Community Services Officer and City Liaison – Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. Deputy Eric Matejka provided residents of Oakwood Avenue in La Cañada with information about how to ensure themselves a safe environment in view of recent burglaries. Matejka attended the neighborhood’s annual block party and was invited by resident leaders to provide assistance in establishing a Neighborhood Watch System. He urged residents to stay aware of their surroundings and to be watchful.
“Become good neighbors by keeping your neighbors informed of your trips away from home,” was a tip offered by Matejka.
Recalling his youth, Matejka recalled how his parents and neighbors would even tell each other when they were going shopping by offering to pick up items at the grocery store.
The deputy urged the assembled group to keep the Sheriff’s Dept. informed of any unusual activities spotted on their street.
“If you see a strange car on your street, note the license number and description of the vehicle and call us. We can be reached at (818) 248-3464. If anything looks suspicious, be a good neighbor and call us. Of course, if it is an emergency, dial 911, but don’t hesitate to call,” he added.
He also urged neighbors to refrain from advertising when they are away and noted that they should be wary of providing too much information to service people who have access to their property. He also noted the importance of electric gates and the need to secure all windows and doors, “even if you plan to be away from home only a few minutes. Burglars are opportunists who will spot your absence and can take away lots of property in only the 15 minutes you are away at the store or dropping off kids at school. You should never leave a gate open, even for a few minutes.”
After the presentation and an afternoon of neighborhood fun, the Oakwood neighbors implemented a Neighborhood Watch program by taking the first step and installing signs on the street specifying that the program is underway and that they are determined to be vigilant.