Evening Burglary Trends
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Over the past two years, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has seen a rise in residential burglaries throughout the county during the end of the Daylight Savings Time period. These residential burglaries shared several commonalities, including the locations of the residences, which most backed to open space, hiking trails and golf courses. This geographical characteristic allowed the suspects to approach the properties on foot through these open spaces and entering backyards, minimizing their exposure to being seen by law enforcement, victims and neighbors.

These types of burglaries occurred primarily after Daylight Savings Time ended, which allowed the suspects to access the open space under the cover of darkness during the early evening hours. Often times, burglary victims left their residences for dinner and returned after an hour to a ransacked home. Another common factor shared by these burglaries was the method of entry, which was primarily shattered sliding glass doors or windows. Investigators believe the suspects intentionally chose to shatter glass entry points rather than force open a door in order to avoid potential alarm activations. In several cases, the suspects stacked patio furniture or used available ladders to gain access to the second story, where they shattered a glass sliding door or window to quickly access the master bedroom. Suspects primarily targeted designer jewelry, women’s accessories (handbags / wallets) and safes located in the master bedroom.

This year, Daylight Savings Time ends on November 1st and will begin again on March 14th, 2021. During the next five months, sunset will occur much earlier in the day and will provide these criminals a greater opportunity to commit their crimes under the cover of darkness.

Investigators with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office have collaborated with other law enforcement agencies nationwide and determined this pattern of residential burglaries has occurred all across the country and is not specific to Ventura County. Although the Sheriff’s Office has arrested numerous individuals involved in these residential burglaries, investigators would like to make homeowners and residents aware of the past burglary trend and advise them to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their property in the upcoming months:

• Leave interior lights or a television on and a vehicle in the driveway to give the appearance the home is occupied.

• Consider installing a monitored home security system that includes glass break sensors, motion detectors and audible alarm for the downstairs and upstairs of their residence.

• Install high quality exterior cameras with clear day and night time resolution that is at face level.

• Have cameras cover common entry points such as front doors, side gates, back windows and back sliding doors.

• Utilize “Smart” camera systems that have the ability to alert you of activations with an app on your mobile phone.

• If you plan to leave your residence for multiple days, install interior light timers that keep the interior illuminated during the evening hours, and consider having a neighbor check on your home while you’re away.

• Consider storing your valuables in a safety deposit box or large, securely mounted safe in your home. These criminals have been known to steal unmounted heavy safes.

Remember to call 911 if you witness a crime or discover you are a victim of a crime. If you are away from your home and receive an alert from your camera system and confirm suspicious activity, make the Sheriff’s Communication Center your first call at (805) 654-9511. If you call 911 from another jurisdiction, your call will be delayed while the agency answering routes your call to us.

Take note of the make, model and license plate of any suspicious vehicles that are parked in the neighborhood that look unfamiliar. Immediately report suspicious persons that are trying to conceal their identity or are acting nervous. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office requests that you do not approach suspicious persons or vehicles. Call the Sheriff’s Communication Center to report suspicious activity, and a deputy will respond to investigate.

Nature of Incident: Evening Burglary Trends
Report Number: Multiple
Location: Ventura County Communities
Date & Time: Evening Hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Services
Prepared by: Sergeant Greg Gibson
Approved by: Captain Denise Sliva