Home Security

The Facts About Burglary

  • Criminals committed almost 300,000 burglaries in California in 1997. That's almost one burglary every 2 minutes!
  • In nearly half of these burglaries, no force was used. That means the burglars got in through UNLOCKED doors and windows.

Most Burglaries Can Be Prevented

  • Always lock your doors and windows even when leaving for just a minute.
  • Never leave a house key available: under a doormat, in a flower pot, or on the ledge of the door. These are the first places a burglar will look.

If you would like to make life even harder for crooks, remember the following tips:

  • Exterior doors should have "dead bolt" locks with a 1 inch strong metal bar extending into the door frame.
  • Sliding doors and windows should all have "ventilation" locks as well as auxiliary locks to bolster security.
  • Be sure to include good locks for garage, cellar, patio, or other doors that lead out through storage areas or a spare room.
  • For more information on locks, contact the Special Enforcement Team or write for the Attorney General's Home Security Handbook.

Going out?

  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Use timers so that lights, radio, and TV go on and off throughout the house to indicate someone is home.
  • For longer trips, be sure to stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor collect them daily.
  • In short, make your house look lived in. Remember, if you come home and see a broken window or a jimmied door, don't go in. Confronting a burglar can be dangerous. Phone your local law enforcement agency immediately.

Other Tips

  • Install a wide angle lens viewer in the front door. Never open the door without knowing who is there.
  • Consider alarm systems.
  • Whenever you move to a new home, have the locks changed.

Operation I.D.

Another deterrent to "would be" burglars is Operation Identification.

  • Mark your valuables with your driver's license number preceded by the letters CA. Burglars don't want marked merchandise because it is difficult to fence and evidence of guilt if they are caught.
  • Post Operation I.D. stickers in doors and windows to warn housebreakers to stay away.
  • Photograph those items that cannot be engraved (jewelry, silverware, antiques).
  • Operation I.D. also facilitates the return of stolen property when it is recovered.

Neighborhood Watch

Don't let them knock your block off! Want to know the best crime prevention tool ever invented? A good neighbor!

  • Law enforcement officers can't be everywhere at once, but you and your neighbors can. You're the ones who really know what's going on in the neighborhood.
  • Put that neighborhood know-how to work. It's simple: just use your eyes and ears - then your telephone. If you spot something suspicious, call the police immediately.
  • Don't try to stop a criminal yourself - it can be dangerous.
  • Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement make one of the best crime fighting teams around.
  • For more information on how to start your own Neighborhood watch group - contact the Special Enforcement Team.