It is important to note, that no one was hurt during either of these episodes, and that they were not break-ins. However, given the rough economic climate, you may see crimes of opportunity, like robberies, on the rise. Braemar did experience two burglaries earlier in the year. In both instances, the garage doors to the homes were wide open and the suspect walked right into the home, though the unlocked mudroom door. And in only one instance was something stolen...and that was a piggy bank.
Crime can, and does, happen everywhere. I feel completely safe in my Braemar home. I believe in deterrence, not fear or overreaction.
Below is a list of things that you can do to keep your home from inviting those would-be opportunistic criminals.
- Leave the front & back outdoor porch lights on all night.
- Leave lights on in your main and basement floors all night.
- Install faux security cameras or sensors that are easily seen. Opportunistic criminals will not know the difference between what is real and what is fake. (There are very simple systems you can find that sound an alarm when a laser beam is broken...great visual and auditory deterent).
- Install landscape lighting to illuminate the front of your home and make it unappealing to would-be thieves.
- Lock your doors when you leave the home and leave lights on.
- Lock your doors when ARE home. (One of these burglaries occured while the homeowner had the garage door open in broad daylight while shoveling snow).
- Let neighbors know when you will be out of town. Build-up of mail and newspapers can let an opportunistic criminal know you are not home.
- Talk to strangers. For instance, find out why strangers are parked in front of your house, or a neighbor's house. ASK QUESTIONS. It will let the opportunistic criminals know that you are watching them and aware of their presence and they will most likely leave the area.
- Write down tag numbers and descriptions of cars, or people you don't recognize.
- PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings.
- Invest in an alarm system as a final effort to deter opportunistic criminals from your home. And if you have an alarm system, SET IT...even when you are home!
- Talk to your neighbors and look out for one another. Let them know about these simple and easy steps. Ask them to leave their front porch lights on. Back door lights on too. Dark streets are where these opportunistic criminals are going to be most likely to do their business in the evening and early morning hours.
- Avoid car thefts, vandalism and car break-ins by parking your car in the garage.
The non-emergency number for the Prince William County police is 703-792-6500. Please call this number to report suspicious vehicles, or behavior, in the neighborhood. Always call 911 in an emergency!