California : Safety by City
- Chino Hills
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- South Gate
- Thousand Oaks
- Union City
- West Covina
Thousand Oaks, California, feels like it’s a thousand miles away from the hustle of city life in Los Angeles, even though it’s only 40 miles away.
The tree-lined streets give way to beautiful mountains and countryside and can also take you to some of the best shopping in Ventura County.
The areas in and around this city have served as movie backdrops since the 1930s.
From The Grapes of Wrath to Bonanza to True Blood to We Bought a Zoo and so many others in between, it’s almost like a mini-Hollywood in Thousand Oaks.
This area is lush with flowers, plants, trees, wild animals, and birds.
It regularly ranks as one of the best cities for families, retiring, and healthy lifestyles.
It’s also just 30 minutes from the mountains to the beaches of Malibu.
It’s also known for being a safe city, and the latest crime statistics are a little mind-boggling.
Warnings & Dangers in Thousand Oaks
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. If I could give it an ultra low risk, I would. Crime rates are very low, people are very friendly and financially secure, and there's still a lot to do in this suburban community for a tourist.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Thousand Oaks Transit Bus is the system that gets you around the city. Rideshares and taxis are also available. All of the options come with low risk, but if you can get a car for your visit, it's going to be the best way to see and explore the variety of options in and around Thousand Oaks.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk. Just six pickpockets were reported in the latest crime reports, and that's on top of a theft rate that is 40% lower than the national average.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Wildfires and earthquakes are the two biggest concerns. Power outages and flooding concerns are also possible here. There's a medium risk because of the potential for severity in these incidents. On any given day, you're going to have beautiful weather.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Just 23 robberies were reported in 2020. Thousand Oaks hasn't had a year with more than 50 robberies since 2010. That's a low risk of getting mugged if I've ever seen one.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Being on the edge of the Los Angeles Metro area, we're going to have to include this in the medium risk for that entire region. It's just a large population with a lot of tourist attractions and military bases that terrorists would find so appealing.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are no scams reported that include tourists, so there's a low risk. There are several scams aimed at locals. Just remember if something seems too good to be true, or if an individual is being very pushy about their "great deal", it's probably a scam.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women are safe here and there's a low risk. 21 rapes were reported here in 2020, so it's not risk-free, but that number is also part of a steady five-year decline in sexual assault cases.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The water is safe for drinking and bathing here, and there's a low risk of any issues. Californian American Water said in its 2020 Annual Report, "..we conducted approximately 650 different tests on more than 25,000 water samples for nearly 3,000 constituents last year. We are proud and pleased to confirm that those tests showed that we met every primary and secondary state and federal water quality standard."
Safest Places to Visit in Thousand Oaks
The weather here is generally very mild, so let’s start with the outdoor options.
The Santa Monica Mountains are just to the south of Thousand Oaks.
Visit Paramount Ranch, which is a movie set ready for the next big blockbuster.
The mountains are also a great spot for stargazing at night.
There are 500 miles of trails ready for hiking, mountain bikes, and horses.
The wildlife sighting possibilities here include bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats.
Bob Hope left you a gift here at the Hope Nature Preserve, covering 360 acres.
This is a perfect spot for wildflower viewing in the spring.
Here you’ll also see deer, coyotes, and the occasional gray fox.
The Chumash Indian Museum includes an outdoor area for hiking to a replica Native American village.
This area was hit hard by a wildfire in 2018, so there might be parts of the museum land still blocked off as the land is healing.
For another part of history, check out the Stagecoach Inn Museum.
The hotel on the property was built in 1876, but the museum also includes a historic adobe structure, a blacksmith shop, a nature trail, and a rose garden.
There are more flowers to see in Thousand Oaks, at either the Gardens of the World monument or the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden.
To get in some shopping and grab a nice meal, you’ve got The Promenade at Westlake or Westlake Plaza.
Places to Avoid in Thousand Oaks
The worst neighborhoods in Thousand Oaks would be some of the best neighborhoods in some Los Angeles County cities.
There aren’t any parts of town you need to avoid driving through.
There are older and newer areas, yes, but nothing dangerous.
You do want to avoid relying on public transportation here.
For all the options that are in the L.A. Basin and surrounding areas, Thousand Oaks just has a local bus service and you need to go to other cities to ride the more expansive transportation options.
