Police Remind Community of Important Burglary and Theft Prevention Tips
Kentlands Neighborhood Watch
As we approach the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend, the
increased periods of darkness can contribute to an increase in residential
burglaries and thefts from vehicles. Montgomery County Police want to take
this opportunity to remind our community members of safety tips they can
follow to help make them less likely to be victims of these crimes.
Every day police are called to respond to reports of residential
burglaries and thefts from vehicles where windows and doors have been left
unlocked. The preliminary statistical data year-to-date shows that 25% of
residential burglary reports show entry without force and in 21% of the
reports the type of entry is unknown. For thefts from vehicles and thefts
of vehicle parts 28% of the reports show no forced entry, and in 24% of the
reports the type of entry is unknown. Everyone can improve their safety by
regularly using their existing window and door locks. The following are
further measures that can be taken:
* Install good quality deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and any
doors from attached garages and consistently use those locks.
* Even during mild temperatures when it is particularly pleasant to
leave windows open, all first floor windows should be locked.
* The use of blinds and curtains decrease visibility from outside into
* Door areas should all be well lighted and the use of motion detector
lights is also beneficial.
* Trim back trees and shrubs near windows and doors that could provide
a hiding place while someone is making illegal entry.
* Never leave a house key under a mat, in the mailbox, under a flower
pot, or above your door.
* Always lock the house door from an attached garage and keep garage
doors closed and locked.
* It is safer to remove valuables from your car, but never leave any
items visible inside a car, even one parked inside your garage. Make
certain that a garage remote door opener cannot be seen.
* Keep ladders and tools inaccessible.
* Record all serial numbers of electronic items, and keep a list of
all credit card numbers. Keep a printed copy of that information available.
* Use a safe deposit box or safe to store valuable papers, seldom used
jewelry, and collector coins.
* Keep purses and wallets in your bedroom, and never leave them near a
front or kitchen door.
* Report anything even potentially suspicious to police
(301-279-8000). Never be afraid that you are bothering police, let officers
decide whether someone or something poses a danger.
* If you witness what you think may be a burglary, immediately call
911 and tell the police what you are observing. Please don't make the first
call to a neighbor or family member - make it to the police.
* If you should happen to confront a burglar, don't try to stop him,
flee and seek help.
* A front door key can be kept in the homeowner's bedroom. If the
home is broken into while you are there, it can be tossed out a window to
enable responding officers to make quick entry.
* If you return to your home and discover that it has been
burglarized, don't touch anything, get out, and call police from another
* Consider investing in a home surveillance system that provides
camera coverage of your home and property.
* Neighbors should get to know one another and organizing a
Neighborhood Watch group can increase everyone's safety.
* Community members should join established community list serves and
make certain that those list serves are connected with their local police
Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods, but not taking
that safety for granted and not ignoring the fact that crime can and does
happen anywhere, can put you in the right frame of mind to make security the
priority it should be. Contact your Police District's Community Services
Officer (CSO) for a free home security survey.