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Burglary Prevention


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Burglary - Entering a residence and stealing

The Top 25 On The Burglary List

(Burglary Prevention Tips Follow)


Although the December holiday season is the prime-time for burglars,

they are more than happy to relieve you of your possessions any time of

the year. Here's a list of the most stolen items from data reported to

insurance companies, burglar alarm companies, and the FBI.

High on the list of most-stolen are:

* Bicycles

* Cameras

* Drugs

* Smart Phones (Electronic Devices)

* Gold

* Audio/video tapes and CD's

* Personal computers

* Tools

* Toys

The remainder of the list includes:

* Ammunition

* Antiques

* Coins and Stamps

* Cosmetics

* Clothing and accessories

* Currency, notes, securities, etc.

* Fine Arts

* Household appliances

* Jewelry

* Luggage and leather goods

* Perfume

* Precious stones and metals

* Records

* Sporting goods

* Stereo equipment and televisions

* Electronic games

* Watches

* Wine, liquor and beer


Burglars tend not to work too hard. If a home is hard to enter, or another home nearby is an easier target, they will move on before being seen. Try to take a look at your home from the standpoint of a burglar.

Are you an inviting target?



Burglary Prevention TIPS

* Make it tough for the thief to get inside your home.

* Harden your home . Burglars usually:

  • Walk in an unlocked door
  • Find a hidden key
  • Find an open window and crawl in
  • Kick the door in

* Use dead bolts on all exterior doors. Most experts recommend either a dead bolt lock that must be operated with a key or a pin tumbler lock. Even though dead bolt locks that require a key from both sides make it hard for burglars to leave through a door be wary in case of fire

* Secure windows. The ordinary sash fastener offers little protection; it can be opened by a knife through the window slot. You need a sash fastener that can be locked with a key, a cylindrical mechanism with a latch that fits into the metal rim or eye bolts to lock windows to the frame. (Be sure the window can be opened swiftly in case of fire.)

* Secure sliding doors. Either a slide lock or put an object in the door channel

* Install a peep hole

* Install a burglary alarm system

  • If you have an alarm system, put up "Warning" signs.

* If you are going to be away:

  • Notify the police if you are going away and ask for special surveillance of your home.
  • Ask a neighbor to turn off and on alternating lights
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home
  • Don't advertise or announce your absence

* Use outdoor and indoor lights

* If possible leave an upstairs light on so a burglar can not peek in

* Outdoor lights make burglars more visible

* Make your home appear as if someone is home at all times

* Don't leave newspapers on your porch or mail in your mailbox. I can't help but to make a commentary on this subject. In November 1992 five juvenile boys burglarized a 103 year old Oregon man and then bludgeoned him to death with a bat. The home was chosen as the boys' target because the build up of newspapers on the front porch mislead the youths to believe the home was empty.

* Put indoor lights on timers so they go on and off in the evening

* Leave a radio on a little louder than normal. A talk station, Rush Limbaugh, might be a good idea.

* Don't leave a note on your door saying when you'll be home.

* See to it that your lawn is mowed /snow shoveled when you are away.

* Phone message machines should not say you are out of the house much less announce when you are going to return.

* Leave drapes and shades open. When they are closed they are a sign of an unoccupied home.

* If possible, park a car in your driveway.

* Be wary of callers declaring you a prize winner

* If a burglar does get in, make it likely that very little can be taken

  • Keep small amounts of cash in your home
  • Don't keep valuables in the master bedroom (burglars go there first)
  • Guns are regularly stolen - store guns and bullets in different places
  • Valuable jewelry belongs in a safe or safe deposit box

* Mark items a thief would be likely to steal such as a TV, stereo or VCR

* Keep a record of serial numbers.

* Keep a inventory form and/or video of all your valuables to aid in making an insurance claim

* Change the locks if:

  • you lose a home key
  • you move into a previously-occupied home

* Don't leave your home keys:

  • Under a doormat
  • In a mailbox
  • Above the door
  • Hanging from a nail outside your home
  • In your pocket when leaving it in a public place
  • With a parking attendant
  • With casual acquaintances

* Know how to respond to a burglary

  • Leave immediately if you see your home has been burglarized (the burglar may still be there)
  • Call the police immediately
  • Do not touch anything until police have secured your home
  • If you wake up and find a burglar in your room, pretend to be asleep until it is safe.


A security survey may be available free of charge from your local law enforcement department. Call and ask.



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Protecting your car from theft

* Use a Club type devise to lock the steering wheel (cost $30 to $40). Club are horizontal locking mechanism that prevent the steering wheel from turning. These devises are highly visible and adjust to fit any size steering wheel. They are made of tempered steel and equipped with a double-tumbler-lock, they remain secure even if pried out.

* Steering wheel hooks (cost $14 to $26). Hooks are of heavy steel construction and lock the steering wheel to the brake pedal. They should be adjustable to fit all model vehicles, highly visible from outside and fitted with a tamper-resistant, case-hardened lock.

* Steering column protectors Experienced thieves can pry open a steering column and start a vehicle in minutes. Steel collars that cover the steering column are available in auto shops. Some must be removed every time the car is driven. Others can be permanently installed. Price range from $50 to $200.

* Starter-kill switches. These devises prevent the car from starting until a hidden switch is thrown. They are usually part of an alarm system. Some people skip the alarm and only install the kill switch.

