Hot Prowl Prevention Tips

  • Keep outside doors locked.  Place a dowel or stick in a sliding window or door track.  Windows are often much less attended to than doors, so check them throughout the home routinely.
  • Install drapes or blinds on all lower level windows and doors to obscure the visibility of expensive items such as computers, stereos and televisions.  Use a caller ID system and screen all phone calls.
  • The outgoing message on your answering device should never indicate that you are not at home.  Always use plural nouns even if you live alone.
  • Cut up cartons for TVs, computers, stereos, etc.  Tie the pieces together so a burglar going through the garbage does not see any evidence of highly valuable household items.
  • Do not put your name and residential address on your key ring.
  • When service or deliver people come to your door, ask for ID.
  • Never leave notes on your door for delivery people.
  • When traveling, make sure you have someone checking on the house, collecting your mail and newspapers.
  • If you hear or see something suspicious call the police immediately.
  • Contact your local Police Department to determine if they have an emergency phone number for cell phones.  Program the emergency number in your phone.
  • Do not post that you are out of town on your social network, i.e., Facebook page.

A “Hot Prowl” is a burglary when a subject enters, or attempts to enter your home while someone is there.  A hot prowl burglary is dangerous because of the possible confrontation between the subject and victim.

A victim has a number of options to choose from if they feel someone is attempting to break into their home.

  • If using a landline phone call 9-1-1 immediately.  If you can’t speak to the dispatcher, leave the phone off the hook – don’t hang up.  The dispatcher will send officers out to your location. If you can speak to the dispatcher, tell him/her what you hear, where it is coming from, how many people live in the house, etc. If you see the subject, give a description to the dispatcher. This information will be relayed to officers responding to the scene.
  • If using a cell phone call your local Police Department on their cell phone emergency phone number.  Contact your local Police Department to obtain their emergency cell phone number.
  • If you feel someone is in the house, and you can leave safely, do so.
  • If you and other members of your family can not leave safely, try and lock yourselves in a bedroom or bathroom. Take the phone or cell phone with you if possible.
  • Be safe. Try to avoid a confrontation with the subject if at all possible.