Saratoga: not as safe as it appears

September 1, 2017 — by Amy Tang

As I walked toward my car, happily sipping a passionfruit green tea with lychee jelly from 85 Degree Bakery, my thoughts drifted to the assignments I had to complete over the weekend. Disoriented, I opened the door to my car and put my drink in the cupholder. As the door closed, I heard a shattering noise and watched as the remaining pieces of glass on my broken car window fell to the floor.

Shocked that I hadn’t noticed earlier, I ran back inside the bakery and told my friends that someone had smashed one of my car windows. As we scrambled outside to examine, my friends ran toward their respective cars. A moment later I heard another scream: The side mirror to my friend’s Prius had been broken as well. Soon enough, a senior from Lynbrook who had parked his car in the same lot walked by and told us that he’d also experienced a break-in.

Despite constant warnings from the Sheriff’s deputies and stories in The Saratoga News reminding residents to keep belongings out of sight, many still leave their doors unlocked and fail to take sufficient precautions against break-ins.

Students, in particular, are often far more susceptible to burglary as they tend to be less cautious with their possessions. When my car was broken into, my purse, which lay in sight on the floor of the backseat, was taken, though there was nothing of value inside. That night, all three of the cars that were robbed belonged to high school students because each of us had something of value in sight.

The lesson I had reinforced was that we should take extra precautions when leaving our cars to make sure that any valuables, including backpacks, are out of sight.

Saratoga is often called a bubble, where it is believed that violence or danger of any kind are practically nonexistent. However, it wasn’t just the car incident that surprised me. Recently, two of my friend’s houses were broken into, one’s packages were stolen, and residents on an entire street had their mail and packages taken.

Saratoga’s crime rate is 12.5 percent of the national percentage, according to Neighborhoodscout, yet no boundary keeps criminals from invading the neighborhoods here, disproving the common misconception that “nothing ever happens in Toga.”

In general, houses are not burglarized more than once, since people usually invest in alarm systems after being victimized. Families should consider getting security systems for their houses before such events. Common alarm systems allow the user to arm or disarm the house, and also sends notifications when doors or windows have been opened.

By actively taking measures to prevent more crimes, Saratoga residents can help the city truly live up to its reputation as an extremely safe community.


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