Read and Be Diligent

We are imploring YOU—SCSH homeowners—to exercise diligence about protecting your personal safety and your personal property! Unfortunately, we in SCSH are experiencing a slight uptick in crime. Trespassers are hopping over walls, getting into garages, and stealing cars—largely because homeowners leave their garage doors open 6 to 8 inches for air circulation, leave side doors unlocked, leave valuable items in their unlocked cars, and leave car keys inside the vehicles.

According to Mark Galvin, Community Safety Director:

We cannot prevent all crimes from occurring here at Sun City Shadow Hills, but we must remain steadfast  in our prevention efforts.

The Indio Police Department has noted that crimes of opportunity have been on the rise recently throughout all of the gated communities north of interstate 10. Let’s not give the thieves and would-be thieves any reason to enter our community. Let’s make SCSH an IN-convenient place for criminals to do business. The bigger the challenge they have here, the more likely they will move on to another, easier community in which to commit their crimes.

SCSH is a wonderful community with lots of safety amenities, including property walls, secured gates with guards, and a 24/7 Safety Officer Patrol. Safety is certainly one of the many reasons we all chose to purchase here. We must be safe and secure, right?

Well, YES, as a matter of fact, we are safer and more secure than a neighborhood without all these safety amenities; however, we are still susceptible to crimes of opportunity! While SCSH has a very low crime rate compared to other communities in the City of Indio, SCSH residents might be living with a false sense of security if they assume high walls, three patrol cars per shift, and guards at our gates is all it’s going to take to keep the bad guys away! We have to work together to make SCSH a very undesirable place for thieves to commit their crimes here.

We’ve written articles to remind SCSH residents to lock their vehicles:

City of Indio’s recommended safety routine is a citywide endeavor to get ALL City of Indio residents into the habit of doing five simple things every night at 9 PM before retiring for the evening ( Those five simple tasks include:

  1. Remove all valuables from your vehicle.
  2. Lock and secure your vehicles (even when they are inside your garages).
  3. Lock and secure your house and garage (front, back and side garage doors).
  4. Turn on your porch lights (replace bulbs immediately when burned out).
  5. Report any suspicious activity immediately to 911 and then immediately to our 24-hour Community’s Safety Officer on duty at:
    • Jefferson Front Gate (Phases 1 and 2): (760) 345-4458 or
    • Avenue 40 Front Gate (Phase 3): (760) 342-4725

We KNOW how to safeguard ourselves and our possessions from would-be thieves who wander into our community and look for crimes of opportunity. An unlocked car may yield them a few dollars in change or a new pair of expensive sunglasses, not to mention what they could get for that brand-new set of golf clubs sitting in your trunk! Don’t get me started about a wide-open garage and what that loot might look like to someone looking for a few items they can trade or sell for some quick cash.

  • July 1 through July 5: Eight thefts from vehicles, six incidents of vandalism, and one incident involving two trespassers in our community. The burgled cars were unlocked.Items stolen from these vehicles included, but were not limited to, sunglasses, house keys, vehicle keys, and a wallet taken from a purse left inside the car that contained ID cards, credit/debit cards, and $1,000 cash! Some of these incidents were NOT even reported to the Indio Police Department by the resident (victims).
  • August 13: Early morning, a homeowner discovered a trespasser in his garage. The garage door had been left open 6 to 8 inches, enough room to enable the trespasser to wiggle under the door and gain entry to the garage.That same day additional homeowners reported there were items stolen from two more cars, and a third vehicle stolen.
  • August 25: Another car stolen from inside a garage with the smart key sitting IN THE UNLOCKED CAR!

These incidents are believed to be committed by the same trespasser who was found in the resident’s garage. Again, the affected vehicles were NOT locked and valuable items were left in the cars overnight! And again, some of these incidents go unreported by homeowners to our local police department and to our own Safety patrols!

We must emphasize the HOA’s safety protocol is that homeowners are responsible for notifying the police. This must be done by the homeowners, unless physically unable to do so. Police do not want to hear second- or third-hand about these incidents. Police need to hear from the homeowner directly, as the witness/victim of the crime. The SCSH safety personnel work very closely with the police in trying to apprehend trespassers and thieves, but homeowners must file the report with the police by calling 911 for a direct threat and then immediately calling our SCSH 24-hour Safety Patrol at (760) 345-4458.

Remember: crimes of opportunity occur because we allow the opportunity to exist. We are seniors, and yes, at times, we can be forgetful. Therefore, we must tackle this problem as a community, street by street, neighbor to neighbor. SCSH homeowners want to enjoy feeling safe and secure in our community. We cannot abandon our own responsibility to be as diligent about our personal safety as possible! If word gets out on the street that our community is easy prey, then we can expect more criminal incidents.

All homeowners—become diligent about your security and abide by the simple precautions listed in this article. Be good neighbors and keep a lookout for ANYTHING out of the ordinary. The Indio Police Department encourages everyone to contact them when they see or know of any suspicious activity in their neighborhood and to become a diligent participant in the 9PM Routine.