Last spring, The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley was a hot spot for auto burglaries in Manteca.
It was common for a dozen or more vehicle break-ins to take place in a given month. That’s no longer the case.
Center owners Poag & McEwen have doubled security and installed additional surveillance cameras. The end result has been a 90 percent-plus drop in auto burglaries. Now the shopping center at the Union Road and 120 Bypass is averaging one break-in a month, if that.
Linda Abeldt, who handles marketing at Orchard Valley for Poag & McEwen, said the complex owners saw the rise in break-ins and stepped up measures aimed at chasing away criminal activity in the parking lots of the center anchored by Bass Pro Shops and JC Penney.
Pro-active measures are helping Orchard Valley buck a Manteca crime trend - rising auto burglaries.
Auto burglaries are up 42 percent citywide this year. During the first eight months of 2011, there were a record 422 auto burglaries in Manteca. That compares to 298 for the same time period the year before.
Manteca Police have noted any large concentration of vehicles is viewed as prime targets by thefts. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, as an example, recently was hit by multiple auto burglaries.
Police remind people that leaving anything that appears of value in sight - whether it is a gym bag or box (empty or not) or even loose change - is an invite to someone looking for something to steal. It takes just seconds to smash a window. And even if nothing of value is taken, the average window costs a vehicle owner at least $200 out of pocket to replace.