A warning about recent residential burglaries

Last year saw an increase in residential burglaries here in the Village. As we begin 2012, the Pinecrest Police Department wants all residents to be aware of this issue, as well as become educated on some crime prevention techniques to help lower your chance of being victimized.

More often than not, residential burglaries occur during the daytime hours when the majority of us are at work and our houses unoccupied. A common occurrence here in the Village is the burglar enters the house through a rear door or window. This method provides the criminal with concealment as he/she usually can’t be seen from the street by a passing motorist or police vehicle.

Once inside, burglar(s) try to take the most valuable items in the least amount of time possible. They routinely head to the master bedroom with jewelry a frequent target. It’s easy to sell and is small in size, so it can be removed in a small bag or pouch. Oftentimes, a pillow case is taken from the house for this purpose. A burglar can be in and out of house in a matter of minutes, but the impact to the victims can last a lifetime.

What can you do to minimize your chances of becoming a victim? While no crime prevention technique is infallible, there are many things residents and homeowners can do to reduce their chances of being victimized. The concept of making your property a less likely target is what we refer to as “Target Hardening.”

Home security systems are a must in this day and age. Aburglar’s intent is to enter your house without bringing attention to his actions. A home security system’s primary goal is to do just that, bring not only attention, but to also notify the police whenever there’s activation. The system you choose should include, at a minimum, the following features:
• Sensors on every entry/exit point including windows.
• Motion/glass break sensors.
• Exterior and interior siren.
• Cellular communication backup.
• Backup power source.
• Monitoring by a central station to notify the police.

Remember no home security system is effective if it is not activated.

Security cameras are a deterrent because criminals do not want to be captured on camera and they also provide valuable evidence should an incident occur. Security cameras should be highly visible and obvious from the exterior of your residence. The DVR or recording device should be secreted in an inconspicuous place within your residence so it cannot be readily located by a burglar. The DVR serves no purpose if it too is stolen. There are many types of security cameras on the market, some factors to consider when researching security cameras are:
• Lighting conditions at your residence (the more light the better the image).
• Size of the property (the larger the property, the more cameras needed).
• Length of recording time.
• Placement of the cameras.

Shrubs and trees should be neatly trimmed. Overgrown brush allows for a burglar to be on your property virtually unseen from the street.

If you have valuables that you routinely keep inside your house, invest in a high quality safe. Floor safes are a great way to secure your small valuables like jewelry. The safe is installed in the foundation of your residence with just the door on the surface. These safes are difficult to defeat and can be easily concealed with furniture or carpet. Standard safes should be anchored to the foundation of the house so they can’t be easily removed from the residence.

A question that is commonly asked is, “What if I am home during the day?” Adaytime residential burglar will often knock on the front door prior to breaking in to see if the house is occupied. If you are home and someone comes to your front door that you’re not expecting, make your presence known. Without opening the door ask the individual what they want. If the burglar is made aware that someone is home they will most likely move on to another target. You should then immediately call us and report the incident with a description of the individual. Experience tells us that most burglars want your stuff and don’t want a confrontation.

If you see something or someone in the neighborhood that appears suspicious or out of place, call us immediately and report your observations. This simple act could mean the difference between catching those responsible and having a neighbor’s home and peace of mind invaded.

For more crime prevention techniques or to have a free security survey conducted at your residence, contact our Crime Prevention Officer, Det. Alexandra Martinez, at 305-234-2100.

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