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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eeeee Gads Martha - Not the South Bay...

Yes folks,  us too.  Here in the South Bay we have joined the ranks of the states and cities with the highest rate of Identity Theft in the nation.  It is our country's most prolific crime.  What's worst, I just found out, it's the least punished crime receiving the equivalent of a "slap on the wrist" in most cases and usually only probation for first time offenders. The average identity thief walks away with thousands of dollars, your money, no investment and very little incentive not to repeat.    During the National Neighborhood Open House meeting this Tuesday, we found out a lot of things about crimes being committed in our Neighborhoods.  It's time to Circle The Wagons folks.  As most of you know, I live in Lomita Pines.  We were fortunate enough to have a contingent of Sheriff's deputies as well as Captain Bolin, address our group this week.  We were amazed at the amount of activity occurring in our little Neighborhood.   In the past, crooks used to rob banks and stores to get their money.  We found out the average "take" on a bank robbery is generally only a few thousand dollars. Not worth the time in jail when they are caught and it usually carries quite a sentence because bank robbers are known to use guns for that purpose. Identity theft is sooo easy and it's much harder to catch and convict the felon.  Lomita Sheriff's department had two cases on one block in our Neighborhood this year.  Fortunately they caught the mailbox thief and were able to get a conviction.  There are many way the thieves get your personal information.  My family has "Lifelock" which is just one company specializing in protecting your identity.  Check out and compare which companies might work for you.  In the meantime, lock your doors and windows and don't leave your garage doors open this summer.  Cars are easy targets too.  Thieves break into the car and get your garage door opener, wait for you to leave the house and then rob your home too.  It's up to us to be proactive and protect our loved ones and property. 
  My watch dogs take their job very seriously and that helps too (although my Gardener won't work at my house unless I'm home.)  Small price to pay ... If you live in Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes or Rolling Hills Estates, here are some numbers/sites for you:

Lomita Sheriff's Station 310-539-1661
Lomita Sheriff's Facebook
LASD Patrol Station

Note: the site will send you messages when anything occurs in your area.  You can input the zip codes you want to monitor and they will send out messages via mobile phone or email alerting you according to your preferences.  Check it out.  

Best suggestion ... get a dog or a couple of them.  Crooks don't like dogs all that much.  They are loud and create too much attention and may even bite (unlike cats who aren't much affected by the dogs - at least mine aren't.)  

So, be safe and have a happy summer.  Oh, by the way, if you live in Lomita the Sheriff's Dept. will also monitor your house while you're on vacation.  It's a small town ... that's why we call it SLOWMITA. 

Always willing to help... 

Charlie Hoffmann  Team South Bay Realty   310-378-4440  BRE#00769985 

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