SECURE YOUR HOME!
Burglary is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A home that presents itself as insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured. Please review the following in order to protect your home and your valuables:
1. The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes! Report burglaries immediately!
2. Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence. If you have not checked your house, let the police check it for you. Leave the house and call the police.
3. It’s important to keep a list of serial numbers and/or receipts of all electronic equipment, i.e., televisions, stereos, cell phones, iPods, computers, as well as a list of items that are easily sold or pawned, i.e., jewelry, collectibles. Photographs or video tapes are always useful to keep a record of what you own (and insurance companies would also find this useful and convenient). Update your list periodically and do not leave it in the residence, if possible. Use an engraving pen to write your current driver's license number on your property. Burglars don't want marked merchandise.
4. Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home - secure your residence! Sometimes installing deadbolt locks on all exterior doors or windows will deter a criminal; they don’t want to spend too much time in one place. Check and double-check that all doors and windows are shut and locked before you leave the house; even if you are leaving for a short period of time.
5. Display "Beware" signs. If you have a dog or an alarm system, put up signs that say you do. They do deter thieves.
6. When you leave your residence, do not leave valuables in plain sight. For instance, if your dining room table is within view of a window, don’t leave a laptop computer sitting there. When possible, pull shades or curtains so that property cannot be seen from outside the residence.
7. Be one step ahead of the burglar - case your own home and look for easy ways into your home and then take appropriate measures to correct it.
8. A big problem in our City is citizens not calling the police. If you see someone suspicious who does not belong in your neighborhood, call the police. If you see a suspicious vehicle, call the police. Write down the license plates of any suspicious vehicles. Write down a description of any suspicious persons. You can never be too careful. A lack of information on suspects can hinder an investigation.
9. Burglars in most instances will case a neighborhood or the routine of residents. Every once in a while, leave at a different time. Change your routine to throw the burglar off. If you are not consistent, how can they be?
10. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys. Do not leave one.
These tips are not intended to scare or frighten anyone, however, crime is a fact of life everywhere. As partners, we can discourage criminals from targeting certain areas. We can make it hard for them.
The Takoma Park Police Department currently has a task force in place made up of a Crime Analyst, detectives and patrol officers. We are committed to reducing the amount of crime in Takoma Park.
You can also request a Security Home Survey where an officer will come out to your home and look around to find places he or she believes can be better secured. Please call Lt. Bowers at 301.891.7144 if you want to set up a Security Home Survey.
Let’s make a difference together. Let’s demonstrate to the criminals that we are putting them on notice that they will be caught!