Nobody asked me to do it; I volunteered. Why? It sounded like a good idea at the time and a good way to be the first one to get the inside scoop from the police department.
So I became the Neighborhood Watch Representative for our block. I receive messages from the officer assigned to our area, and my job is to send them out to all the neighbors on the block. Through all this communicating with the police department I have learned some tricks that I’ll share with you.
Burglers want to enter a home, grab the valuables and leave before anyone is the wiser, so they stay away from houses that look occupied.Therefore keep some lights on. Set timers to have different lights take turns illuminating different rooms of your house. Outside motion detectors that go on automatically when someone approaches the house are worthwhile investments.
If someone rings your doorbell don’t simply ignore it and hope they’ll go away. But don’t open the door either. Speak through the door so they know that someone is home. If you ignore the bell and the person wishes to break into your house, he might think the house is empty and feel safe to do so.
Teach children their address.
Cut back shrubbery in front of large windows so they don’t shield anyone trying to open a window and enter your home.
Watch out for anyone who seems to periodically linger outside your house. He might be trying to gauge the schedules of your family and strike when he thinks the house is empty.
Copper pipes are a valuable commodity, so if there are any abandoned houses near your house, beware of burglars breaking into them to steal the copper.
And a little tidbit of information, during last year’s super storm, Sandy, police were on guard at gas stations to prevent the theft of gasoline.
Most break-ins were committed in houses that had unlocked doors or open windows.The car thefts took place in cars that were left on the street unlocked.
So please be careful, take a few extra precautions, and be safe.
Comments on: "Neighborhood CRIME Watch" (25)
Very useful tips. Here, some of us leave some of our inner lights on even when we go to sleep, just to create that impression that someone is awake, watching. The one I won’t do is leaving my doors unlock and going out–to work or on a long trip. I wish our police had the technologies their counterparts in west now possess.
Ronnie, I wish you the best in your service to humanity.
Nice post. I hope your neighbours appreciate what you are doing.
You might add, “But don’t call the cops just because you see someone lurking in front of your neighbor’s house late at night, because it might just turn out to be your neighbor.” We learned that one the hard way . . .
That sounds like a good story; why not write about it on your blog?
This is an important post with some valuable tips. Thanks for sharing!
Sometimes you feel good just knowing that you’re doing something right…
Ronnie, this sounds something like being president of a homeowner association !!! The problem with both is that once you have them…, you have them for life as no one else wants to be bothered with the problems, work, etc… God bless you for your efforts!
Now you tell me: it turns out that as the neighborhood rep it is MY job to set up an annual neighborhood party. They didn’t mention that when they asked for a volunteer.
Great advice, thanks for sharing with us. Two summers back we had a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood. They would simply break in to the homes at night while the owners slept! Their M.O. was to shine a bright flashlight in the unsuspecting and sleeping owner’s face after taking what they needed and then run out. In many of the cases the owners awoke to the light shining in their faces and chased away the intruders. They seemed to have no shame. They got a kick out of teasing the owners and waking them up. Very scary! We were fortunate not to be one of the selected homes. It is also important to note that most victims had left their front doors unlocked or windows open. Common sense does help. 🙂
That’s what I would do also. It never occurred to me that not answering is interpreted by a potential burglar as “nobody home.”
The daytime when a lot of people are at work can be just as bad. I’m usually the only one on my street still at home during the day, so I was the one who got the honor of calling the cops on the people renovating the house next door to me a couple weeks ago when they decided to start shooting at birds and squirrels in trees (in a very populated neighborhood!) They thought nobody would see them, but neighborhood watch never sleeps (or goes to work)….
Good for you; you may have prevented an accidental shooting of a human!
Turning on the radio when the house is empty, especially talk radio, is helpful. It sounds like people are in there.
That’s a good idea, Joan. Thanks.
Burglary and robbery seem to have reached plague proportions in England. Out in the country here, it’s not too bad, but it’s definitely changing for the worse.
There is a marked increase in crime here too. Isn’t that what often happens when unemployment rears its ugly head?
What a comforting feeling to know that someone who cares has your back. Thanks for the good advice, Ronnie
Some of it surprised me, like speaking to the person who rings your bell to let them know the house is not empty.
I’m against breaking and stealing a home. Cars are cool. The idea of dismantling every part in less than an hour takes talent. Last time I had a flat tire, it took me more than two hours.
Crimes of breaking into cars and homes have increased, and many times the homeowners make it easy by leaving windows and doors unlocked.
Very helpful post! Thanks.
I hope it saves someone the trauma of having strangers violate their belongings.
very useful thank you… learning to think like a burglar!!!!
Exactly; a friend of mine was robbed, all her jewelry taken. The gang, who was later caught, had a system of forcing the door open, running directly to the alarm system, disabling it, and heading straight for the bedroom for the jewelry. They were in and out before the police arrived.
Great tips. Thanks for sharing them. The one about not ignoring the doorbell is good, because that’s likely exactly what I’d do.