LFP Police step up patrols and offer tips to prevent burglaries

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo by Steven H. Robinson
The Lake Forest Park Police Department has stepped up patrol of residential areas due to a rise in daytime burglaries. Police Chief Dennis Peterson has assigned additional units to patrol the affected areas of the City.

Unoccupied homes have been targeted by burglars during daylight hours. It is believed the burglars knock at the front door and if there is no answer, they move to the rear of the house and force entry or enter through unsecured doors and windows.

Citizens are asked to keep an eye out for any suspicious persons or vehicles and to call 911 right away if they see anything suspicious. For additional information, contact Detective Tony Matthews at 206-364-8216 ext. #532.

Chief Peterson reminds homeowners to help prevent these crimes. “Burglary is a crime of opportunity. We want you to make your home and your car less attractive to this type of crime.”

Here is a list of some common sense actions you can take to make your home less likely to be attractive to criminals.
  • 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 is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • If you are going away for some time register your home with the Vacation House Check. Crime Watch volunteers will drive by your home every day. Go to the City website and scroll down to Vacation House Check or click here for a copy of the form.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Push button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
  • Make sure your sliding doors are secure. Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Don't Tempt a Thief:
  • Lawn mowers, tools, ladders, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight
  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
Targeting the Outside:
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
Windows:
  • Most windows can be pinned for security.
  • Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
Alarms:
  • 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.
  • If you have a home alarm system, use it. Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
  • Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
  • Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Use a cell phone or a neighbor's phone to call police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
Other precautions you should take:
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of 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 other 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.
  • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Use your cell phone to take pictures of your valuables; you can take photos of the bar codes of your electronic and other items. These can be put on a flash drive in a secure place.
  • Secure your firearms in a safe if they have one. Be sure all guns are locked
  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
Car Burglaries - Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:
  • Remove all valuables from view including GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, connection cords, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses
  • Close car windows and sunroof.
  • Lock your car doors.
  • Take your keys out of the car.
  • Secure your garage opener out of sight.
  • Remove items with personal information.

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