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.
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!”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office continues to distribute dog and cat food to those in need!
Anyone needing pet food should feel free to visit us at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Miromar Outlets Community Outreach Center located inside the Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Suite 190, in Estero.
Both dry and canned dog and cat food are available at this time (while supplies last).
Please park near the WINK Playland on the northwest corner of the property.
Following the announcement of recent legislation designated to offer limited loan forgiveness, scammers diligently went to work to find ways to extract personal information from enthusiastic and unsuspecting student-load consumers.
It has been reported, nationwide, that individuals have received phone calls, text messages and messages across social media platforms asking student-loan consumers to call a variety of numbers.
These messages are fraudulent and are an attempt to steal personal information including social security numbers, date of birth, bank information, etc.
DO NOT return these calls, respond to these messages or click on these internet links.
Last month, LCSO was notified of a “Geek Squad” scam that had been reported to our Economics Crime Unit.
Along similar lines, it appears that “Tech Support” scams have become commonplace and have been reported to our agency. This fraudulent activity involves criminals falsely representing legitimate companies in an attempt to share personal information, make payment for bogus antivirus software or for computer repairs…or both.
Legitimate antivirus software protects computer users from malware, phishing attacks, spyware, viruses and much more. Many of these products perform well and protect consumers from malicious activity.
Unfortunately, the common use of antivirus products has led to technical support scams that may seem reputable and legitimate to even savvy computer users.
The fraudulent activity generally begins with a random notification indicating that you have a serious/urgent problem as a result of malware. You are asked to click on a link to repair this issue, respond to a “pop-up” notification, call a phone number for assistance, respond to an email or text or send payment for the repair.
These messages and phone calls appear to come from trusted and well-known technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Norton, McAfee, etc. The emails/texts will likely use their corporate logos and/or addresses.
Should you receive any form of random and unexpected message or phone call…do not respond!
Do not click on any links…do not call tech-company phone numbers left in voicemail messages…do not provide personal or financial information to anyone offering technical support. Legitimate corporations will never ask for your credit card number, social security number, bank account number, etc.
It is always a good idea to run a security scan on your computer or laptop. This will help you find and eliminate malware. Keep your security software up-to-date by turning on automatic updates.
Should you receive these messages, or similar ones, please report them to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 239-258-3292.