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Home Burglary Key Elements

Many citizens often ask police personnel the most common forms of home burglary.  Here are a few scenarios that are often reported.  No one likes the thought of someone else entering their domain and plundering through their hard-earned investments and belongings.  You may have already been a victim, or know someone else who has.  Please read and consider the Crime Prevention tips below to possibly gain knowledge in order to protect your home and belongings.

Element #1...The Burglar

Before attempting to protect your home from attack consider the criminal element that may attempt to violate your space.  The majority, but not all, home burglaries occur during daylight hours.  These burglaries occur while people are at work, away running errands, etc.  Surprisingly enough, burglaries have occurred in as little time as it takes a victim to run to the corner store, pick up children from school or daycare, and believe it or not, even when the victim is preoccupied in the front or back yard doing chores!  The burglar who enters your home during these incidences, are burglars of opportunity.  They more than likely will not "stake out" your place in advance, they just saw an open opportunity.  Some burglars do invest some time observing your work schedule and errand habits, then will take that time frame to do their work.  These types of burglars look for soft and east targets, after all, if they wanted to work, they would get a job.  It is easier for them to steal your valuables than to work for their own.  Sadly, many of your valuables that you paid good money for are resold or traded for hundreds of dollars less or for something else they wanted.  So do not make a burglar's job easy, target harden your property.  Burglars want to get in FAST and EASY, remove those possibilities and chances are they will move to a softer and easier target.

Element #2...Point-of-Entry

The home burglar will most likely enter through an area that you may have thought as secure.  Have you heard the expression "locks keep honest people out?"  It is true in most cases.  Locks that are standard issue for today's home and apartments are simply not built or designed to withstand the forceful impact that burglars dole out.  Usually, standard issue locks are easily bypassed with a minimum of effort.  Sliding glass doors and windows are particularly easy to gain entry from.  Without proper reinforcement, all doors are easily "kicked in."  Your best defense against is thorough RESEARCH of products that are available as reinforcement.  Go to your local hardware store and ask about "auxiliary locks" for doors and windows.  Compare products and the applications of each.  The last thing you want to do is purchase unnecessary hardware.  BE CAREFUL TO CONSIDER FIRE ESCAPE REQUIREMENTS!

Element #3...Location of Entry

This element is most times the back of the home.  A door or window that is hidden from view from the front or roadside of the home is extremely vulnerable.  This is the favorite location of the burglar because it offers concealment.  Privacy fences as well as large overgrown shrubbery offers burglars cover.  Shrubbery should be no higher than 2 feet.  The canopy of trees should be no lower than 6 feet from the ground.  To give more visibility into backyards, every other slat can be removed from wooden privacy fences.  Most importantly, you should fortify rear and side entrances into your home.  That being said, do not neglect the front of your home, burglars also have used many front doors and windows in broad daylight as entry points.

Element #4...Burglary Alarms & "Operation Inventory"

Hands down, many law enforcement officers agree that an "Audible & Monitored" burglary system is best.  It sounds loudly when there has been a breach, then the alarm company contacts the police department if the proper codes were not given by the resident or if no answer was received from the home.  Alarm companies offer many options of services.  As an example, if you had a audible monitored alarm, but did not have "glass break sensors," an intruder could feasibly enter your home through a window by breaking it, but not opening it.  Therefore, the alarm was not activated since the contacts on the window have not been moved.  As you can see, depending on the "layers" of protection you add, so could the cost.  You have to weigh the benefits and see if it is a reasonable option for your family.  As earlier stated...RESEARCH.  Compare different alarm companies and see what they offer.

"Operation Inventory" is a brochure that the Tampa Police Department designed and promotes to encourage residents to document the model, serial number, and descriptions of their valuables.  You can download an "Operation Inventory" brochure.  Please take the time to fill out the brochure and then keep it in a safe place for later reference if needed.  Many valuables could be returned to the proper owners if they had documented the model and serial numbers when reporting stolen items.

Element #5...Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch Logo

Neighborhood Watch is a program promoted by the Tampa Police Department that enlists citizens to actively participate in the betterment and safety of their community.  In today's hustle and hurry, people seem to be reluctant to "get involved."  It very well may be that the neighbor 3 doors down from you is a burglary victim too and information "hidden" in the neighborhood could solve the crimes!  Utilizing others available time and talents has a strong possibility of turning around crime trends in neighborhoods.  There are many people that are stay at home Moms and Dads, professionals working from their homes, and our most under utilized resource, retired senior citizens.  All of these individuals could potentially be the "eyes & ears" of the neighborhood by joining an established Neighborhood Watch group, or starting one themselves.  If you would be interested in Neighborhood Watch, or would like additional Crime Prevention tips, please contact your Neighborhood Affairs Liaison.

Final word...

Please share these tips with friends, family, and neighbors.  Unfortunately, sometimes even the best efforts you take to protect your home may fail, depending upon the determination of the burglar.  Make your home the most uninviting house on the block to a burglar, and the hardest target to hit.

Thank You