School is out and it is the time of year we see an increased amount of thefts and property damages. Here are some suggestions to secure your property this summer:
Property Damage: The main way to prevent property damage is to continually keep an eye/ear out for your neighbors by reporting anything suspicious, especially at night time. If you see any teenager out passed curfew, contact our dispatch at 636-278-2222. When officers are patrolling the area overnight, they will always stop to check on pedestrians who appear to be underage, so we need your help reporting these individuals.
o Curfew for 16 years of age and younger – Sunday – Thursday, 11 PM – 6 AM and Friday/Saturday 12 AM – 6 AM. Curfew means those individuals 16 and under cannot be out without a guardian after curfew in any public area.
· Invest in good lighting around your resident (though be mindful that it is not disturbing your neighbors). Lighting is a great way to deter people from coming onto your property to steal or damage your property
· Do not leave loose landscaping bricks, rocks, or other tools around your property. These are frequently used to break windows to gain access into a locked vehicle.
Thefts: LOCK VEHICLE DOORS. Every single time.
o Majority of thefts from vehicles in our area occur when people forget to lock their car doors.
o Thieves will walk around just trying door handles on vehicles and only entering those that are unlocked. This method is preferred for two reasons: It is easy and it draws little to no attention.
· Remove valuables from vehicles
o We take too many reports for laptops, expensive purses, debit/credit cards and guns stolen from vehicles. These items should not remain inside the vehicle because they are easily and commonly stolen.
o If you have to leave these items in your vehicle, make sure they are kept out of sight and when you place them out of sight, you should always do it prior to arriving at your destination so no one sees you hiding the items.
· Close garage doors
o Always close your garage doors when it is being left unattended, including when you are at home.
o Thieves can steal from open garages very quickly and are very rarely caught or detected by the owner or neighbor because it can be done so fast.
o Most garages lead into the home and by leaving the garage door open, unattended, you are risking a possible burglary.
§ Invest in deadbolt locks on the garage door leading into your home and use them.
· Record serial numbers on property. This can easily be done by taking a picture of the serial number with your Smartphone and storing the pictures on a cloud drive. Serial numbers can be entered as stolen so officers can identify property if it is abandoned somewhere, found in a store or on a person.
· Report any suspicious behavior, especially overnight. Majority of all the thefts from vehicles happen overnight.
Vacation: Going on vacation? Here are a few tips:
o Do not announce vacation on any social media site. Do not post pictures or “check-in” at out-of-town locations while you are away. Make sure other family members (teenagers?) are not posting this information either.
§ Teenagers tend to have hundreds or thousands of friends on Facebook, most of which they do not personally know, which means they will be telling complete strangers no one is at your home. And yes, these type of burglars do occur.
o Have someone watch over your home, preferably a neighbor you trust.
§ It is great to have someone to bring in your mail, feed the fish, etc. But a trusted neighbor is your best line of defense while you are away. Leave them information about how to contact you and if anyone will be stopping by your house. Your neighbor knows what is normal for the area and can best identify anything suspicious.
o Stop newspaper/mail OR have it collected daily by a neighbor.
o Use lights with timers to give the appearance someone is home. Also, leaving a radio/TV on or on a timer to be on during the day will give the illusion someone is inside the house which can deter a burglary.
o Mow lawn prior to leaving or have it mowed when out of town. Unkempt lawn will give the indication the house is unoccupied.
o Store valuables (expensive jewelry, stocks/bonds, cash, documents) is a nondescript place while gone.
§ Nondescript would be: young child’s bedroom, storage room in basement, attic, laundry room.
Non-Emergency Dispatch 636-278-2222
Officer Melissa Doss
636-278-2244 ext 3550