Every year there are a number of folks who find themselves victims of thieves. While it is impossible to prevent every crime all the time, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of being a victim.
Thefts from the home:
In the city ofTemeculawe have enjoyed a comparatively low crime rate for a good many years. Unfortunately for some folks, this has led to a sense of complacency when it comes to securing our homes. The following are some tips to help you avoid thefts from your home.
- Always close and lock your doors and windows when you are away from your home.
- It’s best to keep your doors closed and locked even if you are home.
- Never leave your garage door open if you are not in the garage.
- If you keep valuable items in your back yard, such as portable barbeques or bicycles, lock them to a solid object with a bicycle lock or chain.
- Lock your side gate with a combination or padlock.
- Keep valuable items out of view as much as possible. Use drapes or blinds to prevent anyone from seeing into your home.
- Use a motion activated light near all entrances to your house.
- Plant thorny or dense bushes under windows and along fence lines.
- Inform trusted neighbors when you will be away for an extended time.
- Use interior lights to avoid the appearance that the house is empty. Place lights on timers and vary the schedule.
- A house alarm with an audible alert is a great deterrent to potential thieves.
Thefts from your car:
One of the most common crimes is burglary of vehicles.
- Always remember to lock your car and roll the windows up. An unlocked car is like an open invitation to a thief. Thieves frequently wander parking lots trying door handles until they find one unlocked.
- It is fairly easy for a thief to quietly break into your vehicle and take things out. Most of the time, this is done by breaking the window and most car alarms do not detect glass breakage.
- The best way to prevent anyone from taking anything from your car is not to have anything of value in it. Thieves often pick cars with expensive items in plain view, such as GPS units, I-pods, cell phones and laptop computers. These items are small, expensive, and fairly easy for a thief to sell.
- Don’t simply throw a coat or blanket over a valuable item, this is fairly obvious to a thief and will ensure their interest in your car.
- Park in well lit, busy areas.
- When at home, park in your garage if you can.
- If your car alarm is too sensitive, adjust it. Recurring car alarms do not attract any helpful attention.
- Make sure any expensive accessories are well attached.
- Use locking lug nuts on expensive wheels.
Following these basic tips will help you avoid the hassle of reporting the crime, filing an insurance claim, and being without your prized possessions.
Community Service Officer John Thomas is a long time resident of Temecula and is a Crime Prevention Officer with the Temecula Police Department Crime Prevention Unit. He can be reached at (951) 506-5132.