Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crime Prevention Tips for Cooper City Residents...

Last evening I was invited to the Home Owner's Association meeting at Estada in Monterra. Commander (Acting Chief) Stoner and his Deputies were in attendance, and gave some very enlightening facts regarding crime and burglaries in our neighborhoods. Acting Chief Stoner gave some outstanding insights and tips on how to avoid crime and burglaries in our community.

Here is an extension of what NOT to do, and are real tips from convicted burglars...

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator..

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard yesterday. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier and less noticed.

3. I love those flowers. They tell me you have taste, and taste means there are nice things inside of your home. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer on your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin snow drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set or not. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink, and the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom, and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door; understandable. But understand this...I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. Don't take me up on it.

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. Oh and I don't forget to look under the matress. I've found some nice handguns under them.

11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kid's rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.

14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. Sometimes I look like a friend or a neighbor. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosey neighbors.

16. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he or she might stop what they're doing and wait to hear it again. If they don't hear it again, they'll ignore it and just go back to what they was doing. It's human nature.

17. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave, or enter your house without setting it, even for a few minutes?

18. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs, paintings or gaming systems I'd like to steal. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address. I already have more than what I need from your FaceBook or MySpace profile.

20. To you, leaving that window or garage door open just a crack during the day, or at night, is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an open invitation.

21. If you don't answer when I knock, I'll try the door. More than occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Protection for you and your home:

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you...Wasp Spray. When asked by a concerned person about using pepper spray, the local police department recommended that you get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray can shoot up to twenty feet away and is more accurate, while with the pepper spray, an attacker has to get too close and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote.

More on Wasp and Hornet Spray - On the heels of a break in and beating in Toledo , self defense experts have a tip that could save your life. A teacher in the art of self-defense has told his students for decades to keep a can of wasp and hornet spray near their door or bed. "This is better than anything I can teach them." It is inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, "spray the culprit in the eyes". "That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save your life. Please share this with all the people in your life.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, Kentucky, security consultant Chris McGoey and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book 'Burglars on the Job'.

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