Crime Prevention Tips

What Is a Burglary?

When a person(s) enters any house, room, apartment, building, with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.  Many people believe they have been robbed however, this is not a robbery.

Burglaries, as many other crimes, occur due to an opportunity.  The safeguards you take in and round your home is the first level of defense, eliminate or minimize these opportunities.

Burglaries occur at all time of the day and night especially during daytime hours due to people being away from home at work, school or on vacation.

Please keep these safeguards in mind when you leave you home for any length of time:

  • Keep all doors and windows closed and locked. An open window or door is an opportunity for burglars. Burglars are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws.
  • Secure all sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. This will reduce the ability of burglars from forcing the sliding door open or lifting it off the track.
  • Make sure all door and windows are locked and secured to a detached garage.
  • Update locks if necessary.
  • Alarms - Can reduce the amount of time thieves are in your home, and help to notify your neighbors if there is a problem. If you have an alarm, use it!  If you leave to visit a neighbor, quick trip to the store, go for a walk or run or leave for vacation…USE IT!
  • Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. Large hedges may provide a hiding place for burglars who are attempting to break into a home.
  • Secure your valuables in a home safe or lock box. MAKE sure the safe or lock box is bolted to the floor.
  • Apply a personal identification mark on your valuables by engraving or with a permanent marker, photograph and log serial number for future reference if needed.
  • Never leave clues that you are away on vacation. Have a trusted neighbor or family member collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate, or stop their delivery. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present.
  • Use timers on lights, radios and TV's to create the illusion that you are home. Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, this may deter would be burglars.
  • Never leave a message on your answering machine advising you are away from home.
  • Don’t talk about your vacations on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter while your way.

A List of 10 Tips on Staying Safe:

  1. If at all possible, have a friend or a dog accompany you during your walk or run/jog.
  2. If you absolutely have to walk/run alone, do this is in well-lighted and well-traveled pathways. Walk with your head upright. Make eye contact. Thieves often target victims who are not paying attention to their surroundings or who are looking down.
  3. Plan your route ahead of time and tell someone where you will be walking/running and what time you are expected home.
  4. Don’t carry cash or any other inviting targets such as expensive jewelry or clothing.
  5. Have your cell phone readily available to call the police. If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street.  Look confident and let him/her know you are aware of their presence.  Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to yell for help.
  6. Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways. Have your key out as you approach your door.  Carry a whistle, horn or other protective devices.
  7. Always lock your car and never leave your motor running. Do not leave any valuables visible inside your car.
  8. Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
  9. If someone tries to rob you, give up your property, don’t put your safety at risk.
  10. If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime immediately to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

While at the ATM

Everyone at least uses an ATM from time to time. Use caution when using an ATM machine. When withdrawing or depositing from an ATM machine choose a location where the ATM is located inside such as a market, mall, or police station when possible. If at a bank during day time hours make sure people are around. Avoid ATM withdrawals or deposits late at night when no one is around. If you must, drive around the bank to make sure no is hiding.

Make sure to take your ATM card and receipt, do not leave it in the machine or throw it in the trash or select not to receive a receipt. Before you leave the ATM remember to make sure it re-set so no one else can still use the ATM while your account is still on the screen.

Always protect your pin from wandering eyes.

Here are 10 tips when at an ATM:

  1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
  2. Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business.
  3. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  4. Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card — contact a bank official. Cancel the transaction.
  5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.
  6. Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.
  7. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
  8. Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
  9. Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to your bank.
  10. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, COMPLY and call the police when it is safe to do so. Try to remember what the assailant looks like and vehicle he/she used if any.


  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Dress comfortably and leave your jewelry at home.
  • Maintain good control of your purse/wallet at all times.  Do not leave your bag(s) unattended for any reason.  If you have to make a trip to your vehicle in order to get rid of numerous bags, do so, remember to be as comfortable as you can at all times.
  • Think about carrying your wallet in your front pocket.
  • Keep credit card phone numbers in your cell phone in order to make notification immediately if any of your cards or lost or stolen.
  • Notify your credit card company that you will be making numerous or large purchases within a certain time frame.
  • Do not become distracted by people asking for “things”.
  • Do not leave packages in plain view inside your car, put your packages in the trunk or out of sight.
  • When walking through the parking lot to your car, have your car keys in your hand read to go.
  • If you do not feel comfortable for any reason walking to your car, request mall/store security for an escort.

Please contact the Community Relations Section (626) 744-4551 if you have any questions.

Bicycle Theft

Bicycle Registration

To register your bicycle, please (1) download the Bicycle registration form, (2) fill the form out and (3) bring the form to the Pasadena Police Department Record’s Section. They will verify the model and serial number prior to issuing a registration decal. The registration cost is $4.00.

Bicycle theft is a common crime committed in areas with high population as well as on college campuses. According to bicycle theft studies, it was found that most bicycle thefts involved bikes being unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with devices such as a lightweight cable or low-quality U-lock devices.

There has been an increase in bike thefts occurring throughout the City of Pasadena. Most of these bike thefts are taken from parking garages, balconies, unsecured structures and also occurring overnight. Suspects have even been using ladders to gain access to second level balconies in some of these thefts cases.

To help prevent your bike from being stolen, we offer the following recommendations:

  • Secured your bike using a strong U-lock, folding lock, thick cable or chain, with a strong pad lock.
  • Do not leave your bike unlocked or unattended for a long period of time.
  • Register your bike at the Police Department (this helps identify your bike should your bike get stolen)
  • Keep a record of your bike’s serial number, make, model, color and take a photo of the bike specially if you have custom components.
  • Talk to your local bike store for their recommendation for the best security product.

Should your bike get stolen, report the crime immediately. If the theft occurred in Pasadena you can report the crime in person or on-line by visiting the department website.

Lock Your Car or Take a Chance Losing It

In recent years, law enforcement has noted an increase in property crimes, including burglary/theft from vehicles and stolen cars. These property crimes are occurring throughout the City of Pasadena and in some residential areas, there has been an increase as thieves are taking advantage of crimes of opportunity.

During vehicle burglaries and thefts, criminals are strolling through neighborhoods during hours of darkness checking vehicles to see if they are unlocked.  Suspects are checking cars parked in the roadway and walking down residential driveways.  They do not appear to be scared off by motion detector lighting.  When a vehicle is discovered unlocked, they ransack the vehicle and remove any valuables.

Unfortunately, owners are leaving valuables such as wallets, purses, phones, tablets, computers, tote bags and cash.  Thieves are also checking owner manuals in the glove boxes and removing vehicle FAUBS that owners unknowingly leave behind.  With this FAUB, thieves are stealing cars.

Please remember – DO NOT leave anything in plain view or valuables in your vehicles, even for a short while. Parking your car in your driveway does not make it protected from crime.  Lock your car doors and double check to make sure you removed all valuables.  Even if you think it isn’t valuable, a thief might.

The best preventative and intervention tools are neighbors looking out for one another and the reporting of anyone or anything suspicious.  If the crime is in progress, please call 9-1-1. For non-emergency matters, call (626) 744-4241 24/7. 


  • Lock your vehicle car door
  • Do not leave valuables inside your car in plain view.
  • Hide phone cables or any electronics (GPS) out of view.
  • Put valuables in your trunk before you park your car. For example, store your computer in the trunk of the car before you park your car at a market or shopping center.
  • If you have a car alarm, turn it on.

If you would like information regarding Neighborhood Watch Program or want a group presentation regarding this topic, please call the Pasadena Police Department’s Community Services Section at (626) 744-4551.

Be Safe, Be Wise

Here are some News videos from other states, counties on preventative tips on keeping your car from being broken into.