Braceville Twp. – Over the last several weeks, people have contacted me asking what they could do to reduce the risk of theft from their residences. Here are a few things that could be done to help prevent this, and to help aid the police in recovering items taken:

Limit what people can see.
Leaving certain things lying around your yard or in plain sight from the road can unwittingly lure thieves onto your property. If you have a bicycle or scooter that someone could easy to walk away with, roll it inside or into your garage.
Also, after purchasing an electronics item or appliance, don’t leave the box out beside the trash can or recycling bin. That tells people you have something brand new that could get decent dollars on the street. It may also leave them wondering what other items are inside your home.
Keep your garage door closed. This will stop potential thieves from viewing something they would want to take.

Is anyone home?
If burglars can tell that someone is home, there’s a greater chance that they won’t attempt to break in. Remember, more break-ins occur during the day when many people are at work. For that reason, when you leave the house, create an illusion that someone’s still there.You can leave a light on, along with music or your television . If you are on vacation for an extended period, make arrangements to have someone pick up your mail as well as to check your residence to report any problems that may happen while you are away.
You can also let the police know when you will be out of town.

Windows and doors.
All exterior doors to your residence and garage and/or outbuilding should be equipped with a deadbolt lock if possible. It is much more difficult to compromise a door that is properly equipped with one.
Older windows are not as secure as the newer model of windows due to many only having one pane of glass. Older windows often have issues with locking properly. If you have a sliding glass window, make sure it locks properly.

Proper description of property.
Items in your home and garage should be documented. This information should include the make, model, and serial numbers. Any other identifying mark should also be noted. It is difficult to later identify property if this information is not known.

Outdoor lighting.
A good security light is deterrent to potential theft. A properly placed light can cover a lot of area.

Notify police of any suspicious activity.
Anything deemed suspicious should be reported to police. A car that passes by numerous times, a person you do not recognize seen around the neighborhood, or anything else is a very good deterrent to potential theft.

Home security systems.
The use of a home security system is a good addition to any residence.