Crime Prevention Tips

The following is a list of helpful tips that is aimed at helping to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime. These are some of the more common crime trends that have been observed in recent years and that can easily be prevented through simple measures.

  • Always lock your vehicle doors when out of sight or parked overnight. Thieves focus primarily on unlocked vehicles as they are easy targets for theft. Items such as GPS units, I-Pods, expensive sunglasses, satellite radio units, and loose change are the most commonly taken. If possible, keep these items out of plain view when not being used.
  • Lock up your bicycles or store them inside your home or garage when not being used. Bicycles left out in the open and unattended can disappear very quickly and are hard to recover.
  • Avoid leaving your vehicle running and unattended. Getting into a warm or cool car is nice, however, coming out to find your vehicle gone does little for your comfort. Also, never leave your vehicle title inside your vehicle (not to be confused with the registration slip). Store it somewhere safe.
  • Lock your doors and secure your ground floor windows when away from home. Much like vehicles, open doors and windows make excellent choices for the common criminal. Nobody wants to return and find that their home has been burglarized. When away on vacation consider having your mail held at the post office so it does not build up outside.
  • Record the serial number, make and model, and/or photograph any items of value that you may own. In the event that you should be the victim of a burglary/theft, this information will better assist the police in attempting to locate your property. Engraving items may also be a useful tool. Jewelry, electronics, firearms, and anything of considerable value should be included. Always report a lost or stolen firearm.
  • If possible, consider leaving a house key with a trusted neighbor. In the event the police, fire department, or ambulance personnel are called to your home, they may be required to make entry to ensure your safety. If you are injured and cannot make it to the door, it will allow them to reach you without having to force entry. You may also find it helpful if you accidentally lock yourself out!
  • Always notify the police immediately should you see a crime in progress or suspect possible criminal activity. Failing to notify the police in a timely fashion reduces our chances of apprehending criminals. It also hinders us from identifying suspicious persons in the area during the commission of a crime or shortly thereafter. Remember, if you get that feeling that something isn’t right, most times you are probably right.
  • Having more exterior lighting around your house, to include motion sensor lights, can significantly reduce your risk of being burglarized during hours of darkness. Most criminals prefer to operate in poorly lit areas when committing burglaries because it reduces the risk of being seen. You may also want to consider leaving an extra light or television on while you are away from home.
  • Ensure that your house numbers are visible and easily identifiable from the street. In the event of an emergency it is important that police officers, paramedics and firemen can locate your home quickly. Having numbers that are small, obscure, or that blend into the background can make it harder to locate your home. An extra minute or two can make a big difference during an emergency.
  • Be suspicious of any unusual offers received in your mail, e-mail, or over the phone. There are a lot of scams currently being used to defraud people of large amounts of money. Such scams may utilize legitimate business names and logos without that company’s knowledge. Most of these scams are conducted internationally and are extremely hard to investigate and prosecute outside of the United States. Many scams will offer large rewards/winnings and ask that you pay a fee up front to claim your reward. Most are utilizing money courier companies, such as Western Union, to collect your money. Also, beware of making high dollar purchases online (E-Bay, craigslist, etc.) when the seller does not accept secure payment assistance (PayPal, etc.) and the payment is to be sent somewhere outside of the United States. Remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” If you are suspicious about something you have received please call and speak with a police officer about it.


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