Protecting Your Home
- Pretend to be a burglar. Walk around your property and ask yourself: How would I break in? Examine your house from the street, where are the blind spots? What are the most vulnerable areas and, therefore, likely to be attacked? Stand outside the windows and look in. If you can see your valuable belongings, so can criminals.
- Create a neighborhood watch. Even if you can’t create an organized program, get to know your neighbors. Let them know who belongs there and who doesn’t. An alert and involved community is the criminal’s worst enemy.
- Make sure gates are locked if you have a fence. The more hard work a criminal has to do, the more likely he is to pass by hour home. A locked fence is something they must climb over while carrying objects. If the gate is unlocked, however, they can just walk right through.
- Don’t leave “hidden” house keys nearby. Most hiding spots are well-known to burglars.
- Secure tools and other property. Tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, ladders, etc., that are left lying around or stored in the open may provide the means for a criminal to gain entry into your home.
Protecting Your Vehicle
- Lock doors and windows. Even if it’s parked for a short amount of time, and especially if it’s parked overnight.
- Have your vehicle information. Record the make, model, VIN, and license number of your car.
- Park smart. Park your car in a well-lit area, as close to your destination as possible.
- Do not leave valuables in view. Do not leave cash, credit cards, auto registration, or other important papers in plain view. This also applies to valuables such as laptop computers, GPS units, or cell phones.
Help Police Recover Your Stolen Property
- Engrave or mark property. Marking your property may not prevent it from being stolen, but it does increase the chances of that property being returned to you. Use your ID or drivers license number. Engraving tools can be purchased at hardware stores and large department stores.
- Photograph valuables. Make individual color photos of items of value. Make a file of all the pictures, and a list of the property. Keep a copy of the photos and list at a friend or family member’s home. You can also send the file to your email (if your computer is stolen, you will still have access).
- Update inventory. Keep your list of property that is marked and photographed up to date. Include the items serial number, model number and value on the list.
- Keep your home and vehicle clean. If any fingerprints are available, they can be lifted from a clean surface much easier than if the area is dirty or dusty.
- Help look for your property. Check sites such as Ebay and Craigslist for your property. You would recognize your property better than anyone. If you see anything suspicious report it to police, do not attempt to contact the seller on your own.