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Prevent Burglaries

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  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break into.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you go to bed or leave your house, even for a short time.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange for the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to pick them up regularly.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors because pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open.
  • Purchase special locks for vulnerable sliding glass doors that offer better security.
  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
  • Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
  • Always lock your garden shed and garage.
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."
  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
  • Most windows can be pinned for security.
  • Drill a 3/16 inch hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame, and place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available.
  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places—burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase, original value and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home - this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9­1­1 immediately.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a neighborhood watch group. Your precinct can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.

The most important thing you can do is to call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Remember, you can always remain anonymous.