Burglary & Larceny
Do you or someone close to you know how it feels to be victimized? If you have ever been the victim of a burglary or a larceny then you know. Chances are you feel violated or scared. You may even feel unsafe in your own home. In times of economic difficulties burglaries and larcenies seem to increase. But, by knowing and practicing some of the safety tips below you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
Today’s criminals look for any items that they can easily dispose of for quick cash. Such items tend to be; GPS Systems, CDs, laptops, generators, tools, air compressors, cameras and jewelry. ATVs, motorcycles, trailers, snowmobiles, lawn care equipment as well as gasoline are also being targeted for theft. With scrap metal being bought at an all time high any such items lying unsecured may also be stolen.
If a home is hard to enter, and another home nearby is an easier target, they will move on. Take a look at your home from burglar’s standpoint. Do bushes and shrubs obscure doors and windows? Do you leave your house and garage doors open and unlocked? Are entrances to your home unlighted? Does your house look lived-in when you are away? Remember to always notify a trusted neighbor or relative with your travel plans. Leave a key and any emergency contact information with them as well. Ask the Post Office to hold your mail so that it doesn’t accumulate in your mailbox and don’t forget to stop your newspaper delivery or ask someone to pick up these items.
Lock your house and garage doors when you are home and when you leave. Install a lock bar and a bolt lock on any sliding doors to prevent the doors from being slid or lifted off their tracks. Install a double keyed deadbolt if you have a door with a glass window in it. This will make it more difficult to open the door even if the thief breaks the glass. Never leave your house key under doormats, in mailboxes, or other outside location where a burglar could easily find it.
Open Doors / Windows
Don’t enter your house if you notice any open windows or doors that you didn’t leave open. Instead go back to you car or a neighbor’s house and call 911. Don’t assume all burglaries happen at night or when you are out of the house. More and more burglaries are happening in day time while the homeowner is away.
Never leave your keys in your car even if you park your car in the garage. Always lock your car doors. Place valuables in your trunk or out of plain sight.
Always write down serial numbers, staple receipts to the manuals and store them in a safe secured area. This will help law enforcement in recovering your stolen items as well as help you with any insurance claims. Remember safes can be stolen unless they are properly secured to the floor or walls. For items without serial numbers, especially antiques and jewelry, in most cases a photograph can serve as identification and proof of ownership.
Many burglaries and larcenies are solved after someone sees a suspicious person or vehicle and calls police. If you notice anyone or anything suspicious, call 911. Note any descriptions possible such as; clothing, hair color, direction of travel and license plate numbers. Don’t feel embarrassed or afraid to call. If the event has already occurred and you would like to report what you saw, please call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 315-366-2311, or report a crime/drug tip online. By being observant citizens we all can do our part in the fight against crime.