Tips to Use to Prevent Burglaries

Residential burglaries may seem random, but they involve a simple selection process

Burglary is the criminal act of breaking and entering the house of another, and it can happen to anyone … in any neighborhood.

Although residential burglaries may seem random, they typically involve a selection process which is usually very simple. The criminal chooses an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of concealment, and the best escape route.

Most often, the criminal looks for items to steal that are small, expensive, and can be easily converted to cash, in-cluding jewelry, guns, laptop computers, video game systems, iPods and cell phones. The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when homeowners are at work or school.

While there is no such thing as a burglar-proof home, there are certain prevention strategies that can reduce your home's risk of being burglarized. The Prince William County Police Department offers the following tips to protect yourself and your home:

• Keep all doors, windows, and sliding glass doors locked at all times, even when at home.

• Keep garage doors down and keep all interior doors from the garage to the house locked.

• Examine your house as a burglar would. Stand outside windows and look in to make sure your valuables, such as expensive electronics, are not visible. If you can see it, so can they.

• Keep your front and rear porch lights on, use motion sensors.

• Lock all car doors, even when parked in your driveway or garage. If a burglar can't get into your house, they may target your car instead.

• If you hear something, do not investigate. Go to a safe room in your home, call the police (911), and stay on the line.

• Be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activity during the day, as well as the evening hours.

• Report all suspicious activity to the police.

This column was published in on December 27, 2008.  It was provided by the Prince William County Police Department's Public Information Office.

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