Crime Prevention

Last night, Mon. 15th, I was walking my dog north on the 56th block of Pennsylvania . I saw a couple of men up at the doors of two homes. They look as if they were selling something, however they were more than just knocking on doors. It appeared to me as if they were looking in the windows. I think they even said “Hello, checking to see if anyone could hear them. After one of the guys saw me, they began to act more suspicious. First one asked me what time it was and I told him 8:45. He then told the other guy it was time to go. The other guy was headed across the street knowing I was there and then look as if he changed his mind and turned around and came up to me and said that maybe I could help him. He was collecting signatures to be a reading mentor for children. I asked him if he had any literature I could take home to read, of course he did not. I then asked who he was representing, and he showed me a piece of paper that had KLMN Reading Services, Mentor program. I told him I would have to look this up on Internet and verify. They both then headed north and I did see them go up to another house.

I did find a few different sites on Internet which warns: KLMN Reading Services is a SCAM.

I have left a message for Officer Jessup from Crime Watch and will send email around. I’ve been told that they are looking for flat screen TVs. That would be the time of evening to see them lit up in homes.

Please let your neighbors know and when walking in evening better to leave house locked up, I know I didn’t.

Excerpt #2:  (June 15)

Just spoke to a neighbor on Washington (in-between 56th and 57th).  The house that is on the home tour was broken into last night.  My understanding is that the couple woke up to him standing in their bedroom.  After some conversation, they convinced him to leave.  Apparently they have an alarm, but did not have it turned on.

Burglary Reduction from IMPD:

CrimeWatch Tip Sheet

from IMPD North District 

 May 26, 2009 addition

  Burglary Reduction 

Burglary is are a problem year round.  Not only, to residential but businesses properties as well. The following are few things to think about as you survey your property, hopefully before you become the victim.  If not, things to correct after the fact.

What can you do

  • Create a CrimeWatch for your neighborhood or business area.
  • Use “Target Hardening” on your property.

CrimeWatch

  • Communication is the Key!
  • When neighbors talk to each other, crime is reduced.
  • Volunteer to be a Watch Block Captain.
  • To start contact your Crime Prevention/Crime Watch coordinator for North District, Shirley Purvitis 327-3781 email P1527@indygov.org.

Target Hardening

  • What does the exterior of your home say to a burglar? Does it say welcome or stay away?
  • The majority of property theft in Indianapolis occurs in homes with open doors, windows and garage doors.
  • Start from the exterior of your home or business and make things harder to enter or access.
  • Beware of fire dangers & emergency access. You must have a route clear. This is for businesses also.

Fences

  • Criminals like a clear path for escape.
  • Fences slow them down. But privacy fences help them to hide.
  • It prevents removal of heavy items, including vehicles.
  • We do NOT recommend placing of hazardous items on the top of the fence, as it could potentially harm emergency personnel.

Landscaping

  • Sends strong signal to criminals, “That you care”.
  • Visibility is the key.
  • Bushes trimmed below window level.
  • Limbs trimmed up to 7 feet away from the building.
  • Shrubs cut to 36 inches tall.
  • Plant thorny vegetation (especially under windows) to dissuade access.
  • Use noise mulch such as quarter sized gravel.

Exterior Lighting

  • Lighting has been proven the one deterrent that can prevent property crime at night.
  • Exterior lighting should be placed as high as possible on building and point downward.
  • Motion sensor lights are inexpensive alternative and effective.
  • Lights left on day and night may indicate that the resident is not home.
  • Check for dark areas.
  • Porch lights on every night all night long are great way to light up your property and not set a pattern. (Do not just turn them on when you are gone that does set a pattern.)
  • Light with a purpose! IPL can assist with security lights and placement.

Interior Lighting

  • Lights turning on and off during the early evening hours make it looked like you’re home.
  • Use timers with multiple settings.
  • Also put a radio or TV on a time for noise (tuned to a talk station).
  • Lights only on in the evening inside and shades or curtains open make it easy for thieves to see your valuables.

Security Screen Doors

  • Lessen the chances of the door being the point of entry for burglars if they are locked at ALL times.
  • New decorative models avoid the “like  a prison” look.

Strike Plates

  • The most important part of a lock.
  • Place on all entry doors. (including the garage entry into the home door)
  • Install with 2-3 inch screws, extend into the framework of the door or building not just the trim molding.
  • Makes it harder to kick open if a solid core door is used at all entry points.

Dead Bolt Locks

  • One inch throw
  • Single Cylinder are safer. Double Cylinders are against federal fire code.

Eye Viewers

  • AKA “Peep Holes”
  • Minimum is 160 degree
  • Preferred is 180 degree
  • New model designed for 210 degree and make sure they cannot be removed (unscrewed) from the outside.

Windows

  • Keep windows closed and locked!!
  • Use thumb locks to reinforce the lock.
  • Use a nail or pin to secure the windows.

Sliding Glass Doors

  • Usually have a latch, not a lock.
  • Even when latched, it can still be lifted off the track.
  • Secure by installing a pin lock in the bottom track.
  • Place a screw in the upper casing so that the door will slide past it but the window cannot be lifted out.

Bars on windows?

  • Can be mounted on windows to prevent entrance and exit.
  • Must have a “break way” feature to allow for exit during a fire.
  • It would be wise to check with your local HOA to see if they are allowed in your area.

Window Film

  • Alternative to bars or glass breaking sensors.
  • Film makes glass resist breakage.
  • Reduce amount of glare.
  • Maximize energy efficiency.

Garage Doors

  • Keep them Closed!!! If you are going on vacation, disengage them.
  • Valuables taken include golf clubs, mountain bicycles, and power tools.
  • 70% of residential burglaries are “No Forced Entry”.

Burglar Alarms

  • They are recommended if you are usually away from your home during the day or for long periods. 
  • Alarms must be turned on to be effective! 
  • Use them (turn them on) even if you are home especially if you are alone or elderly.
  • Get several quotes from reputable companies.
  • Check with your home supply stores about alarms that you can install yourself.
  • Remember if you have a monitored alarm, you must register with the Police Department.

Operation Identification

  • Pick up an engraver from any home or hobby supply.
  • Engrave commonly stolen items (TV, camcorders, DVD players, cameras, video games systems, etc).
  • Use your driver’s license number.
  • Make sure to keep a list of serial numbers and photos along with how and where you have marked your articles.

Other tips

  • Recreational equipment (boats or campers) if they are gone who else is gone?  Move them 3 -5 days in advance, have a neighbor take you to it when you get ready to leave. You can bring it home when you return.  Make sure to make your home look “lived in” while you are away, neighbors can be asked to help with this.
  • Do not stop normal daily deliveries. Have a neighbor pick them up for you.
  • Remove the registration from vehicles and make a copy to keep with you. Take the original and place in a zip lock bag and place it under a mat or someplace else in the vehicle besides the glove compartment, console or door. If they break in to your vehicle, and remove it along with your removable garage door opener. They can pay you a very unwelcome visit at their leisure.
  • Remember if you want to keep it do not leave in visible on the inside of a vehicle.
  • Remember when you are going over these, try and think like the criminal.  Have I left any entry open or unlocked?  Can I be seen? Are lights on and radio or TV on? Does the home or business look occupied?

Remove the Opportunity and you will stop the crime.

More information about CrimeWatch with the IMPD contact Shirley Purvitis, 327-3781 or P1527@indygov.org.

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