Be proactive, prevent property crime

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Crime is not limited to highly urbanized cities; it occurs everywhere from the rural countryside to suburban neighborhoods to even Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Statistics show that violent crime is decreasing on Vandenberg, whereas the property crime numbers are increasing.

"Living on an Air Force base doesn't necessarily mean that theft won't happen," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Morse, a 30th CES dormitory manager.

As a matter of fact, Vandenberg has seen its fair share of property crime already this year.

"We have seen a general increase in property crime at Vandenberg this year," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Cox, the 30th Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of resource protection. "Our statistics show that the base's reported property crimes have increased by 11 cases as compared to last year's totals. The summer months are just around the corner and typically this is when we see a spike in property crime."

The 30th SFS is taking a proactive approach to control the number of property crimes committed on base. In preparation for summer, teams of security forces Airmen will conduct foot patrols during the evening hours around the local community. They do this in hopes that their presence will deter crime from happening.

"One of the biggest things Airmen can do to prevent property crime is as simple as being accountable for all of their belongings," Sergeant Cox said. "All of the Airmen living in the dorms have access to personal space where they can lock up anything that may be of value to them. Airmen should try and limit the amount of unsecure items they have."

One way Vandenberg takes care of its Airmen is through education.

"When new Airmen arrive at Vandenberg, one of the first things we do is go over the dormitory policies with them," said Master Sgt. Jacqueline Core, the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron unaccompanied housing superintendent. "The Airmen should understand that if our rules sound strict, they are not a form of punishment, but rather the rules were made to benefit them and protect their property. Our leadership here has been tremendous at helping us reinforce our policies by frequent visits to the Airmen's dormitories."

Airmen living in Vandenberg's dormitories are educated how to avoid being victims of property crime during their initial in-processing.

"I personally feel secure because I lock my doors and close my windows every time I leave my place," said Airman Randolph Patterson, a 30th Space Communications Squadron apprentice. "Preventing property crime boils down to being responsible for your own personal security."

Vandenberg residents can report property crime three ways: for non-emergencies, call the security forces help desk at (805) 606-3911; for emergencies, call 911; and to report property crime anonymously, call (805) 606-2677.