- 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.