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King City police chief lists ways to avoid becoming a crime victim

Theft from vehicles

Recently there have been several thefts from vehicles located in King City. In each case, the vehicle was unlocked or in an unsecured garage.

It is important, if you leave your vehicle parked on the street, in a parking lot or in your garage, that it is locked or the garage is secured.

Most thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity where a perpetrator will randomly look for unlocked vehicles and take anything that has value like loose change, GPS devices and stereos.

The King City Police Department urges everyone to take the extra time to insure that your vehicle is locked if it is left outside and that any item of value that can be seen from the outside of your vehicle be removed.

If you experience a theft from your vehicle, call 503-629-0111 and request an officer to respond.

If you observe the theft occurring, call 911 for immediate police response.

Victims' rights

One of the most horrific experiences you can have is being the victim of a crime, no matter how large or small. Even when the perpetrator is arrested, often the victim feels frustrated, afraid and alone

Many times a victim feels that all the rights are given to the criminal and none to the victim and asks, "What rights do I have?"

In Oregon, the victim of a crime does have rights, after the arrest, during the trial and after adjudication.

What are these rights, where do I find these rights, and when do I, as a victim, get to exercise my rights?

These are all good questions.

Here is a list of some victims' rights:

n Right to have a support person

n Right to apply for financial help if harmed during a crime (Contact Crime Victims' Compensation Program at1-800-503-7983

n Right to go to an open court hearing

n Right to request a copy of an open court hearing

n Right to request certain criminal history and conviction information

n Right to know certain information about the defendant (Contact Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) at 1-877-674-8463

n Right of reasonable protection from defendant

n Right to withhold address and phone info from defendant

n Right to request HIV test of defendant if crime involved transmission of body fluids

n Right to request the district attorney to consult you about plea offer in a violent felony case

For a more in-depth list of victims' rights and how a victim can exercise his or her rights, you can contact the Oregon Victim Rights Assistance Section of the State Attorney General's office through its website at www.OregonCrimeVictimsRights.info/ or its toll free number, 1-887-287-1010.

You also can contact the Washington County District Attorney's Office, Victim Assistance Unit, at 503-846-8671.

No matter what organization you contact, time is the essence; though many rights are automatic, some must be requested by the victim.

Curfew ordinance

Now that spring has arrived, here is a reminder to parents and their children that King City has a curfew for minor children.

The hours of curfew are as follows:

o For children under 14 years of age and not in high school, the curfew hours are 9:15 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day, except during the months of June, July and August, when the hours are 10:15 p.m. to 6 a.m.

o For children 14 years old and over, the curfew hours are 10:15 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday. During the months of June, July, and August, the hours are midnight to 6 a.m. on all days.

Any parents with questions or who want a copy of the curfew ordinance should contact the King City Police Department at 503-620-8851 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Let's have a fun and safe spring.

So until next time, be safe, be friendly and be a good neighbor.