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How to prevent a break-in.

Here are 15 things to think about that may help you make your home less attractive to a burglar and to keep you from being victimized:

  1.  Burglars hate nosy neighbors, video cameras and loud dogs. 
  2. Many burglars will knock first. If you don't answer when they knock, they try the door. Occasionally, they walk right in.  If that doesnít work they will go to the back of your house where they canít be seen and look for the easiest way in to your home.  If you do answer, they may ask if a nonexistent person is there, for directions somewhere, offer to clean your gutters, or say their ball is in your back yard.  If you believe they are suspicious, please call the police and we will check them out.
  3. If you forget to lock your door, or youíre just going to be gone for a minute, remember that burglars don't take a day off and it only takes a minute to be victimized. 
  4. Burglars will break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, they'll stop what theyíre doing and wait to hear it again. If they don't hear it again, they'll just go back to what they were doing. It's human nature. 
  5.  A burglar may take an opportunity to case your home while cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, delivering new appliances, or any other service that gives them easy access to your home. 
  6. By letting people use the bathroom when working in your yard, it gives them a chance to unlatch a back window, making a return burglary a little easier.  
  7. Burglars really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway and they might leave a pizza flyer on your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it. 
  8. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where a burglar can see if it's set, and donít leave valuables in plain view.
  9. Donít pay for an alarm system and leave your house without setting it.  Alarm the window over the sink and it's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up too. 
  10. Burglars don't always have enough time to break into a safe, but if it's not bolted down, they will take it. 
  11. A loud TV or radio can be a great deterrent. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.
  12. Burglars do their best to not look like a crook.
  13. Burglars love looking in your windows. They are looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs, jewelry or gaming systems. Burglars will drive or walk through your neighborhood to pick the easiest targets.  Leaving a window open, just a crack, during the day as a way to let in a little fresh air is an invitation. 
  14. Avoid announcing your vacation on social media outlets.  It's easier than you think to look up your address. Parents: caution your kids about this.
  15. If you are having your home tented for fumigation, do not leave anything valuable in your home.  Your home will be left unsecured creating an ideal situation for an opportunistic burglar.

Remember, getting to know your neighbors will create a safe environment for you and your family.  Please donít hesitate to call the police if you see or hear anything that looks or sounds suspicious. They would rather look into a false alarm then have you or your neighbor be victimized. 

The police can be reached by dialing 911 if it is an emergency or (562) 435-6711 for any non-emergency needs.

(Information courtesy Commander Luman of the Long Beach Police Department, North Division.)