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!
- 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 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.
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