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Sonora, CA – Tuolumne County is not what it once was so don’t leave your house unlocked and your keys in your car. That’s the warning from Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department. Burglaries have skyrocketed in the county.

Sgt. James Oliver says, “There have been over eighty residential burglaries in the County in the last three months. There is no particular pattern or region of the County being targeted. The burglaries are taking place in all locations at all times of the day and night. Some of these were break-ins, but there were also a lot that occurred because a door was left unlocked or a window was left open.”

The Sheriff’s Office offers these preventative tips:

• Lock ALL your doors when you leave your house. Garage and sheds included.
• Close and lock ALL of the windows in your house.
• Set alarms and video surveillance systems.
• Use area lighting or motion lighting around the house.
• Safeguard property by photographing, video taping, or documenting the item and serial numbers. Engraving a name or ID number on them can also work.
• If you can not mark the property (jewelry, cash, and important papers) store it in a safe. Secure the safe to the floor so you don’t lose everything at once. If you store photos and videos on your computer, keep a copy of the information in the safe.
• Get to know your neighbors. They can watch your house if you are going to be gone on vacation or for an extended time and you can do the same for them.
• Report suspicious vehicles and people. Try to get a good description: Vehicle: Make, Model, Color, and License plate. Person: Gender, Age, Height, Weight, Hair color, and Clothing.
• Try not to disturb the crime scene (your house.) Deputies may be able to collect evidence useful to catch the thieves.

Oliver says always report the crime as they can’t do anything if it’s not reported. He also says be patient with Dispatch and all the questions they ask, as it will help in an investigation.

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