Opinion: Tips to protect your home from theft
Updated 4:06 pm, Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Most burglars are not master criminals. They’re usually looking for an easy opportunity to get into a house without being seen. Burglars love it when you make their job easier for them.
Be wary of unknown visitors: Always check the identity of visitors before admitting them to your home. Often unsolicited offers to perform work or inspections (chimney repairs, driveway repairs, utility company inspections, etc.) are scams or a ruse to commit a crime. Always contact our department via 911 if you see suspicious persons or vehicles.
Be a good neighbor: Get to know your neighbors, watch out for them and report suspicious activity, persons or vehicles in your neighborhood immediately. Crime prevention is the best cure.
Don’t leave clues you are away: If you go on vacation, never leave clues that you are away. Cancel newspaper deliveries and have someone pick up your mail or have it held at the post office. Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you aren’t home. Be careful of postings on social networks like Facebook — burglars monitor these sites to see if you are away.
Don’t let burglars hide: Keep bushes and trees well trimmed away from the front of your home especially near doors and windows and along pathways. Hedges provide a hiding place for burglars to work behind.
Keys: Never leave the keys to your home or car inside a vehicle or in a place where a thief can find them. Keys placed under a doormat, flower pot, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places may invite a burglary. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
Light up your home: At night, keep the perimeter of your home well lit. Low energy lighting switched on and off by photoelectric sensors (low light switches) is a cost-effective way to discourage burglars.
Lock up: Lock all doors and windows when you leave home, day or night, even for a short time. Burglars are opportunists and leaving a door or window open makes it easy for them.
Mark and secure valuables: Mark your valuables with a unique identifying number using permanent (visible) or ultra violet (invisible) marker pen. Inventory all valuable and/or unique items. Photographs and video of these items may help with recovery and insurance claims. Never leave valuables in your vehicle.
Neighborhood watch: Work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce the risk of a burglary. Be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood — the most important thing you can do is call our department to report a crime or anything suspicious.
Schedule a security survey: Contact our department at 203-594-3512 to schedule a free security survey. A trained police officer will survey your residence or business and will give you tips on how to protect your property.
Security/video cameras: Consider installing a camera that covers the interior/exterior of your residence and the street near it. The price point of good camera systems has dropped recently making this a wise investment.
Use your alarm system: Always activate your alarm system, even when you are at home, and whenever you leave your house — even for a short time. Many successful burglaries that occur in our town involve houses that have alarm systems that were not activated.
Leon Krolikowski is the New Canaan chief of police.