Seasonal Burglary Prevention-Summer
Summer is a time for family vacations, trips to the beach, cookouts and enjoyment of many outdoor activities. As such warm weather has a natural tendency of drawing people from their homes for daily activities. The days are longer. More people leave their residences on vacation than any other time of the year. Doors and windows tend to be left open. During moderate to extreme heat air conditioners and fans drown out the sounds of the outside world. Many air conditioners are not securely placed in the window.
Statistically, August has the highest number of burglaries and February has the lowest. While studies indicate that there isnít a huge fluctuation in burglary rates from season to season, there are a number of behaviors and trends during summer that put residences at more risk for burglary than during other seasons.
Most residential burglaries occur during daylight hours. These seasonal tendencies give burglars more opportunities for easy break-ins. There are more unoccupied homes and less people in the neighborhoods who might be alerted to suspicious activities. On those extremely hot days air the noise of an air conditioner or fan will probably drown out the sound of a door being kicked in or a window being broken.
Even at night a bold burglar can cut a screen door or window and steal while the occupants are oblivious to the crime in an air-conditioned room.
Specific Tips For Residents Going on Vacation
LOCK UP YOUR RESIDENCE. Be sure that you have quality door locks and deadbolts. Donít forget the exterior and interior basement doors and the door leading into the garage (if you have one). Donít forget to lock the garage door as well. Make sure all windows are locked and secured with a secondary device. Refer to the section ďBurglary PreventionĒ on this website for more information. Look into getting an alarm system to supplement the physical security of your residence.
MAINTAIN A ďLIVED INĒ APPEARANCE. If possible, have a trusted neighbor, close friend or relative keep an eye on your home. Be sure they have access to the residence. This is important. In the event something happens at the home the police will need a contact person who will have access and be responsible for the property. You probably donít want to cut your vacation short and rush home. You could have lighting set on a timer or have the person left in charge manage the lights. For extended vacations have your mail stopped. This can be done online: https://dunsapp.usps.gov/HoldMail.jsp or in person. If you have newspaper delivery be sure to have this put on hold or let the person in charge of your home take care of it. Before going on vacation be sure your landscaping is maintained. An overgrown lawn adds to the impression that no one is home.
NOTIFY. Let trusted neighbors know you will be away. Obviously, if someone other than a neighbor is checking on the home let the trusted neighbors know so they donít think someone is breaking in. At the very least you should notify the Lynn Police Department if your home will be unoccupied. Patrol officers on all three shifts can either be made aware of this at roll call or by a department wide email notification. With this knowledge the officers assigned to your neighborhood or other officers passing through your neighborhood would investigate any unusual activity they might see at or outside your home. Contact the Lynn Police Crime Prevention Officer at 781-477-7861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Try to make this notification at least 72 hours in advance. If you do not get a response back within 24 hours then call 781-595-2000 and ask for the Patrol Division Commanding Officer. We will need the following information: Your name, the address of the residence that will be unoccupied, the timeframe it will be unoccupied, your contact info while on vacation (if possible) and the name and contact info for anyone left in charge of your residence and alarm company contract info (if applicable). This information will not be made public. Only sworn police officers will have access to it.
General Residential Security Tips
Never leave a door or window opened unless you are within view of it. As a matter of practice if you close a door or window always lock it. This way you donít forget. All too often a home is entered through an unlocked window or door. Donít trust that you will hear someone come in even if you are home but in another room. This goes for any door or window that is above the ground floor but potentially accessible by standing on any object, the top of a fence or lower roof. Some burglars will climb or use anything left on your property (like a ladder) to access an open or unlocked window or porch door.
Never leave valuables that can be easily carried away near or within view of an open window or door. Examples are wallets, credit cards, iPods, car keys, etc. Donít think someone wonít reach through an open window and steal your belongings. They will. It has happened before.
Make sure your air conditioner is secured into the window frame and the window is secured from moving up further. A common tactic used by burglars during summer months is to simply push the air conditioner in or open the window wider. This goes for any ground level window or any window that could potentially be accessed as mentioned above.
Not all burglars work alone. Be aware of a ruse technique used by some burglars during the warm weather months. One suspect will go to the front door and distract you while another enters through an open window or door. Never open your door to a stranger. If someone does come to your door and you are alone be cautious. Never let anyone into your home. If you feel uncomfortable close your door. In Lynn, door-to-door sales are not permitted without a city issued permit. Selling without a permit is unlawful and should be reported to police regardless.
A simple and common burglary tactic is to knock on doors to check if a residence is occupied. If the burglar hears someone coming to the door they either simply walk away or play it off that they are at the wrong door. If no one answers they might go around back and kick a door in or pry open a window. Anyone going door to door in your neighborhood without obvious reason should prompt a call to police.
This advice is not intended to make people paranoid to leave their homes. Burglary is not a crime unique to Lynn. Itís a continuous problem that occurs frequently across the United States. The frustrating aspect surrounding this crime is that many past burglaries could have been prevented by something as simple as a locked door. There is no absolute way to prevent a burglary. But donít make it easy to get into your home. Often burglars give up if they canít get in quickly.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer season!
For more crime prevention information contact:
Crime Prevention Officer
Officer Dave Hines
781-595-2000 X- 4353