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Neighborhood Watch/Crime Prevention

Crime toolbox

There are tell tale behaviors identifying suspicious activity. Here's a short list:
  • Vehicles circling, parking in front of an unattended house, or simply waiting. If they are using their phone, are your neighbors in this particular area not at home? Analyze their behavior. Are they watching you watch them?
  • Out of place visitors entering property, knocking on doors, looking over fences, taking pictures of a home.
  • Burglars may work in pairs or teams but some burglars will be alone.
  • Burglars posing as dog walkers will have a pick up point. Call in unknown dog walkers who are picked up by a car. This is not normal. It means a burglar is in the area checking out potential targets.
  • Will react and move away if they feel they’ve been spotted.
Call it in:
  • Get a description of the person(s) involved: age, gender, hair color, clothing, build, any identifying details such as “bright pink tennis shoes”, tattoos, or if it’s a vehicle remember to get the: age, make, model, color, special markings or wheels, bumps scrapes, or stickers. The more you remember, the better the chance of finding them.
  • Get the location.
  • Call non-emergency (925) 646-2441. Let our deputies do their jobs.
  • Call 911 if you see a crime being committed.
It’s a free country. People have the right to walk or drive freely on public streets. But, add up the details above. What does your gut say? Does it just not feel right? Call it in! A home burglary is accomplished in 120 seconds or less. Your call can make the difference for a family.
Contacts, Links & Tips

ERH Law Enforcement

  • Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, Bay Station
  • Office of the Sheriff - Emergency (Crime in Progress) call 911
  • Office of the Sheriff - Non Emergency (Suspicious Activity) call (925) 646-2441
Remember to call 911 if you believe to hear glass breaking, a door crashing, or witness a crime in progress.

ERH Traffic Enforcement

  • California Highway Patrol, Golden Gate Field Office
  • CHP non-emergency dispatch call (707) 551-4100
    Call this number to report suspicious activities such as strangers sitting in cars on your street or conducting business from their car.
  • CHP main office non-emergency traffic call (510) 450-3821
    Call this number to report traffic issues.

Most of the crimes that occur in East Richmond Heights are opportunist. If you provide an easy target, someone will eventually come and take what they want. Prevention is really the key along with communication.

These types of burglars do NOT want to be seen or noticed. You have the upper hand by noticing them and reporting them to our Sheriff’s Non-Emergency line at (925) 646-2441. Our Deputies are trained professionals. Please let them do the job they are trained to do. Stay safe and do your part by making the call.

An article about common sense tips to protect your home was written by our good neighbor Jon Sargent; click here to read it. Written in 2009 and first published in the Nob Hill Gazette, the statistics have changed but overall it is still very true today. It demonstrates that this old game of home burglary is still the same — year in and year out. By staying in touch with each other we learn (sometimes from mistakes) and then work to prevent it from happening again. With today’s technology and communication tools (now to our advantage) we’ll stay ahead of the game.

Cyber crimes are becoming increasingly popular as well. From Wikipedia: Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with malware. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

We suggest you take a moment to read this document about phishing.

Last but not least, know the scams! There has been an influx in scams involving fake emails, telephone solicitations, and even face-to-face interactions. Click here to read the latest scams.

For more more information or to join the East Richmond Heights Neighborhood Watch, please email Natalie Kniess at

A Special Message From Our Neighbor and Security Expert Jon Sargent...

Hello Neighbors,

It's extremely important to take the extra time -every day- to make sure our homes and cars are locked; especially at night!

Richmond Police (Sergeant Rood & Captain French) have an excellent video on what you can do to help deter and prevent home burglaries. Click here for their video on YouTube.

And for those of you who have burglar alarms, click here to see a video on how you can prevent false alarms.

Jon Sargent
Past President, California Alarm Association