incorporate into your daily routine must be incorporated into your vacation planning.

Before You Leave Home:

  • Plan your trip and give the itinerary with emergency phone numbers to a trusted friend or neighbor.
  • Place identification tags on the inside and outside of your luggage. Use your first initial and last name only.
  • Install good locks on your doors and windows and be sure to use them.
  • Remove all exterior “hidden” house keys.
  • Make sure all valuables are engraved with your driver’s license number and expiration date.
  • Make a record of your credit card and travelers check numbers and keep it in a safe place.
  • Arrange for a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail, packages and newspapers on a daily basis. You can also stop delivery of both for the time you will be gone. You can place a hold on your mail by contacting your post office or by visiting http://www.usps.com.
  • Make arrangements to have your lawns mowed and watered.
  • Use timers for interior lights and radios. Make your house look “lived in.”
  • Contact the Police Community Relations Unit at 586-2410 and give the date. As time permits, they will conduct extra patrols of your neighborhood.
  • Make arrangements for the care of your pets.
  • Purchase a prepaid phone card.

When Traveling:

  • Prior to any long distance motor vehicle trips, have your vehicle serviced by a reputable mechanic.
  • Never carry large amounts of cash, use travelers checks.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Always check the interior of your vehicle before entering.
  • Do not stop and assist a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest phone booth and call for help.
  • Never let your gas tank get below one-fourth full.
  • Use well traveled roads, avoid shortcuts.
  • Keep your doors locked and windows up at all times.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Never advertise your plans for strangers. If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest populated area telephone and call the police.
  • Always park in well lighted areas.
  • Always carry your purse or wallet with you.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk.
  • Engrave your car stereo, CB radio, car phone and other removable items with your driver’s license number and expiration date.
  • Avoid late night driving.
  • If lost, stop at a well lighted service station for directions.

At The Hotel:

  • Unpack and arrange your belongings so you can tell if anything is missing.
  • Lock your suitcases so they can’t be used to carry your property out of your room.
  • Always take your cash, credit cards and car keys with you when leaving your room.
  • Do not open your door to strangers. Look through the door viewer before opening your door.
  • Do not leave jewelry, cameras or other expensive items lying around your room. Use the hotel safe to store your valuables and extra cash.
  • Always use the hotel’s auxiliary locking devices on the doors and windows. Consider purchasing and using portable locks and alarm devices.
  • When leaving, if the maid has cleaned your room, hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside of the door.
  • When you go out, leave a light and the radio turned on.
  • Take your room keys with you. Do not leave them at the front desk.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Notify the management of any suspicious persons in the area.
  • Do not give out your room number to strangers.
  • Report any missing items to hotel management and the police.

While Sightseeing:

  • There is safety in numbers. Tours should be taken with a group. Verify the tour agency or guide is reputable.
  • Be wary of strangers who ask a lot of questions about you and your vacation plans.
  • Never carry large amounts of cash. Leave what you don’t need in the hotel safe. Separate the larger bills from the smaller ones in order to avoid flashing all your bills in full public view.
  • Stay in public areas. Do not wander off from your tour group.
  • Looking lost will make you an easy target for crime. If you need directions ask a service station attendant. Do not ask pedestrians directions.
  • If renting a car, cover the car rental agency’s name or logo with a piece of masking tape. A rented car is a good indication that you are a tourist.
  • Before leaving the hotel, ask if there are any areas in town that should be avoided.
  • Travel brochures and maps are a good indication that you are a tourist. When not in use, keep them in the glove compartment.
  • Remember, vacation planning, thought, and security awareness will reduce your chances of becoming the next victim of a crime.

The malls, shopping centers, outlet malls and strip malls are a wonderful place to find that special gift for someone special. Thieves target these locations. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

  • Always park under a light – even if you begin your shopping during the day. Often a quick shopping trip can drag out and you find yourself walking to your car after dark. If you are already parked under a light, your car will be visible.
  • To a car thief, a mall is like going to a buffet. There are all makes and models available. Use an anti-theft deterrent such as the club or steering wheel column. Another good device is a kill switch or car alarm that needs you to push a button on your key chain before gas will flow to the engine.
  • Theft from vehicles is also a problem. Many times people who are shopping all day will go back to their car to drop off their purchases. This is not recommended, but if you are going to do it, put the parcels in your trunk or cover them with a blanket so they are not visible.
  • If you are shopping at night and have to walk alone to your car, ask the mall security to escort you to your car. When you walk to your car, hold your car key in your hand and keep your head up so you can scan your environment.
  • When you get to your car, look underneath as you approach and look in the back seat before you get in. If your doors or windows have any damage, don’t get in the car. If people are hanging around your car, go back to the store and ask the manager or staff for help.
  • When walking inside the mall, pay attention to your surroundings. If you have children, do not let them run unescorted around the mall. Malls are not a baby-sitter.

