2012-07-12 / Front Page

Staying safe: Sheriff provides tips for preventing break-ins

In light of recent incidents, tips on avoiding break-ins

MANISTIQUE – Recent reports of area break-ins have the potential to put any resident on edge. With a seemingly increasing number of incidents, local law enforcement is offering tips to anyone living in the area.

According to Schoolcraft County Sheriff Grant Harris, the following tips should be considered to keep any home or business safe.

-Clear away bushes and trees shielding windows and doors from view allowing a burglar to break in unseen.

-Add outdoor lighting that illuminates the exterior of your home or business.

-Add security cameras that record the exterior of your home. Potential thieves will avoid homes with visible cameras as they do not want to be recorded. It is easier to find a home without a video camera to burglarize.

-Remember to lock all doors and windows – even the doors that open into your garage. Those garage doors are easier to open than you think.

-Make sure your locks are sturdy – all entry doors should have deadbolts. If your entry doors have windows in them make sure your deadbolt is keyed on both sides and DON’T leave the key in the inside lock.

-Make sure you put your newspaper and mail delivery on hold before you leave. Burglars really do look for piled up newspapers and mail as a sign your home is empty. Leaving mail unattended for days also opens you up to potential identity theft.

-If during the winter months, make arrangements for a neighbor to create car and foot tracks to your house if it snows while you’re gone. You should arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalks and driveway while you’re away too.

-During the summer months, have someone mow the grass for you while you are away.

-A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re away from your home, you can buy a device which works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television.

-Make sure someone you trust in your neighborhood knows you’re out of town so they can watch for anything suspicious. Nosy neighbors are a great deterrent because burglars will break a window to get in knowing that most people will stop if they hear a sound but if the sound doesn’t repeat they will shrug it off. Your neighbor is more likely to call the police if they know you’re out of town and it can’t be you making that noise.

-Avoid announcing your vacation or other activates that will take you away from your home or business on Facebook or any other social networking site. It’s easier than you think to find your address.

“These are just a few suggested actions that a home or business owner can take to protect their property from those who would like to steal it,” explained Harris. “Take a hard look at your property and, thinking like a criminal, try to figure out how they would get in. Remember, criminals do not want to attract any attention from anyone in the area so they will look for easy entry with cover from view. “

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