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Another Break-In in the Neighborhood
Stay Alert! Break-In/Burglary in the
Keeping Your Home Secure
Out, Even for a Short Time
Tips to Avoid
What to Do if
Your Home or Car Has Been Broken Into
How to Tell When
Someone Might Be Casing Your Home
If Going Away for an Extended Period of Time
Another Break-In in the Neighborhood
break-in in the neighborhood last week. Hope you are staying aware of
and alert to anyone coming into the neighborhood. The property or valuables you save may be
your own... or your neighbor's. Look out for one another!
Remember, most break-ins and burglaries
happen between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.,
when we are used to seeing workmen, delivery services, lawn people, etc. around
the neighborhood. Thieves are counting on you not paying attention to them.
Stay Alert! Break-In/Burglary in the Neighborhood
Thanks to Fred Heidemann for finding
out what happened.
alert to anyone in your area that may not belong. There's been a burglary (this
just happened). The break-in was done in broad daylight, when we constantly have
service trucks, workmen and lawn people in the area.
was a forced entry through the front door, but we've had break-ins in previous
years through the back door or sliding glass door, or through cut screens. So,
stay alert to anyone hanging around a house in your area. Most
break-ins ans burglaries
happen between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
If you notice anything suspicious (e.g., a workman hanging around a door,
someone looking in windows, lurking around a home or in the bushes), call
9-1-1 immediately. If you see anyone suspicious, take a moment to write down
their license plate, make notes describing the person and how they were dressed,
or their behavior that made you suspicious, so if there is a break-in, you can
provide police some additional information.
Tips for keeping your home secure:
want to spend no more than 60 seconds
breaking into a home, so make entry more
time-consuming by installing deadbolt locks
on doors and locks on windows. Check with a
locksmith or hardware store for
Make sure that the hinges on
all doors leading outside are on the inside
of the house/door so a burglar can't remove
the pins and door. (Our back door leading
to the lanai was installed with the hinges
on the outside. We never noticed until it
was pointed out to us. Check yours.)
Pushbutton locks on
doorknobs are easy for burglars to open.
Install deadbolt locks on all your outside
Sliding glass doors are
vulnerable. Lay a board or PVC pipe that
fits snugly in the track, wide enough to
prevent any jiggling or lifting of the door
from the outside. Special locks are
available for better security.
Some windows may need
better locks. Check with a locksmith or
hardware store for alternatives.
leave keys under doormats, flowerpots,
mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places
like a fake rock — burglars know where to
look for hidden keys. Instead leave a spare
key with a trusted neighbor.
Keep your garage door closed
unless you are in it. If you have a garage
screen, even if it has code access for
opening it, install a motion detector near
the entrance and out of sight, with a loud
alarm that will attract the attention of
neighbors or yourself if you are alone and
the screen is cut and an intruder has
An alarm system is excellent
for home security. If you have a home alarm
system, use it! Alarm systems are only
useful when you remember to activate them.
Some people put an alarm system sticker on a
window or put a sign out, but few burglars
are fooled by that.
Trim or clear bushes,
hedges, trees and other vegetation that can
provide a hiding place for criminals. Add
extra lighting at entrances and have motion
detectors at entrances, front and back, and
especially dark corners of your home.
hide valuables in popular places like
dresser drawers, bedroom closets, or
freezers. Those are the first places
burglars look. Use a safe for jewelry and
weapons, and have it bolted to the floor so
it can't be carried away. Favorite items
stolen are cash, jewelry, electronic
equipment and games, silver, guns and items
easily sold to pawn shops, second-hand
stores, or on the street.
If going out, even for a short time:
The most important thing you can do is call the police to
report a crime or any suspicious activity. You are the eyes of your
neighborhood and a large part of community policing efforts.
Thieves look for homes that
appear to be empty, so make your home look
occupied. Leave a radio or TV on so it
sounds like you are home, and leave a light
on if it might be dark when you get home.
Lock all outside doors and
windows before you leave the house, and
activate alarms if you have them.
Tips to avoid car break-ins:
- Bring valuables like cell phones, purses, GPS devices, satellite radios,
etc. inside. Never leave anything of value in plain view.
- Always lock the doors, roll up windows, and close sunroofs. Break-ins
can occur in even the safest neighborhoods, and an unlocked car is one of
the easiest possible targets.
- Never leave a spare key in the visor, under a floor mat, or anywhere
else inside the car, even if the car is locked.
- Don't leave the garage door opener in plain view, either.
- Never leave anything laying out with personal information, like your
address, phone number, etc.
- Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view. Last year,
there were car trunk break-ins while people were taking an exercise class,
were at a fitness or wellness center, or were swimming.
What to do if your home or car has been broken into:
- If there are signs that
your home was broken into, do NOT go in.
- Stay calm, get to a safe
place or go to a neighbor's and call 9-1-1.
- When the police arrive, they will secure your
home, making sure the possible intruder has gone.
- Then walk them through your home and give them
as many details as you can, note items that may have been taken, or
what could have happened to lead to this situation.
- Do not touch or clean up anything until they
have collected evidence and gone.
- If there are signs that
your car has been broken into:
- If the break-in is in progress, call 9-1-1, and
do NOT approach him or her.
- If the break-in has happened and the intruder
is gone, call (352) 793-2621, the non-emergency number.
- Stay inside and wait until the police arrive, which may take
longer since it is not an emergency.
- Do Not touch or clean
up anything until evidence has been collected and the police are
How to tell if someone might be casing your home:
Strange cars parked in your neighborhood.
Strangers walking down your street.
People pretending to conduct a survey or sell you
Strangers with an emergency or in need of help.
Strangers taking pictures of your home.
Random flyers showing up on your door.
Something doesn't feel right.
Calls from unknown numbers to see if you are home.
If going away for an extended period of time:
Check your locks on doors
and windows and replace them with secure
devices, if needed.
Lock or disable your garage
doors and test them before leaving. If one
or both of them don't lock, disable them.
If you have a home alarm
system, use it! Activate your alarm system
Don't allow daily deliveries
of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while
you are away. Arrange for the Post Office
to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend
or neighbor to take them in regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be
mowed and bushes trimmed while away so the
house still looks occupied.
Do NOT share your vacation
plans on social media and be selective of
the people you tell.
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