It seems such a shame to mar the beginnings of a perfectly lovely holiday season with messages of doom about would-be thieves and how they could target you. Unfortunately, that’s the reality in which we live. People with bad intentions don’t take the holidays off; in fact, sometimes, their activities increase.
Recently, we’ve received a few calls about people who have found tape over their door locks. This is a way for a potential thief to “mark” your home, and see if you’re paying attention. If they put a piece of transparent tape over your keyhole or your doorframe, and then they come back a few days later and the tape is unbroken, they may interpret that as a sign that no one is home. Now, in reality, we know that this is not a foolproof system; a thief’s thought process rarely is. However, it’s important to take a few simple steps to prevent a criminal from targeting your home or property.
- Check the exterior of your home often and look for things that are out of place. Many of us go in and out a garage entrance, and rarely take the time to check the perimeter of our property for red flags. Check your doors and locks. Check for a planter or other item that may have been moved. If something is suspicious, call law enforcement at (970)242-6707 and report it.
- Leave your blinds open and your porch light on. A thief is going to be less likely to approach your home if they think they could be easily observed. If your blinds are open, even if you’re not home, you could prevent yourself from being targeted by someone who doesn’t want to risk being seen on your property.
- Take time to make sure doors and windows are securely locked. Have a back door that doesn’t latch correctly? Or a broken basement window you’ve been meaning to have replaced? Don’t delay repairs that, if left unattended, could compromise the safety of your home.
- Beware of porch pirates! Packages left on the front porch are a beacon for thieves, especially this time of year. Make arrangements to have deliveries made to someone who will be home to accept them whenever possible.
- Keep valuables out of sight and secured! Theft is very often a crime of opportunity; unlocked car doors are a notorious culprit. Bring your things inside, and lock your vehicle! Keep in mind that your car can be a rolling billboard. Are you a hunter? Do you support a firearm organization? If you have stickers on your car, you’re advertising that your vehicle might be a good place to check for a firearm. Don’t make it easy.
- Develop a nightly safety routine. Search Facebook or Twitter for #9PMRoutine. Law enforcement agencies across the country are encouraging citizens to make a habit of creating a safe home environment for them, their families, and their property.
Vigilant communities and neighborhoods are the first line of defense against crime. If you have questions about additional ways that you can create a safer environment where you live, please feel free to call our Community Resource Unit at (970)549-5331.
Have a safe and joyful holiday season!