Residential burglary prevention tips offered
Updated April 19, 2013
Residential burglary is one of the most predominant forms of property crime, along with auto theft and vehicle burglary. To help residents prevent residential burglary, the Cerritos Sheriff's Station/Community Safety Center offers the following tips.
Lock your doors and windows
Most residential burglaries in Cerritos are directly attributed to residents leaving doors or windows open or unlocked. This "open invitation" provides a quiet and effortless means of entry to a burglar.
A significant percentage of residential burglaries occur via open garages when people are home, but are either in the house or backyard. Keep your garage door closed as much as possible.
Secure the perimeter of your home
Make sure that all windows and doors are secured before you leave. Use locking pins in sliding glass doors and windows as a means of keeping them from being pried from their tracks.
Install solid core doors, which are stronger in their construction than regular or glass doors. Consider purchasing double-pane windows, which are a proven burglar deterrent.
Protect your master bedroom
Once inside, almost all burglars will go straight to the master bedroom. They know that many residents keep jewelry and cash there. Laptops, cameras, cell phones and credit cards are also commonly reported stolen items.
Find unique hiding places for any type of valuable keepsakes that cannot be replaced. You may want to keep such items in a bank safety deposit box.
Be creative in the manner that you store your valuable items. Laundry rooms, refrigerators, bathroom cabinets and the garage are places burglars rarely look. Consider using a non-distinct container such as a shoebox to store your items.
Install an alarm system
Installing an alarm system in your home is a wise investment. If there is any indication that your home contains a dog or an alarm system, a burglar will almost always bypass it and look for another target.
Most systems emit a high-pitched tone that can be heard as soon as a door or window is broken or a motion detector picks up movement inside the home. You may be eligible for a reduction of home insurance rates after a system is installed.
Be aware of "casing"
Residents are advised to be aware of a common method of reconnaissance, or "casing," used by suspects in residential burglaries. Lengthy door knocking and doorbell ringing are utilized in an attempt to determine if anyone is home.
When the door is answered, the suspect will claim to be lost, will solicit some type of service or product or may ask for someone that does not live there. If this happens to you, call the Cerritos Sheriff's Station at once to report a suspicious person.
If you do not want to answer the door, always tell the person from behind the closed door that you cannot open it right now, or make a sufficient amount of noise inside to alert the person to your presence.
When you are on vacation
Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper and check on your house periodically while you are away. You can also have your mail and newspaper delivery temporarily stopped. Create the illusion that you are home by installing timers on your lights and electronics.
You can also arrange for a Vacation Security Check by the Cerritos Sheriff's Station/Community Safety Center Volunteers on Patrol by calling (562) 860-0044..