Residential Burglary Prevention

The MOST important thing you can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUPCICIOUS ACTIVITY.  You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

Burglary 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. Even if it a short time, lock your doors.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked
  • Don’t allow daily delivery of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or 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. Specials 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, snow blowers, barbecues, and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
  • Use curtains on garage and basements windows
  • Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping” or be back in 10 minutes.”

Locks… get the best:

  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key –in deadlocks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
  • Change locks immediately of 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 cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.


  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of misafe homend 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.

If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

  • Do not enter- the perpetrator may still be inside. Use a neighbor’s phone or your cell phone to call the police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence
  • Write down the license plate number of any suspicious vehicles. And note the deceptions of any suspicious person

Other precautions to 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 positions, including a description of the items, date or purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home—this is a good precaution in case of fires or theory 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 phone number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct or invisible marker pens. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a Neighbor Watch Group. Contact your local district office for assistance. 

    Information provided for Residential Burglary Prevention Pamphlet issued by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department



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