Our neighborhood crime watch association got together earlier this week to discuss the rise in criminal activity taking place in an adjoining subdivision. Though we haven’t been hit with a crime wave yet, group members decided to go over some of the tactics being used by burglars to gain access to homes.
One of the problems faced by that subdivision is that it is easily accessible to several highways. Police believe that crooks are hitting targeted homes and jumping on entrance ramps leading to busy roadways for a quick getaway.
Though nothing can be done about the easy highway access, our neighborhood crime group — with the cooperation of our town’s police department — developed a list of precautions homeowners can take to help protect their homes. A few points surprised me and are certainly worth following:
5 Ways To Take A Bite Out Of Crime
Stopping Mail and Newspaper Delivery — Surprise, surprise! If you halt your mail or newspaper delivery, who else besides your regular carrier or mail deliverer knows that you are away? Instead, have a neighbor or friend pick up your mail and newspaper on a regular basis and hold these items for you.
Posting Alarm Signs — This one surprised me the most: if you announce that your home is protected by XYZ alarm company, you’ve given crooks some valuable information. Burglars can pick up the schematics of your particular system and quickly deactivate it. Instead, post a generic sign announcing that your home is protected by an alarm system.
Trim Your Landscaping — Bushes in front of your home look nice, but they can also obscure what is going on at your house from the street. Keep bushes trimmed, preferably below window level.
Big Pooch Won’t Help — Unless your German Shepherd or Rottweiler is a trained guard dog, he won’t necessarily deter thieves. Larger dogs aren’t generally barkers, while smaller dogs will bark frequently and announce their presence before crooks can gain entrance to your home.
Leaving Lights On Doesn’t Help — Another surprise for me: leaving lights on actually helps burglars find their way around your house. Instead of leaving one light on, it is recommended that you have several lights hooked up to timers, scheduled to go on and off at intervals.
These days we don’t always know our neighbors which makes combating crime much more difficult. Your neighborhood watch association can keep crime in check if everyone is vigilant, not just a few dedicated members.
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