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Be Aware of Burglars’ Preferences

A MESSAGE FROM THE DESK OF SHERIFF CARMINE MARCENO: BURGLARS’ PREFERENCES

A very recent conversation with residents at a local community homeowners’ gathering prompted me to take this opportunity to share important information regarding nationwide burglary trends.

While burglars and prowlers most definitely benefit from the cover of darkness, nationwide statistics clearly indicate that the vast majority of home break-ins occur between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Burglars do make every attempt to operate covertly and the dark of night generally enables them to do so. However, a burglar’s preference, far greater than darkness, is an empty residence.

Rigid work and school schedules make it difficult to be at home during the day and homes are often unoccupied for many daylight hours.  Criminals are observant and many of us leave our homes at a specific time each day.

It is no coincidence that national home burglary statistics show a decrease since the start of the pandemic as the number of people working from home has tripled.

With no one home, it is far less likely that the sounds of forced entry will be heard and/or reported.  Additionally, neighbors are seemingly less concerned about loud noises that occur during daylight hours.

Additionally, rental properties are more frequently burglarized than homesteads. Rental properties are less likely to be protected by security cameras and alarm systems making them more vulnerable.

Some thoughts…

Landscaping and fences allow residents to establish privacy in and around their homes. However, those shrubs and tall fences may allow burglars to gain access to your home without being observed from the street.  Consider home security when choosing tall, thick landscaping and fencing that completely obscures vision.

High-mounted security cameras, visible to all, do tend to deter criminals. Mount cameras around the perimeter of your home at heights that require ladders to move, cover or remove.

Security systems are now wireless, easily installed and relatively inexpensive. Monitored systems do incur a monthly fee, however, response time is significantly faster.

Quality locks are important as many inferior locks are easily overtaken by cordless drills and blunt force. Interestingly, experts recommend that we focus on the quality of the lock’s strike plate and the screws used to secure them.  Robust strike plates installed with three-inch screws hold up far better to most types of force.

Sliding doors are often the chosen point of entry.  They are generally located in the rear or on the side of the residence, making them less visible.  There are numerous sliding door security devices on the market including security pins, loop-locks and security bars…to name a few.  These devices are inexpensive and work well to prevent glass-door break-ins.

Lastly, be aware that hollow-core doors, while less expensive, are not intended for exterior use and are extremely vulnerable.  Solid doors, whether wood or steel, are significantly more secure, reduce street noise from entering your home and are more energy efficient.

As always, ensure that all windows and doors are covered to prevent burglars from peering inside and check to be certain that all potential entries are locked prior to leaving your home.

Perhaps the greatest form of security is an intangible one; caring neighbors. Be alert to the activity next door, across the street, down the block. Never hesitate to report suspicious activity or incidents that concern you. “See something…say something…make the call!”

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