Although home burglary statistics are down considerably in recent years, both locally and nationally, the threat of someone breaking into your home or garage is still a real threat. In addition, and often more significant than the monetary loss of money and/or valuable property, many victims of home burglary experience anxiety after their home is invaded by an intruder. The Chesterfield Police Department would like its residents to be informed on how to decrease the likelihood of such a crime being committed at their home and/or to reduce the likelihood that a burglary attempt might be successful.
Successful prevention includes five concepts: deter, deny, delay, detect, and deceive. We would like to offer the following tips and bits of information that will hopefully assist in preventing or reducing the likelihood of successful residential burglary in your neighborhood:
- Look out for each other; always call 911 if you see suspicious activity around you or your neighbors' homes.
- Be aware that burglars often knock on the front door of a residence, going around to less visible side or rear doors or windows to break in if they receive no response at the front door (If someone comes to the door they say they are looking for someone, usually given a common first name).
- When away from your home after dark, make sure that your home is well lit on the inside and out. A house with no lights on inside and just the porch light on (known as a burglar beacon) is a sure sign to a potential burglar that no one is home. Outside lighting should be deflected back on the house, casting shadows, rather than flood lights pointed away from the house.
- Be aware that burglars often park two or three streets away from potential targets and then move undetected through wooded common ground areas.
- Purchase quality dead bolt locks, use extra long screws for your main doors' heavy duty striker plates, "pin" first floor windows so that they can be left partially opened but cannot be opened all the way up from the outside even when pried, install extra locks on sliding glass doors so that they cannot just be lifted out of their tracks or purchase an alarm (be careful not to rely on an alarm alone, alarms are much more successful used in concert with other target hardening measures) from a reputable burglar alarm company.
- Don't leave your cars unlocked and do not leave garage door openers in your cars that are left outside overnight. Always install deadbolt locks on doorways leading from your garage to your home and lock them at night.
- Start up or become active in an existing Neighborhood Watch Program.
- Record the serial numbers of your valuable items or engrave them with your driver's licenses number and state.
These are just a few general tips that you can use to work with us in keeping the neighborhoods of Chesterfield safe. For more specific information, to get a copy of the Chesterfield Police Crime Prevention Manual or to find out more about Neighborhood Watch in Chesterfield please contact one of the officers in the Bureau of Community Affairs 636-537-3000 or by email at email@example.com.