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New Year's resolutions should include an alarm system for the home

Updated December 20, 2016

There is no denying that 2016 was an active year for residential burglaries in Cerritos and many other municipalities statewide. Theories about the reasons for this are abundant. Could it be due to the mandated release of state inmates to the counties to ease overcrowding at that level? Could it be that the county system has been overburdened for a number of years and has been forced to release inmates earlier to reduce overcrowding at their level? Could it be that residential burglary is a property crime and worth taking a chance on because it is not considered a violent crime that warrants a more serious sentence? The debate can go on and on, but in the meantime, what can be done to keep us from becoming victims?

The Cerritos Sheriff's Station has developed strategies for patrol deputies to help minimize these crimes, but they cannot do it all by themselves; we all need to participate. This can be done simply by calling the station when you see something out of place or suspicious in your neighborhood. Unfamiliar cars parked with unfamiliar people in them, door-to-door solicitors (or at least they appear to be) and strangers in your neighbor's yard or driveway are just a few examples. Sheriff's deputies patrol many neighborhoods and cannot be acquainted with them as well as the residents, so don't hesitate to call the Cerritos Sheriff's Station when you make an observation that doesn't seem right to you. Call (562) 860-0044 to report suspicious activity and 911 to report a crime in progress.

Another important tool in preventing residential burglaries is a monitored alarm system. Many wait until after their homes are burglarized before considering an alarm system. There is definite peace of mind associated with knowing an alarm is on at your home while you are away. There is also data to suggest that burglars will avoid a home protected by an alarm system if there is some indication an alarm is in use. This can be accomplished by an alarm company sign prominently displayed in front of the home and by use of alarm company window stickers or decals on side and rear doors or windows. Burglars that are performing reconnaissance of a neighborhood, or "casing," will see the alarm signs and realize that your home is just one of many in the area, but may be part of a small minority that is protected by an alarm. Burglars will recognize when an attempt to enter is not worth taking a chance on.

Let's all pitch in and do our part to reduce crime in our neighborhoods. Call the Cerritos Sheriff's Station when you see something suspicious and equip your home with an alarm system BEFORE you become a victim of a residential burglary.


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