The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department’s STAR team advises residents to take precautions to protect their identity and property.
There have been occasions where visitors to South Lake Tahoe, and residents, have had their cars broken into when parked at trail heads and beaches when valuable items were taken from their cars, according to a press release.
The team offers these tips:
• Leave your valuables that can’t be easily carried in your pockets at home or in the safe at your hotel or motel. Many experienced day hikers carry only their driver’s license, keys and some cash in their pockets.
• If you must leave your valuables in your car, put them in the trunk before you get to the trailhead. Don’t rely stowing purses, cameras, laptops, etc., under the seat of the car after you’ve arrived at the trailhead. Experienced thieves watch for travelers stowing valuables under seats, then target that car for a break-in.
• Pay attention to people sitting in cars in the parking lot who look out of place. Be aware of people who don’t look like they are hikers or beachgoers. Record the vehicle’s license plate so that if something does happen you have information to give to authorities that could lead to recovery of stolen items.
• Carry at least one cell phone with your hiking party (fully charged). Dial 911 if you feel unsafe or threatened in any way.
• Be aware of your location at all times. If you must call for help you will be able to provide your location and information to the 911 operator.
STARs are volunteers who work for the sheriff’s department. Its mandate is to assist the sheriff and the deputies by providing an extra set of eyes and ears and to perform other duties when called upon, helping keep the citizens of El Dorado County safe. Anyone age 50 or older may become a STAR. For more information, call 530-573-3300.