Crime Prevention is Our Business. Here’s How to Make it Yours.
Burglary Prevention Tips
If you’re locked out of your home, can you still get in through an unlocked window in the back, or by using an extra key hidden under a flowerpot or up on a ledge? Remember, if you can break in, so can a burglar. A small investment of time and money can make your home more secure and reduce your chances of being a victim of burglary, assault or vandalism.
Use the following tips to help secure your home:
- Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available locks or use a broomstick or wooden dowel in the track to prevent the door from being pried open.
- Secure double-pane windows by using keylocks or by sliding a bolt or nail through a hole drilled at a downward angle in top corners of the inside sash and partway through the outside sash.
- Don’t hide keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats.
- Give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
- If you’ve just moved into a new house or apartment, have the locks changed.
Check the Doors:
- Make sure all exterior doors are metal or solid 1 3/4″ hardwood.
- Doors should fit tightly in their frames with hinge pins on the inside.
- Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors, so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
- Secure garage doors with a padlock through the roller track.
- Ensure the utility door to the garage door is locked. Oftentimes these doors are behind gates or not visible from the street, making it easier for someone to gain access.
- Lock the door in the garage leading to the interior of your home.
To discourage burglars from selecting your home as their target of opportunity, make sure to check the outside:
- Trim shrubbery that hides doors or windows.
- Cut tree limbs that could help a thief climb into windows.
- Turn on outside lights after dark to illuminate porches, entrances and yards — front & back. Consider using timers or motion detectors to activate lights.
- Keep up the appearance of the neighborhood.
- Report broken street lights to Arizona Public Service or the homeowners association and report abandoned cars to the Police
What about alarms?
- If you have valuables in your home, such as art, coin or stamp collections, furs or fine jewelry, or if you live in an isolated area, you may want to consider an alarm system.
- Before you invest in an alarm, check with several companies and decide what level of security fits your needs.
- Make sure to check their references and use an established company.
- Learn how to use your system properly. If you continually set off false alarms, your neighbors will ignore the noise and you could even be fined by the police department.
- Keep written records of all furniture, jewelry, and electronic products. If possible, keep these records in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe, or other secure place.
- Take pictures or a video, and keep purchase information and serial numbers if available. The Serial Number Tracking Form will help officers to locate stolen items. Oftentimes officers come in contact with an item, but without proper documentation there is no way to confirm the owner. This form helps officers set up a database of stolen items, creating a greater likelihood of restoring them to their owners when located.
- Print and use the Home and Business Security Survey, which contains valuable information and useful tips on how to better secure your property.
- Consider theft insurance.
- Join or help start a Buckeye Neighborhood Watch group.
- Burglars generally don’t want to run into their victims. But if they’re surprised by someone coming home, or if they pick an occupied home, someone may get hurt. If you see a screen that has been cut, a broken window, or a door that’s been left open, don’t go in! Call the police from a neighbor’s house or a public phone.
- If you do hear a noise that sounds like someone breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock yourself in a room or, if the intruder enters the room you are in, pretend to be asleep.
Auto Theft Prevention Tips
Cars seem to be natural magnets for criminals. Whether taking one for a joyride or stealing stereo equipment out of it, it’s a problem that plagues the entire valley area.
The most frequently occurring crime involving autos is burglary from vehicle. A criminal will target a car, either locked or unlocked, use a variety of objects to gain access, and steal the stereo, compact discs, clothing, sunglasses, as well as rifle through the glove box. Anything that may have a potential street value is fair game.
While not as frequent as a burglary from vehicle, auto theft is also a threat to Buckeye car owners. Many times the vehicle will be recovered, but usually at a price. The interior and exterior may be scavenged for sellable parts, including the stereo, cell phone, hubcaps, tires, and/or engine parts. Or, the car may have been driven recklessly and sustained irreparable damage.
Following a few simple steps may discourage criminals from focusing on your car:
- Lock your car and close all of the windows. Make sure the trunk is locked, too.
- Control your keys and never leave an ID tag on your key ring.
- If you’re carrying valuable items, store them in your trunk, including CDs.
- Park under street lamps when possible or in well-lit areas.
- Consider an anti-theft device such as steering column locks, alarms, or an engine/fuel kill switch. Purchase stereo systems with a removable faceplate and keep the faceplate with you when the vehicle is not in use.
- De-emphasize the value of the vehicle as much as possible.
- Keep your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a complete description of your car, your stereo system, and associated serial numbers in a safe place at home. This will help police in the possible recovery of these items.
- Engrave your driver’s license number and state identification on valuable items such as the stereo, speakers, amplifiers, and cell phones.
- Never carry the title in the vehicle. Keep the document in a safe place at home.
- License plates are also frequently stolen and used on stolen cars involved in other crimes. Get in the habit of checking your plates when you drive. A few drops of solder on the bolts or blurring the threads can help safeguard your plates.
Faith Builders Partnership for Public Safety
An inter-faith organization that works with the police department on issues related to crime prevention. For more information, contact Chaplin Richard Todd at 623-349-6400 or email@example.com.
Neighborhood Crime Watch
This program encourages participation of citizens within neighborhoods to organize block watch programs. Neighbors get to meet one another at these block watch meetings and discuss neighborhood problems and priorities. On many occasions a police officer will attend these meetings to give crime prevention tips and assist in organizing the block club. To get involved, contact our neighborhood services manager Don McWilliams 623-349-6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety Skills for Children
While most kids pass through childhood without ever experiencing physical harm, some are frightened or hurt by crime. As a parent, one of your responsibilities is to teach your children how to protect themselves and respond to threatening situations. And, it’s important to always listen to your children’s fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them feel uncomfortable.
Cover the Basics:
- Have them rehearse their full name, address, and phone number.
- Teach them how to make emergency calls from home and public phones.
- Show them safe places they can go to in an emergency, like a neighbor’s house or an open store.
- Tell them never to accept gifts or rides from someone they don’t know well.
- Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated in a store or shopping mall.
- Tell them never to go into the parking lot alone.
- Accompany your children to public restrooms.
- Teach them that no one, not even someone they know, has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Tell them they have a right to say “No.”
At School and Play:
- Make sure your children are taking the safest route to school and friends’ houses.
- Encourage them to walk and play with friends, not alone, and to stay in well-lighted, open areas where others can see them.
- Don’t hang a house key around your child’s neck. Put it inside a pocket or sock.
- Teach them to walk confidently and stay alert to what’s going on around them.
- Encourage them to look out for other kids’ safety and report anything they see that doesn’t seem right.
- Tell them to stay away from strangers who hang around playgrounds, public restrooms, and empty buildings.
At Home Alone:
- Make sure your kids can reach you by telephone at work.
- Have them check in with you at work or with a neighbor when they get home.
- Work out an escape plan in case of fire.
- Tell them to never open the door to a stranger.
- Caution them about answering the phone and accidentally letting a stranger know they are alone.
- Make sure they know how to work the door and window locks and that they use them when they are inside alone
Whereas these are merely guidelines, the important thing to remember is to keep an open and honest exchange of information between yourself and your children.