In June and July alone, there were 25 vehicle burglaries across Malibu in areas such as Leo Carrillo State Beach, Surfrider Beach, Cross Creek, Solstice Canyon Road and all along Pacific Coast Highway.
Every beachgoer knows the drill: Hide any valuables from plain sight inside your vehicle and make sure the car is locked before heading to the beach. Hiding car keys under a bumper or near a bush may seem like the only option when going surfing—this is convenient but not worth the risk.
On Aug. 24, Lost Hills Sheriff’s Deputies responded to three vehicle burglaries on Cavalleri Road in Malibu.
All incidents involved smashed windows and valuables taken from each vehicle. Deputies submitted photos or video evidence to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s print technician and the vehicles were examined for prints. There was no evidence showing if the burglaries were related.
Lost Hills Sheriff’s Deputy Etibart Khalilov said the most common mistakes that makes someone a target to theft is leaving their valuables visible.
“People are passing by and they can see what’s inside their car,” Khalilov said. “Laptop, computer, headphones—most common is purses.”
Khalilov said people also forget to lock their cars.
“Surfers think they can put their keys under the tires and try to hide it, but people know,” Khalilov said.
If someone is a victim of theft, the first thing Khalilov advised is to contact law enforcement and report the crime. If it was valuable electronics taken, he said law enforcement often assumes they will be posted on Craigslist or eBay after the incidents.
A total of nine vehicle burglaries were reported in June, according to documents provided by the LASD to the Malibu Public Safety Commision. The report says the victims were either surfing or hiking during the incidents.
In June, five vehicle burglaries occurred while the victims were hiking in the areas of Winding Way and Pacific Coast Highway. This year, there have been 59 locked vehicle burglaries and 18 unlocked vehicle burglaries.
Visible items, unlocked vehicle or keys left behind are common minor mistakes that can make you a victim of theft. Deputy Khalilov recommends people park their vehicles close by, where it is visible.
“If possible, park in a garage or somewhere secure,” Khalilov said. “There’s too many transients in Malibu and they’re looking for easy targets.”