Burglary and Crime Prevention Tips

Burglars target; cash, jewelry and electronics mostly; sometimes credit cards and ID info

Number one thing you can do is get to know you neighbors. If you see something suspicious call us either 911 or 913-782-0720.

Lighting – hugely important:

Inside - Timers for inside lights set to go on everyday around 5:30 pm or later during the summer months.  Have them set to turn off somewhere around 11:00 pm or 12:00 pm. 

Outdoors – photosensitive (sun down to sun up) outdoor lighting is important and cheap – leaving lights on 24 X 7 is just inviting trouble.  We also recommend motion sensitive lighting on sides and rear of residences or photosensitive lighting there as well.

Harden the target:

Use the locks you have: "You might keep the deadbolt locked on the front door at all times, but what about the back door off the patio? Or maybe you leave the garage door wide open during the afternoons" or worse overnight? "Be as conscientious about your less-used entrances as you are with your main one."  Create a habit of checking entrance before you go to bed or leave the house.

Routinely check windows: make sure they’re latched. "The sound of breaking glass doesn't provide much of a deterrent to burglars, but if your window security is lax, they can come and go without ever making a sound. Criminals often find a way into your home prior to breaking in—as part of a cleaning or repair crew, say—and simply unlock a back window for easy access later. Easy-to-access basement windows can be barred with a metal grate. Remember, too, that curtains or shades keep big-ticket items hidden; if a crook can’t see your goodies, he’s likely to try a house that has them on display."

One of the simplest things you can do is replace the ¾ inch screws that come with your door striker plate with 3 ½ to 4 inch screws.  This will secure it to the 2X4 frame and make it far more difficult to force open.

Trim you shrubs and trees back.  If you can’t see every opening of your house from a distance neither can your neighbors or the patrolling police.  Don’t provide a bad guy a place to hide.

Daily Keys: "That bowl or basket where everyone tosses keys, wallets, phones, and the like. Sure, you’ll know where they are—but so will a burglar. The best place for car keys is beside your bed. If you wake up to noises that sound like someone breaking in, hit the alarm on the fob to scare the scoundrel away." Also a good idea to put your IPad, laptops in your bedroom and not keep them on the kitchen counters or table.

Look in the mirror: “A mirror in the entryway lets you assess your look before heading out the door. But check its position from your front windows. Can you see the reflection of your alarm system? If so, would-be intruders can too—and they’ll know at a glance if you neglected to arm it when you dashed out on an errand.”

When someone comes to the door – you don’t have to open it.  Talk to them through the door.  

Hiding valuables: "You think hiding valuables among your unmentionables is a good idea—and so do thieves. Ditto for your nightstand and underneath the mattress. Smarter stashing places for jewelry, cash, and other small precious items include the attic, basement, kids’ rooms, kitchen pantry, or even the broom closet."

Cut up your boxes: "To keep on enjoying that brand-new flat-screen TV, computer, or gaming system, discard the packaging properly. Cut it up into small sections, and stack the pieces to obscure what came inside from passersby. Better yet, keep cut-up cartons in a covered bin or inside the house until the morning of recycling pickup."

Keep your whereabouts off of social media: "When you’re out of town, you have a neighbor pick up your mail and you stop newspaper delivery so thieves won’t see them piling up—but then you blab your far-off whereabouts all over social media! All a burglar has to do is look up your address, then leisurely help himself, knowing you won’t be back from Cancun till Sunday. And when it comes to geo-tracking apps like Foursquare and Glympse, share your comings and goings only with people you trust."

Spare Key: "No one likes to get locked out, but a spare key stashed under a rock or above the door frame is bound to be discovered. Even the dumbest bad guy learns where homeowners store that extra set, so exchange yours with a neighbor you trust in case of emergency."

Cars: Lock your doors.  Park in well-lit areas.  Take your valuables and if you can’t take them hide them.  Don’t look like you live in your car.  Criminals will literally walk down a suburban street and pull on every door handle or look for valuables inside a car and smash out the window.

Do not leave your car running with the keys to warm them up. 

Direct quotations and content from Nina Malkin, bobvila.com