The City of Everett Police Department recently published a Crime Alert that shows a dramatic increase in residential burglaries in our community. Based on research by the Crime Analysis Unit, most burglaries occur on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays around midday, with the most common methods of entry being
- Unlocked doors
- Broken windows or sliding glass doors
- Pried-open doors or windows (a hard kick to the door can force the wooden door jamb to give way)
- Or unknown points of entry that didn’t show any signs of force
Many burglaries occur during the time of day when families are away at work or school. While residential burglaries can seem random in nature, the Crime Alert states, burglars tend to target homes with specific characteristics. Homes that are unoccupied, have easy and/or concealed access and quick escape routes are thieves’ favorites.
Once inside, burglars look for small, expensive items that can easily be traded for cash, such as jewelry, laptops, game consoles, dvd players, and other electronic devices, as well as watches and guns.
The Everett Police Department recommends the following tips to protect your home from burglars:
1. Light It Up
Install lights by all exterior doors and use lights at night. Also, illuminate house numbers for quick emergency service response. Install motion sensors and photocells on exterior floodlights.
2. Close and Cover
Close your garage door and cover your garage windows so no one can see inside. Don’t keep the garage door opener in your car in plain view – hide it or cover it up.
3. Trim and Prune
Trim tree branches 7 feet off the ground, prune shrubs to under 3 feet from the ground, and cut shrubs back from doors and windows. Don’t give burglars a place to hide.
4. Lock Doors and Windows
Always lock your doors and windows. Instead of hiding a spare key outside, give it to a neighbor you trust. Use dead-bolt door locks; or, if there is glass within 3 feet of the lock, use double-cyclinder dead bolt locks.
Choose solid core or metal exterior doors and install peepholes with 160 degree views.
5. Protect Valuables and Personal Information
Use a locking mailbox and keep your valuables in a safety deposit box. Don’t leave notes for anybody on the door. Keep a Home Inventory, and complete Operation ID, a burglary prevention program for homes and businesses.
6. Stop Strangers
Never let strangers enter your home. Verify workers or service providers by checking their ID cards and calling their employer. Never give your keys to a worker.
7. Vacation with Peace of Mind
Hire a house sitter, ask neighbors to help with garbage bins or to park a car in your driveway. Use timers on indoor lights to give the impression you are home.
Keep in mind that the Everett Police Department Sr. Volunteers offer Vacation Home Checks and various other services. Also, please visit the City of Everett Police Department site for more information on how to start a Neighborhood Block Watch program.