Alarms are good, according to Spiller, but the readily available, easy-to-mount and relatively inexpensive surveillance cameras are even better. Their range allows a taped view of not only a homeowner's front yard and driveway, but often enough of the street out front to help police investigate a car theft, break-in or home burglary. Recently, a Mercedes was recovered shortly after it was taken when a neighbor's camera caught on tape a black pickup truck that was seen parking next to it, Spiller said.
The police chief also discounted frequent stories (often found on the Pleasanton Weekly's online Town Square section) that BART, and particularly the newer West Dublin-Pleasanton BART station, is responsible for more crime here. He said the stations are well protected and watched by both Pleasanton and BART police and offer safe travel for commuters, whether coming here for jobs or heading to other cities. He knows of only one instance where a shoplifter fled a store at Stoneridge Shopping Center and was seen boarding a BART train, again through surveillance cameras. Police were at the Castro Valley station waiting for him a few minutes later.
Spiller distributed copies of the Pleasanton Police Department's annual report for 2011, which Realtors said they will offer to their clients to assure them this is a safe city as well as a great place to live. The report, which shows criminal activity and trend lines, can be viewed online at http://pleasantonpd.org. A police blotter at the site is updated daily, with police reports also printed here in the Weekly every Friday.
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