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It may seem like common sense to keep your belongings safe when you’re at the beach but sometimes, it’s easier said than done. And with summer around the corner, it never hurts to have a refresher. Plus, I’ve got some new tips to share, courtesy of a Southern California police department. RELATED: ‘Bump and rob’ is an old scheme but a new trend: Here’s what you need to know to stay safe

Beach crime prevention tipsThe Manhattan Beach Police Department (MBPD), which is just a few miles south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just released this week’s crime statistics along with some valuable tips. BTW: If you ever have a long layover at LAX, I highly recommend you take the 12-minute ride to explore one of SoCal’s best beach towns – it’s also the beach volleyball capital of the world. Here’s my guide to Manhattan Beach.

Unfortunately, like most places, Manhattan Beach isn’t immune to crime and the bad guys are pretty slick these days. Sometimes, they stake out their prey in advance or go for a lay-up using a distraction store. This usually happens at grocery stores, which is one reason women should never leave their purse in the shopping cart.  Here’s how it happens.

The MBPD highlighted three crimes that recently occurred, which easily could have happened to a tourist here or on any other beach in the world:

“On 04-27-24 an auto burglary occurred in the El Porto parking lot. The victim left their keys on the wheel of their vehicle and went surfing. When they returned the keys were stolen. The victim called a locksmith and when they entered their vehicle, they discovered their wallet missing and were later alerted to fraudulent charges on their credit cards.

On 04-28-24 an auto burglary occurred in the El Porto parking lot. The victim left their vehicle keys wrapped in a towel on the sand and went swimming. The victim returned to their towel and discovered their keys missing. The victim walked to his vehicle where their keys were placed on top of his door handle. The victim inspected the inside of their vehicle and discovered two credit cards were missing from his wallet. The victim was made aware of fraudulent charges to their credit card.

On 04-28-24 an auto burglary occurred at Marine Park when the suspect(s) smashed the driver side window to a vehicle and stole the victim’s purse. The victim later discovered fraudulent charges to her credit card.”

I’m shocked that surfers still leave their keys on their front car tire or leave them folded up in a towel. They’re both lucky they only had their credit cards compromised and that the perpetrators didn’t steal their cars.

The woman who had her purse stolen should have known better. You just can’t leave anything of value in your car anymore. I used to keep a duffel bag in the trunk with bathing suits, sweatshirts and a change clothes for everyone in our family, just in case we need them unexpectedly, but most of the time I don’t even leave it in the car any more, for fear of a smash and grab. RELATED: California Congressman Adam Schiff is the latest victim of a smash and grab in San Francisco

So if you’re visiting any beach this summer, be smart with your belongings:
-Never wear flashy jewelry or watches
-Don’t leave your stuff in plain sight
-Don’t leave anything of value in your car
-Don’t leave your car keys on your tire or in your towel/clothes on the beach without having someone there watching them
-Buy a waterproof phone case that can hold your phone, money and car key and keep them on your person

Since I was a victim of identity theft recently, I now freeze my credit cards, lock my bank card and use the app whenever I need to withdraw money.

The MBPD also provided these crime prevention tips to protect your vehicles from being broken into while at the beach:
-Keep any personal belongings on your person at all times
-You can purchase waterproof bags to carry your keys while you surf
-Do not leave vehicle keys in the wheel well of your vehicles
-Do not leave any visible items inside your vehicle
-Double check to make sure your car is locked and secured before leaving

Did you know your electronic devices should always be charged when going through security?
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