During this economic downturn, it appears people will stop at nothing to earn a buck. Including stealing your hard earned possessions and cash. The police blotter is sadly full of car and home break ins. This is not a new epidemic, however, a seemingly growing one.
How do we protect ourselves from such devastation one might ask? Simple common sense and never hold a false sense of security. May sound harsh in our own hometown, the place we live, the place we raise our children and the epicenter of our day to day lives, our community. Unfortunately we as citizens need to take action to take back our town. A few tips and tricks will bore thieves. They will move on to a place that is less likely to expect what we have come to know as day to day normalcy.
Lock your car. If you run in a store or even in your home for two seconds, lock your car. In your own driveway or in front of your house, lock it. Easy to do. Nine out of ten people have a key chain button that locks the doors for you, it is an effortless motion. Click...done.
Empty your car. Do not leave anything in it. Nothing. Not so much as an empty 20 oz coffee cup. Remove all bags, backpacks, change. Nothing is safe. Do not leave so much as a pen in sight in your car. It may allure thieves to find out what else you left. Do not leave your insurance cards and registration or any document in your car. Keep them safe in your wallet. No phone chargers. Absolutely nothing. Ladies, we carry big bags with us for a reason, grab that cell phone charger and gps unit before you exit your vehicle and drop it in your bag. Men, well that is why you are lucky enough to have women with big bags in your life. If not, just grab them before you exit your vehicle.
Lock your home. I am shocked to learn how many people, knowing the crime statistics in the U.S. leave doors and windows of their homes unlocked. The saying may be true, if someone wants to get in bad enough, they will. However, let's make it as difficult as possible, that way, a better chance exists that a neighbor or someone may see something suspicious and report it to the police.
Do not become a creature of habit. Change up your schedule a little here and their. Coming and going from your car or home makes you and your home a target and way too predictable, enabling you to become a victim of thievery.
Take it to the extreme. Slightly higher electric bills may be worth the alternative. Leave different lights on in your home. Close all blinds and curtains and create a little white noise. Leave a TV or music on near an entry point, to create the illusion of someone is home. May sound slightly extreme, even in my own head. These are things we need to do to protect our assets.
If you rent your home, purchase renters insurance. Couple hundred dollars a year well spent, when you weigh the cost of replacing every valuable in your home.
Secure the perimeter. Outside lights on timers and motion activated flood lights are an inexpensive well worth it investment. Lock down all sheds, gates and garages. Double check those windows are locked, even on a second story window. Thieves are creative.
Clean it up. The season is over kids. Put those yard gnomes in storage before they disappear. Yes, I actually read that yard gnomes were stolen. Who does that??? If you enjoy your yard gnomes let them hibernate for the winter in lock down so you will have the luxury of enjoying those cute yet creepy little statues for years to come.
Secure your trash. Yes, even odder. Do you know how many people stop in front of my home on trash day and tear up my trash? What are you looking for??? I guess someones trash truly can be another persons treasure. However, my personal information shall not be the treasure you find. Shred it--anything with your name, date of birth, social security number, credit card and banking statements. Yup, shred it all.
Finally the most important thing to do, if you see suspicious activity, call the police. I am absolutely certain your neighbor will not be upset with you when you call the police because they were climbing in their window at 2 a.m. because they lost their key. I am absolutely certain they will be a little less than neighborly toward you, after their home is robbed and you say, I saw somebody climbing in the window at 2 a.m. and did nothing.
We are all in this predicament together. Let's take back our town together.