Area Thefts – Keep A Watchful Eye

It has been reported that there have been a number of thefts throughout the community in the past few days.  Homeowners are reminded to keep a watchful eye for suspicious activity, and report items to the Lafayette Police.

Reminders from Sgt. F. W. Palmer of the Lafayette Police Department:

> Being a Police Officer for over 40 years, there are a few things you learn along the way. Here are some of them that will help you be more safe in your home, and your personal belongings.

> 1. Close your garage door at night. Open doors are an invitation for crime, especially if you don’t lock the door from the garage into the house.

> 2. Leave at least one front porch light on, and one back porch light on all night. This is cheap insurance and will not add that must to your electric bill. Motion sensors are not the best idea, criminals learn quickly which lights are on these devices and ignore them. LOCK YOUR DOORS!! This sounds so simple, put so many people don’t do this. They leave back doors, doors from the garage to the house, and sliders unlocked when not at home. Locking the back door, or slider is especially important if your home backs up to an open space.

> 3. Lock vehicles. Make a habit of doing this every time you get out; at home, parking lots, where ever.

> 4. Don’t leave anything in your vehicle of value, if you must, put it in the trunk where it can not be seen. Wallets, purses, cell phones, computers, and other valuables are as open invitation.

> 5. Put bicycles and children’s toys away, at least in the backyard, provided it is fenced. Otherwise, they need to go in the garage. Putting them on the front porch does not work!

> 6. Never leave downstairs / first floor windows open at night, or when you are not at home. If you must, only open upstairs windows that are not accessible from the ground. Keep ladders in the garage, not next to them on the ground. This works for keeping your teens in at night too. Its harder for them to seek out the bedroom window and use the ladder to go see their friends after you have gone to bed! Trust me on this one!

> 7. Going on vacation, tell your neighbors so they can watch the house. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor, or family member so if there is a problem, someone can get in without breaking a window, or door frame.

> 8. Go to the City website and click on the Police Department website, complete a vacation request form so we can check on your house while you are gone. Leave contact information.

> 9. Report suspicious activities. Most burglaries occur during the day light hours, late morning. If you see a vehicle parked in the driveway of a neighbor you don’t recognize, call the police. Some one walking around the neighbor, stranger comes to the door looking for someone, or says they are lost, call the police. They are ring door bells to see who is home, and who is not. Better safe than sorry.

> 10. Expecting a package? Not going to be home? Make arrangements for a neighbor to watch for the UPS truck and intercept the package for you. Good tip for the holiday season.

> 11. Got a dog? Plan attention to them when they bark, they are most likely telling you something is wrong. Especially late at night. Many lives have been saved from fires because the dog smelled the smoke before anyone else. Even the smoke alarm, you know, the one with the dead battery in it!

> 12. Got an alarm? Make sure it working correctly, repeated false alarms result in delayed response time by police. Cried wolf once to many times. Same with car alarms. Not to mention, your neighbors will appreciate it as well.

> 13. Check smoke alarms, CO2 sensors, and fire extinguishers for proper working order.

> 14. Got an emergency / escape route, plan for a fire? How about if someone breaks in, where does everyone go? Who calls 911? Same with sever storms, where does everyone go? These plans need to include remembering to take a cell phone with you.

> 15. Do you have people living in your home with special needs? Someone elderly, or suffering from an illness? The first thing emergency responders need is the person’s name, age, medical history, medications being taken, and a clear route from the front door to the person. If you call for an ambulance, make sure the paramedics can get in with all their gear. Put the dog up, they get excited and may bit a first responder. Plus they get in the way. Have a list of medications being taken available to give the first responders, this saves time.

> Last but not least, the old saying “Criminals look for the easiest target” is true. The house with the lights on, they pass by. Going next door to the one with no lights on, is a better target. The more you do to discourage them, the less likely you will become a victim.

> You may request a home security check by contacting Robert Wilson, the Department’s Crime Prevention person. Bob is available Monday thru Friday, 8 to 5. You may wish to discuss a Neighborhood Watch Program with him as well.