Between September 10-17, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 742 calls for service/events. Higher call volumes occurred in the following areas: Traffic Stops-113, Suspicious Situation/Subject/Vehicle-45, Assist Citizen/Motorist Assist-44, Alarms-34, Traffic Violations-33, Traffic Hazards-31, Property Damage Crashes-26, Shoplifting Complaints-19, Check Well-Beings-18, Threats-13, Personal Injury Crashes-12, Domestic Disputes-12, Warrant Attempt Pickup-12, MDOP-11, Larcenies-10, and Disorderly Person or Subject-10.
With summer behind us, households are back in their normal routines of getting the kids off to school, us off to work, staggered schedules with sporting events, etc. Here are ways you can protect your home and your valuables during these extended times when there may not be anyone home.
#1: Lock Your Doors and Windows: It’s important to always lock your front and back doors, even when you’re home. Your windows should be closed when you’re not home, and you should lock them as soon as they are closed. Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor, don’t leave it by your door under a rock.
#2: Show Signs of Life: Burglars prefer to hit homes where no one is home — and even better if no one has been at home for a while. Make sure your grass is mowed, your mail is picked up daily, and any snow is shoveled so that it looks like you’re still home.
#3: Always Answer Your Door: Often, burglars will ring the door bell first to see if someone is home. And if you don’t answer, you’re telling them the house is empty — and free to explore. Use your peephole to see who is there, and if you’re not expecting them or don’t recognize them, simply tell them you’re not interested.
#4: Hide Your Valuables: If you have a nice camera, large TV, multiple mobile devices, jewelry, or other valuables within sight, burglars may see your home as an attractive target. Don’t leave valuable items like bicycles in your front yard. If you make a big purchase like a TV, avoid putting the empty box out as is with your recycling. Break it down, turn it inside out, and try to fit it in the bin with the rest of your recyclables.
#5: Make Entry Points Unattractive: Burglars love a hidden door or window. Make sure that your doors, both front and back, are well lit. Ideally, you should install motion sensing lights that call attention to the presence of movement. Also, consider thorny shrubs around windows that will make it not just unattractive, but painful for burglars to gain entry into your home.
#6: Store Valuables Away from Your Master Bedroom: Usually, the master bedroom is the first place a burglar will look for valuables. They’ll see if you have cash or valuables like jewelry in your nightstand, and rifle through the rest of your belongings for electronics, guns, drugs, and more. Your best bet is to get a home safe that is bolted securely to your home.
#7: Never Give Clues You Won’t Be Home: Serious burglars watch your patterns, read your social media, and keep an eye out for cars, work schedules, and other details to find their best opportunity to find an open, empty house.
#8: Get a Best Friend: If you can’t be home yourself, a dog is the next best thing. Large breeds are the most intimidating to burglars, as they can be more dangerous if they attack, but regardless of size, any dog that barks is a problem for burglars.
Yours in Public Safety,
Sheriff Tom Reich