Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tips from County Attorney's Office on how to avoid being burglarized over the holidays


The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, but for some, it becomes a nightmare when they return home and find that they have been burglarized. Burglars know that people are shopping more around the holidays and therefore have more enticing items in their homes. This gives thieves an incentive to go on a shopping spree in people's homes. In some cases thieves go through all the gifts by un-wrapping them and only taking what they want.

These burglaries occur during daylight hours, especially when it is clear that no one is home. As many families tend to take vacations and travel around this time of year, thieves will scope areas in hopes of finding empty homes to burglarize. Holidays are a prime time to commit these types of crimes so all proper measures should be taken to protect your property.

To Accomplish This:

  • Invest in solid dependable doors.
  • Invest in quality locks for your doors and windows, including sliding glass doors.
  • If you have sliding glass doors, place a wooden rod in the track. This will prevent a would-be burglar from simply opening the door, or removing pins in the overhead frame to lift the door out.
  • Plant thorny bushes under all of your windows.
  • Do not leave the ladder you use to hang your holiday lights outdoors. Keep any tools that could be used to break in your home safely locked away in a garage or tool shed.
  • Be sure your garage door can be securely locked.
  • Always double check all doors and lock all windows at night, and anytime that you go out.

Use Common Sense:

  • Do not place any gifts or valuables where they can be seen from the window, especially small, portable items.
  • Do not leave your garage door open while you are away, this announces to thieves that you are not home.
  • Do not keep large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry around the house. Consider having a safety deposit box.
  • Do not hide your spare key in obvious places, such as under the doormat or above the doorframe.
  • Criminals often pose as deliverymen with gifts, in order to gain access to your home during the holidays. Always ask for identification.
  • If a stranger comes to your door, asking to use the phone, do not let him in. Make the call yourself.

Additional Information:

  • If you plan to be gone, use a timer to turn interior lights on and off as if you were still home.
  • If you are going out of town for the holidays, have a neighbor or family member watch your house, and pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Invest in a quality security system.
  • Install motion detectors.
  • If you do not own a dog, consider putting up "beware of dog" signs to ward off potential burglars.
  • If you do own a dog and need to go out of town, have someone come in to care for your pet.
  • Engrave all valuable equipment, stereos, television sets, VCR's, video cameras, etc. , with your driver's license number.
  • Videotape the contents of your home. Keep the video, along with a list of all of your valuable possessions in a safe deposit box.
  • Remember to include those gifts that are under the tree when engraving and videotaping.

(Source: Security World)

"Let's keep our homes safe by taking the proper steps to keep intruders out"

For more information on crime prevention, please visit www.crimefreeaz.com

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