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A New Way to Look at An Old Problem

  • 95% of all child abductions and molestations were done by someone the child knew or thought they knew (source: FBI).
  • 5% of all child abductions and molestations were done by a “stranger.”
  • Teaching “stranger danger” doesn’t apply to 95% of reported cases. We need to teach our children to be safe 100% of the time!

Teach Your Children:

  • Your child needs to CHECK FIRST with you before they go ANYWHERE with ANYONE at ANY TIME. Teach this to them as a slogan and have them repeat it.
  • CHECK FIRST before you get in a car or go in a building with anyone, even a neighbor or someone you think you know.
  • CHECK FIRST before you take candy, food, toys, etc. from anyone.
  • Children need to know their full name, address (including state) and telephone (including area code).
  • If children find a gun or bullets – do not touch it! Tell an adult.

Cyber Safety:

  • Your child should not give out any personal information.
  • Your child should not give out his or her photo without your permission.
  • Your child should never agree to meet in person someone they “met” online.
  • Your child should tell you if anything upsetting occurs on the Internet.

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Safety –
Free Car Seat Inspections

Motorized Scooter Defined:
The California Vehicle Code defines a motorized scooter as any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and is powered by an electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion. A device meeting this definition that is powered by a source other than electrical power (e.g. a gasoline-powered, two-stroke engine) is also a motorized scooter (407.5 CVC).

Do you Know the Rules?
A person operating a motorized scooter is not required to be licensed but must be at least 16 years of age. The operator is not subject to the provisions of the vehicle code relating to financial responsibility, registration, and license plate requirements. Every person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all applicable rules of the road to ensure the safety of the operator and others.

What is a Pocket Bike?
These mini-motorcycles have roots in Europe as entry-level to the full size GP motorcycle racers. They range in size from 1’4” to 2’2” and are priced from $300 to over $3000 for a race ready bike. Owners manuals clearly state that they are intended for use on closed tracks. Unfortunately, these bikes are being mass marketed as “scooters.”

Don’t get taken for a ride… The Laws!
Since pocket bikes are considered motor-driven cycles in the Vehicle Code, they must be registered and insured to be used on the street. The driver must have an endorsement for a motor-driven cycle on their license and wear a DOT motorcycle helmet.

View the Milpitas Police Department information Pamphlets for more on Motorized Scooters and Pocket Bikes:

Safety –
Personal Safety

Your Home:

  • Lock your doors and windows at home.
  • Keep your garage door closed and park the car in the garage if available.
  • Use the peep-hold prior to opening the front door to visitors, or consider installing a security screen door.

Your Car:

  • Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up when you are in your car.
  • Wear a seatbelt.
  • Store your garage door opener out of site – somewhere other than the visor.
  • When stopped at a red light, scan the area and be aware of the surroundings.

On The Street:

  • Walk with a calm and confident attitude projecting that you know where you’re going.
  • When walking to your car, keep your head up and scan the area. If you are carrying a purse, hold it close to you. Have the key in your hand as you approach your car.
  • Trust your instincts, if you are feeling uneasy then avoid the problem.
  • If you use a portable stereo when jogging, the headphones shouldn’t be covering your ears so you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Also, whenever possible jog during the day.

The latest terrorist trend indicates a shift from large fortified structures to targets that have greater public access and fewer inherent security measures. Citizens are a crucial component in securing our communities. The Milpitas Police Department would like to remind you of the following procedures which will assist in securing you, your employees, your facilities and customers.

  • Remind employees to be aware of suspicious persons and activity, e.g., occupied vehicles in unusual locations, persons photographing or diagramming your facility, telephone calls seeking suspicious information, etc.
  • Challenge any unfamiliar persons in or near your work areas. If they do not appear threatening, engage them in conversation about what they are doing, who they work for, what their name is, etc.
  • Ensure that all security and video systems are operating and in good working order.
  • Consider deploying security personnel to areas of high visibility and/or public access, e.g., public entrances, front desk areas, public-gathering points, etc.
  • Increase scrutiny of public parking lots and vehicles.
  • Consider reducing vehicular access to areas close to buildings.
  • Be aware of any packages that are abandoned and/or appear to be suspicious.
  • Obtain identification from all persons doing business at your facility.
  • Secure uniforms, employee identification, company vehicles or other items that might be stolen or replicated and used to circumvent security measures.

Intelligence sources report that the United States and U.S. interests worldwide continue to be the most attractive terrorist targets. Your vigilance and attention to the suggestions listed above will help to safeguard our community.