Burglaries and related criminal activity tends to increase during the warm summer months. As we enter into the warm weather months, New Carrollton Police Chief David Rice cautions residents to “be on the lookout,” as burglaries and related criminal activity tend to increase during this time.
Criminals look for opportunities when committing burglaries and other related crimes.
Most of the residential burglaries are committed not by professional criminals, but rather by casual criminals who take advantage of situations created by carelessness or oversight on the part of residents.
While there is no simple or sure solution to the problem of home burglaries, it is possible to make the burglar’s task more difficult, and in some cases to discourage the burglar altogether.
The New Carrollton Police Department offers the below tips for citizens to reduce the chances they will be victims of these types of crimes:
* Lock all doors and windows before leaving your home and prior to going to bed. Even when leaving for a short time, it is important to secure your home.
* Leave lights on when you are gone or have them on automatic timers for the evening, both on the interior and exterior of the home.
* Always make sure your garage door is closed when leaving the house.
* Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors of your home. Sliding glass doors are more vulnerable, but buying special locks and using door stops provide good security.
* If you have just moved into a new house or apartment, have the locks changed.
* Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
* Put lights and a radio on timers to create the illusion someone is home. Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions.
* Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
* Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly. This is required by Village ordinance.
* Maintain an inventory of all valuables, including serial numbers. Take photos or videos of them.
* If you leave your car out at night, make sure all the doors are locked and remove any visible money, music players, cell phones, or other items that would entice a thief.
* Remove any personal information from your car.
When leaving for an extended period of time, in addition to taking the steps listed above, there are other precautions you should take:
* Develop a rapport with your neighbors. In today’s society, we often do not talk to our neighbors, but they are essential to good home security. They can keep an eye on your house when you are away. Let your neighbors know you will be gone and let them know if you have people checking on the home while your away. Ask them to report any suspicious activity immediately to law enforcement. Neighbors provide some of the best protection when they look out for each other.
* Make preparations to ensure your mail and newspaper will not be delivered while you’re away or have someone pick it up every day.
* Make arrangements for your lawn to be cut on regular intervals.