Police offer burglary prevention tips | Crime
A daytime burglary of a residence on St. James Court Tuesday prompted police to warn University of Wisconsin-Madison students headed out of town for spring break this month to take steps to prevent similar crimes.
In a statement Wednesday morning, Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain suggested downtown residents lock doors on homes, garages and vehicles and secure sliding doors and windows.
"Deadbolts are best," DeSpain said. "But utilize whatever type you have even when you are at home."
In securing vehicles, valuables such as GPS units should not be left in plain view. Police suggested drivers bring any valuables inside or put them in the trunk.
Another way to prevent thefts is to mark valuables, police said. Marking property serves as a deterrent to would-be burglars and it helps police identify and return stolen property. Compiling a property identification list or taking pictures of valuables that include identification and model numbers and keeping that information on a flash drive.
Police also said a home alarm system or a dog can be an effective burglary deterrent. Burglars also tend to shy away from big barking dogs.
Other tips suggested by police include:
- Leave a light on: When leaving on trips use light timers. Attach lamps, or maybe even a radio to electric timers that are set to go on at dusk and off at your bedtime.
- Close bedroom drapes or blinds
- Use proper exterior lighting: Motion activated lights work well
- Keep bushes and trees near your house well trimmed: Thick, tall shrubbery provides cover for a burglar to work undetected
- Never leave a house key in an obvious place like a mailbox, or under a doormat
- Don't advertise your assets: Hide laptop computers and other small electronic items when you are not using them
- Work together with neighbors: When you are going to be away, tell trusted neighbors and ask them to watch your property. Have someone maintain your yard, driveway and sidewalk. Have a friend pick up newspapers and mail, or have them held. Tell neighbors to call police if they notice anything suspicious