You’re going to be stuck without a car or a lot of money for rideshares.
The city is too spread out to be easily walkable.
When enjoying the outdoors, avoid feeding animals and trying to get too close for a picture.
While many animals will avoid you, some will get defensive if you get too close.
Avoid wearing anything but hiking boots in the wilderness to protect your ankles and minimize the injury of a potential snake bite.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Thousand Oaks
- The ConnecTO app allows you to report hazards or issues in the community during your visits, like potholes or graffiti. You can upload pictures and information to help keep this community safe.
- You can review the most up-to-date crime statistics on the police department’s website. Just look for “Crime Map.” You can search by address and type of crime within your chosen timeframe.
- Human trafficking is a nationwide problem and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has a task force set up to help victims and arrest suspects. In 2020, 17 arrests were made and 28 victims were helped. Learn the signs of human trafficking so you can be more vigilant in helping save these victims.
- If you’re renting a house in Thousand Oaks and have a party, make sure you don’t allow any underage drinking. A Thousand Oaks law makes the host of the party financially responsible for the offense and fines can go up to $5000.
- You need to study wildfire safety and preparedness before you visit. This community is especially vulnerable to the destructive wildfires that plague California. It only rains about 34 days of the year here, leaving it very dry and susceptible to wildfires. You’ll need to learn how to get out quickly if wildfires threaten.
- If there is a storm moving in or extreme winds are predicted, the utility company might shut off the power ahead of time. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. You’d be surprised how many wildfires are started by transformer explosions or downed power lines. Shutting off the power ahead of time prevents these accidents from happening, but it is very inconvenient while the power is out.
- If you are spending time in the mountains, you might come across a switchback. This is a trail that weaves back and forth up the hillside. While this does make the hike less strenuous, it’s also there to protect the hill or mountainside. Don’t cut through the land between switchbacks.
- If you’re going to be running in the mountains, be careful of slippy rock paths. You can easily slip and sprain an ankle on loose rocks.
- Whenever you leave the outdoors to go inside, do a full body check for ticks. These little critters can burrow into your skin and then begin to fill with your blood. Pull them out by the and then sterilize the area.
- You might be 40 miles from Los Angeles, but you’re still getting Los Angeles-type traffic. The Thousand Oaks population has exploded over the past few decades and that means the roads are congested.
So... How Safe Is Thousand Oaks Really?
It’s not without crime, but as far as communities go in this region, it’s one of if not the safest areas.
I can’t even remember a town I’ve researched that had only 23 robberies in a year.
The average violent crime rate in the nation is 399 per 100,000 people.
The Thousand Oaks rate is 59 in 100,000.
The average robbery rate in the nation is 79 per 100,000 people.
The Thousand Oaks rate is 18 per 100,000.
The average theft/larceny rate in the nation is 1298 per 100,000 people.
The Thousand Oaks rate is 808 per 100,000.
You’ll find some people here who say there isn’t much to do, but that’s coming from someone who has had the Santa Monica Mountains available daily for years.
A tourist is going to find that more interesting.
If you aren’t an outdoorsy person and don’t like museums and shopping, you’re going to have to leave Thousand Oaks to visit some of the biggest tourist attractions.
The beach is only 20 minutes away, and you’ve got plenty of options.
Those beach cities come with their own set of safety guidelines, so review our other articles before choosing where to spend the day at the beach.
How Does Thousand Oaks Compare?
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- Visas - You don't need any additional identification other than the Visa you got approved at the airport or port of entry.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. If you're going to be shopping, save your receipts to shred at the hotel before you throw them away. Try to use a credit card for purchases as they offer more protection than cash or a debit card.
- Weather - Aside from an unusual hot or cold streak, you're going to always find lows in the 40s and 50s. High in the winter get into the 60s, and in the summer they are near 80°(F). A jacket, shawl, or hoodie is always going to be useful, but you won't need winter gear. Remember the mountains are going to be colder than the city, so bring extra layers when hiking.
- Airports - The Hollywood Burbank Airport is less than an hour away. LAX is going to take about 90 minutes in traffic, if not a bit longer. The much smaller Santa Barbara Airport is going to be a little over an hour west.
- Travel Insurance - You'll want travel insurance for a trip to Thousand Oaks as wildfires can cut off access to the community or ruin air quality.
Thousand Oaks Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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