*Purchase a car alarm. Blaring car alarms have become so common on city streets, they hardly seem effective. But they help dissuade thieves.

The type of sensor is an important consideration:

Current sensors detect any drain on the battery, which includes using any of the lights or starting the vehicle.

Pin switches monitor the operating of any of the vehicle doors as well as trunk and hood (cost $45 to $55).

Motion detectors are activated when the car is jacked up, towed or an impact made to the frame of the vehicle.

Shock sensors are similar to motion detectors and will also react to the impact caused by a window being broken (cost $60).

Glass breaking sensors are activated by the sounds of breaking glass (cost $40)

The type of alarm is also an important consideration:

Sirens with a high decibel mix of sound patterns draw attention to the vehicle when tampering has occurred.

Auto horns on the vehicle can be wired into your alarm system and save the cost of an additional siren.

Silent paging systems initiate a radio-controlled signal from the vehicle to the owner's paging unit. Transmission of the signal depends on the vehicle's antenna, atmospheric conditions and proximity of the receiver

There are two basic types of alarm activation control systems

Automatic (passive) arming of the alarm system is accomplished by turning off the vehicle, removing the key and exiting the vehicle, (cost $50 to $270).

Manual arming of the system is accomplished by pressing a button on the alarm transmitter, turning an alarm key, pulling a toggle switch or entering a code on a key pad. Alarms can also be armed by a remote control transmitter. This is an additional feature to the basic alarm system (cost $140 to $270).

* Lock your car door

* Tapered door-lock knobs (cost $3 to $6). Tapered locks are available to replace factory equipped knobs. Their design makes it more difficult to hook or lift the door lock knob from outside the vehicle.

* Gear shift column lock (cost $10 to $50). Column locks are made of heavy steel. They lock the center floor gear shift level together with the emergency brake lever.

* Never hide car keys in or on the car

* Turn wheels sharply when parking to make towing difficult

* Don't leave registration or title papers in the car

* Choose parking spaces close to buildings where it is more likely someone would see a car theft in progress

* Get to know parking attendants in lots regularly used

* Never leave your car running and unattended

* Use a special hood and trunk lock (cost $6 to $12). These items are designed to protect particular areas or items on the vehicle.

* Some towns have a homing devise services and systems which can be installed which will assist police in tracking the stolen vehicle once it has been reported stolen.

* Engraving kits (synergy). Synergy means the sum of the parts is worth more than the whole. Many cars are stolen for their parts and stolen-parts dealers avoid traceable parts. Etch the car's vehicle identification number (VIN) into windows, doors, trunk and hood. Auto shops sell engraving kits for about $20.



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Car jacking - (Using force or a weapon to steal your car with you in it)

* When stopping for traffic be sure to leave enough space in front of you that you can accelerate around and away from the car in front of you.

* Always lock your doors

* Never leave your window all the way down

* If you are taken from your car - NEVER- get back in with the thief

* Be a defensive and alert driver

* Stay out of high risk neighborhoods

* Activate your car alarm if in danger

* Carry a cellular phone


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Mugging -

* Don't allow a purse to hang from your arm

* Keep from walking unlit streets

* Carry pepper mace

* Don't walk alone

* Robbery - Using force or a weapon to steal from a person

* Carry pepper mace

* Don't walk alone

* Carry a personal alarm system

* Be aware of, and avoid, high risk neighborhoods






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Credit Card Protection

* If you use a smart phone use the Air Pay (Apple Pay, etc) it is very secure.

* Never leave your purse or wallet unattended and keep your cards out of sight.

* After making credit card purchases, be sure the returned card is indeed your own.

* Periodically take inventory of your cards to make sure you have them all.

* Keep a separate list of your account numbers and the telephone numbers to call, in case your cards are lost or stolen.

* Never loan your credit cards to friends. Their use is your responsibility not theirs.

* Verify all charges on your account statements and report any discrepancies immediately.

* Sign your credit card as soon as you receive it and keep the duplicates in a safe place.

* Report lost or stolen cards immediately so you can activate the credit card liability protection available with most cards.

* Your PIN number should reman personal... memorize it or keep it disguised.

* When making a purchase watch to make sure your card is not run through the machine twice - once for you and once for the would be thief.

* When making a purchase get the copy after signing.

* Don't throw your copy away without tearing or otherwise destroying it first.

* Be wary of callers asking for your card number on the phone. Call them back if needed.



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Telephone Calling Card Theft Protection


* Do not give your credit card information to anyone who calles you.



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* Never approach an ATM if suspicious persons are nearby

* Never approach an ATM if you have any doubts or fears for about your safety

* Do not leave your vehicle running or your keys in the ignition when using a walk-up ATM

* Memorize your personal code. Do not write it on your card or carry it along with your card.

* Never count your money at the ATM or leave with your wallet and/or cash exposed.

* Never give your PIN (personal identification number) to anyone.

* Shield the ATM keyboard with your body so others cannot observe you entering your PIN

* If you are followed from an ATM, go to an area where there are other people and plenty of activity and light. If you are driving, go to the nearest police department.

* Always keep your doors locked when using a drive-up ATM.



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Store theft

* Greet your customers as they enter and give your name

* Display signs noting willingness to prosecute

* Locate cash registers near the door

* Teach/encourage your employees to make eye contact with customers


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