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Crime Prevention Tips

Home Security

Most home break-ins or burglaries occur during daytime hours. It is a myth that burglaries occur at night. Criminals do not wish to confront residents so they choose times when the home is vacant like the middle of a work week or when you are on vacation. One of the best ways to prevent break-ins is to give your home the “Illusion of Occupancy.” Make it look as if your house has someone in it at all times. There are many simple ways you can do this.

Utilize Timers by plugging televisions and lamps into these devices and set them on various times. Some timers have settings in which they will vary when and for how long they will turn on and off. This can give the appearance that someone is moving from room to room during the day. If you choose to use this technique, remember to turn the television or stereo volume up just loud enough that it can be heard if someone listens from outside your door. Also, put it on stations that have sport events or military type programming to give an additional appearance of a male presence in the house.

Door and Window Locks are very important as they are your first line of defense against intrusion. Make sure that locking mechanisms are strong and adequate. Dead bolt locks are recommended for all doors leading outside. This includes doors leading into the house from an attached garage. If you install a deadbolt lock on your door, it should be placed at minimum, 50 inches from the nearest window or door glass. Sliding doors prove a challenge but there are many inexpensive devices that can be added to secure these door types. Whatever device you choose, make sure that it prevents lateral and horizontal movement of the doors so that they cannot be moved off of the track.

Alarm Systems should be only a small part of your overall home security plan. Alarms will let you and the police know you’ve been broken into, but on average a thief will be in and out of your home in three minutes. Most alarms have 5-10 minute delays plus the response time for police to get there. Consider adding an exterior audible alarm that should alert neighbors instantly and may deter the thief from going any further once they’ve set it off. Ensure all persons in your house know how to use the alarm. On average, 95% of the alarms for police are false. 

Remember, there are no 100% guarantees that these or any tips will stop you from falling victim to a thief, but using these techniques will help to Deter, Detect, Delay or Deny access to your property and that is our goal.

Vehicle Security

Below are some tips that will reduce your chances of being a victim of crime:

Always lock your vehicle even while parked at your residence. 
Criminals will go from car door to car door searching for that one vehicle left unlocked.

Secure, remove or conceal anything of value.
GPS devices are a hot target currently. Even taking the devices off of the window leaves the tell tale marks of the suction cups. Thieves look for this indicator so clean them off regularly.

Remove anything with personal information on them. 
Pay check stubs, old check books, bills with account numbers even your vehicle registration are increased opportunities for Identity Theft.

Never leave your vehicle running, even for a short time to warm up, or even to run into a store for a moment. 
If you do, use a spare key or invest in an automatic start system that disables the vehicle without the key.

Invest in a vehicle security system.
There are several on the market that either help to prevent the theft of your vehicle or helps locate your vehicle should it become stolen.

Remove valet keys that may be found in your glove box or owner’s manual.
Check for this key when you purchase a vehicle and keep it secure.

For additional information on Vehicle Security, visit the Virginia State Police Website: www.heatreward.com

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