Open Garage Doors An Invitation for Burglars!!
Recent information released by the Peoria Police Department Crime Analyst showed forty-two (42) residential burglaries between March 1st and March 19th. The number one entry method is an open garage (17), followed by an unsecured house door (4), no sign of forced entry into a garage (3), and an unsecured dog door (2). The number one item stolen was golf clubs. In several of these burglaries, the victims were asleep inside the house when the suspect entered through the open garage, then entered the home through an unlocked interior door and stole purses and wallets.
The Peoria Police Department would like to remind everyone they should never leave the garage door open when not outside. Even going inside for just a minute can lead to you becoming a victim of a burglary. We also recommend that garage doors NOT be left open just a few inches for ventilation. Burglars dont need much space to get under the door and take your property.
You and your neighbors can make a difference in stopping these burglaries and by forming a Neighborhood Block Watch. For Neighborhood Watch Information, contact Police Community Services at (623)773-7099.
Here are some things you can do to make your home tougher for burglars:
Burglary Prevention Basics:
Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed.
Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect a few lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
Keep your garage door closed and locked.
Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
Don't tempt a thief:
Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
Always lock your garden shed and garage.
Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."
Locks get the best:
No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
Targeting the Outside:
Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
Most windows can be pinned for security.
Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
You are required to register your alarm with the Peoria Police Department.
If Your Home Is Broken Into:
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
Do not enter - the suspect may still be inside.
Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
Other precautions you should take:
Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase, original value, serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home -- this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain anonymous!
"Our Community, Our Commitment"