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Burglary

BURGLARY

THE FACTS

In the United States, a burglary takes place every eight seconds. Incredibly, half of all burglaries that take place are not the result of any kind of forced entry! This disturbing statistic also implies that many victims may also known or be familiar to the robber who may have obtained access to a key.

A recent study of burglaries in Connecticut revealed that twelve percent of robberies took place simply because the owner left the premises and forgot to lock the door. Many victims believe they live in a friendly neighborhood where nobody unlawfully enters a home. Sometimes the victim was at home and simply neglected to secure the door. The moral of the story behind this study is ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOOR!

A further study at Temple University showed that losses due to burglary average out to be $400 less in residences that boast security systems. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to become the target of theft.

METHODS

If a burglar is armed, he may not necessarily be deterred by your presence in the home, so be sure to keep your door locked at all times. Many burglaries take place during hot weather, when the resident feels it necessary to keep a window or back door open to catch a breeze.

Most burglaries take place when the resident is absent from the home using the following methods:

* Forcing entry by breaking panes of glass on windows or doors
* Using brute physical force such as kicking or the, the use of saws, knives, sledge hammers to gain entry through a door or window
* Using skeleton keys and lock picks to gain access
* Taking advantage of natural openings in the home such as entrances to fruit cellars, fire places and sun porches with screens that can easily be slit open

PREVENTION

There are several steps that a homeowner can take to secure a home against burglary.

* Install secure locks on all doors and windows and keep them locked at all times
* Don't hide a spare key under the door mat, under a flower pot or anywhere on the premises
* Never loan anyone a spare key to your home as even someone as innocuous as a babysitter can have unintentional criminal associations
* Invest in a security system that includes an alarm and post security stickers on windows and doors
* If you can't afford a security system, you can purchase warning stickers that can be posted on windows and doors that may deter burglars from targeting your home
* When you are not home use a timer to turn interior lights on and off at varying intervals so that burglars will think is on the premises
* Always lock your door, even if you are leaving your home for a very short time, (for a trip to the corner store or visit to the neighbor for example)
* Keep any tools that could be used to break into your home, such as ladder, axe or crowbar safely locked away in your basement or a tool shed
* Plant thorny bushes under all windows and trim back any shrubs or trees that could obscure the presence of a thief

PREPARATION

It can sometimes be impossible to actually prevent a robbery, and if you suspect the presence of a burglar on your property, you are advised to call the police immediately.

However there are some measures you can take to prevent the likelihood of a robbery and minimize its effects.

* Keep your property well lit at night and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
* Take part in a Neighborhood Watch or Community Watch program and make sure the fact that such an organization exists in your area is well advertised using stickers throughout your neighborhood
* Don't tempt fate by leaving valuable items such as your purse, money, jewelry or other valuables in plain sight. Close your curtains at night.
* Take out homeowner's or renter's insurance. Write down the serial numbers of everything you own and keep descriptions and photographs of the items on file in a safety deposit box at the bank.
* Buy a barking guard dog.

WHAT TO DO IF THE UNFORTUNATE OCCURS

Odds are that you may, at the very least, be the victim of an attempted burglary at some point in your life. Even if it is just an attempted break-in call the police immediately, as it is common for burglars to assume that the victim will think that they will not strike twice. Sadly, they often do.

If you are present during the robbery, try to assimilate an accurate description of the robber to give to the police. Always call police immediately after the discovery of a burglary. Don't delay.

 

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