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Police Offer Top 10 Tips To Avoid A Burglary At Your Home

The following informational release was sent to Patch by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.


As we begin a new year, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office would like to share a few burglary prevention tips with you.  You have most likely heard these before, but we need to reinforce these good habits and stay vigilant in our pursuit to not become victims.

1. Lock all doors and widows – It sounds simple, but we become complacent in our day to day activities.

2. Report any suspicious person or activity – If you think it’s suspicious, don’t hesitate, call the Sheriff’s Office immediately.  Burglars are in and out of your home with your valuables in 30 seconds.  Time is of the essence.

3. Don’t leave valuables in plain view – Don’t advertise what you have.  Burglars don’t need motivation.

4. Be suspicious of anyone who wants to enter your home – Burglars now commit more of their crimes during the day.  Many of them now use a ruse to get into your home, or onto your property.  They will pose as any number or professions to gain access.  Always ask for credentials and identification.  A legitimate person will never have problem displaying identification.

5. If someone knocks on your door answer it – Daytime burglars like to knock on your front door and wait for an answer.  If you answer the door, they provide an excuse that usually sounds suspicious.(call Sheriff’s Office)  If you do not answer the door, they will make their way around the rear of your house and enter through a door or a window.  Many times they just kick the rear door in, or smash the sliding glass door.

6. Lighting – Obviously, for the night time burglar, any lighting is an enemy.  Install appropriate lighting so that your vehicles and property can be illuminated.  This lighting can remain on, be placed on a timer, or activated by a sensor.

7. Serial numbers and photographs – Please keep a list of the serial numbers belonging to your electronics.  Also, take photographs of your jewelry.  By doing these things, you provide law enforcement with a way of identifying your property as stolen, and returning it to you after we find it.

8. Communication – Communicate with your neighbors about what they see in the neighborhood.  Look out for one another’s property.  Burglars will work an area until they feels it’s unsafe to do so.  It’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure the burglar does not become comfortable in your neighborhood.

9. Do not confront suspicious persons – Please call the Sheriff’s Office, and let us do the talking.

10. License plates and descriptions – If you can safely obtain the license plate number of a suspicious vehicle, or a good description of a suspicious person, then do so.  The Sheriff’s Office can do a lot with that type of information.


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