Piece of Mind: Foolish is as foolish does

May I be politically incorrect here? I hope so, because I feel the need to slap a few of my fellow citizens upside the head.

Here goes: Don't be fools, people!

Have you not heard or read the many warnings? When you leave something unattended in your car, the odds are very good that it will be stolen, especially if it's in plain sight.

Take the case of the missing miniature poodle.

I kid you not: A lady left her dog in a car parked in the Rancho section of town (north of the high school, west of JPL) for about an hour on Dec. 1. According to a report on file at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, the woman discovered that the poodle was missing when she returned to her car. A gardener working nearby told her he saw two young men reach into the vehicle through a partially-opened window to snatch the pet.

The dastardly duo apparently made a clean getaway with what the report describes as a 7-pound male dog with a white coat, bad teeth and a blue collar. Maybe if he had sharp, healthy teeth he would have bitten those bad boys and escaped the dognapping altogether. Or, the woman could have left her pet at home where he belonged, instead of making him sit in an unattended vehicle. I'm sure she's distraught and I hate to pick on people, but I'm just saying.…

And there's more, although not as upsetting as that theft. Take a close look our crime blotter this week. You'll see that vehicles continue to be irresistible targets for opportunistic thieves. Those of you who choose not to lock your cars and trucks are only making things easier; and when wayward souls find easy pickings, they're going to return again and again.

Word will continue to spread that we're easy marks up here in the foothills. This is not a good thing.

In La Crescenta last week someone lost a Louis Vuitton purse and wallet valued at $1500 out of an unlocked van. They will make lovely Christmas gifts for the criminal's moll, right? But the loss of personal goods surely doesn't brighten the holidays for the victim. Ditto that remark for the person whose wallet was stolen from a car parked overnight on Beulah here in La Cañada.

Other losses from a variety of vehicles since the first of the month include: two GPS devices, plumbing and power tools, two iPods and an iPod charger cord, cash, golf balls, another purse, a checkbook, credit cards, a laptop and a Verizon Internet access card. They'll take whatever they can get their hands on except, apparently, the half-squashed box of Kleenex anyone can see plainly when they walk past my car on any given day. I suppose even thieves can be discerning.

The opportunists, of course, don't concentrate solely on vehicle thefts. There are home and business burglaries going on as well. In the case of one residential burglary this month, a La Cañada homeowner's ladder that had been left outdoors assisted intruders, who gained access through a second-story balcony entrance.

Seriously, folks, don't give us a reputation for being slow on the uptake. Put items of value out of sight. And don't leave beloved pets unattended. Force the thieves to move on to greener pastures. Your neighbors will thank you.

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. E-mail her at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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