Based on FBI statistics, in 2007, burglary offenses cost victims an estimated $4.3 billion
in lost property. Speaking from personal experience, having your home burglarized can
be traumatic. Two years ago I arrived home to find my front door pried open and my
Criminals who burglarize homes are looking for an easy target: the majority of burglaries
occurring during the daytime while you are away. They are looking for a home that they
can break into quickly, remove something of value that is easily transported and leave
without detection. By taking a few precautions, you greatly reduce your risk of becoming
Whenever you leave your home, even for a short time, make sure that all of your
windows and doors are locked. Many times burglary is a crime of opportunity. Someone
in your neighborhood, usually on legitimate business, takes advantage of a situation (i.e.
open garage door, unlocked door or window, etc.) and acts.
Sliding glass doors can be a point of vulnerability so supplement the standard door latch
with a pin lock, a key lock or place a wooden or steel rod into the base of the track.
Sliding glass doors without one of these added protective measures can be easily lifted
from the tracks if not installed properly.
If you do not already have one, your home should have an alarm system; preferably, with
motion detectors and glass break sensors. Remember, an alarm system does you no good
if you do not arm it.
Do not hide a key outside of your home. Instead, give a spare key to a family member or
a trusted neighbor. While you may think you have an original hiding place for your key,
most thieves know where to look.
Keep shrubs and trees trimmed so they do not provide cover to a burglar trying to gain
entry to your home. Planting bushes with thorns around windows can be an added
While the above tips help to target harden your home, it does not guarantee you will not
become a victim. If you come home and find an unexplained open door or broken
window, you should do the following:
- Do not enter your home; the burglar may still be inside.
- Immediately call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
- Do not touch anything inside or outside the house until police are finished with
- Note any suspicious persons or vehicles in the area. If possible, write the tag
numbers of the suspicious vehicles.
Finally, be a good neighbor. If you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood,
immediately report it security by calling 627-1600.