Burglaries and Break-Ins
Keep up with the thieves. See where they left their footprints last week by checking the addresses in the column on the right. And do your part to avoid winding up in that column in the future with the help of the tips below.

Home Security Tips
Courtesy: Omaha Police Department

Is there a burglar working your neighborhood?
Burglars and other criminals often strike neighborhoods where residents do not watch out for each other and do not call the police when they observe suspicious activity. It is very important that you be alert to the following activities, they may be happening in your area:

  • Strangers going door-to-door, (front or back, night or day)), or loitering around the houses where residents may not be home.
  • Strangers entering a neighbor’s house when no one is home.
  • Strangers at your door who claim to be lost or looking for someone else.
  • Strangers running, possibly carrying something of value, not wrapped or packaged.
  • Strange vehicles waiting or driving in the area, parked in neighbor’s driveway, or loading property.
  • Vehicles driving without lights, or parked and occupied at unusual hours.
  • Unusual noises such as screaming, gunshots, dogs barking continuously, glass breaking, etc.

    Taking Action
    Burglaries and other crime can be stopped if you and your neighbors get involved.

    Form a Neighborhood Watch Group (brochure available) and keep a list of Neighborhood Watch members on your refrigerator or near the main telephone in your house.

    When you notice suspicious activity, call the police at 911. Then, call other Neighborhood Watch members to notify them of the activity so they can secure their homes, turn on lights and be alert for further activity.

    Be prepared to do your civic duty in reporting crime, being a witness for the police and testifying in court if called upon to do so.

    Develop good habits in personal and home safety so that you re not an easy target for a criminal.

    Don't Make It Easy
    Never allow strangers to enter your home for any reason such as using your telephone or bathroom. Call 911 for them if they need help.

    Be wary of sales people, solicitors, or others who claim to be legitimate. Make them prove it with identification. Then call back to their office to verify it.

    Remember, a burglar has to knock on your door to see if someone is home, just like anyone else does. If someone is at your door and you are not expecting a visitor or do not already know them, you should become suspicious.

    Never leave house keys under the door mat, in the mail box, etc., burglars check these places.

    Make sure your home is secured with good doors, windows and locks. Then keep them closed and locked when you are away, even if you will only be in the yard or next door.

    Place valuables such as extra cash and jewelry in a bank or safety deposit box.

    Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed so they do not become places for intruders to hide. Keep your property neat so burglars know that someone cares for it.

    When you are away from your home, make sure things appear as if someone were home. Leaving a radio or television on, the usual lights on, a car in the driveway and using timers are just a few good precautions.

    If you will be gone for an extended period, make sure a trusted neighbor will watch your home for you, pick up your mail and call the police if suspicious activity occurs. Also notify the police of your plans. This information will be provided to the officers who patrol your area.

    If you have an automatic garage door opener, never exit the garage until the door has closed and you are sure no one entered when the door was open.

    Security Tips Lights:
    Install lights over all doors, mount spot lights on each corner of the house to illuminate all exterior walls.

    Record All Valuable Property:
    Keep a record of serial numbers along with a detailed description of your property.

    Sliding Doors and Windows:
    Cut a heavy dowel or broom handle to the length of the bottom track and lay it in the track so that the door or window will not slide open when forced. Your door and window dealer also sell devices that serve this purpose.

    Basement or Kitchen Doors and Windows:
    Consider securing with strong ornamental grills or screens.

    Sash Windows:
    Should be secured with quality locking devices. Small wooden blocks or similar devices should be installed in the side tracks to limit the height that the windows can be opened to four (4) inches.

    Garage Doors:
    Should be closed and properly locked. All ladders and tools that may help a burglar break into your house should be locked in the garage or house.

    Porch and Yard:
    Should be clear of all newspapers and circulars. Keep the grass mowed and the snow shoveled.

    Any dog that barks loudly when a stranger comes to the door is a good deterrent. The noise will scare away most burglars.

    Burglar Alarms:
    Shop for the system that best fits your needs. Alarms do discourage burglars.

    These crime-fighting tips are courtesy of the Omaha Police Department.
    For more security and safety information, visit the OPD Web site

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