It happens every year: the rate of burglaries in the neighborhood goes up in the warm summer months, usually peaking in August. One of the key reasons why is the way we open up our un-airconditioned houses to the outside, inviting perps to take advantage when we’re away or not looking.
We teamed up with Mark Solomon, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Central District, who gave us some tips on how to secure your home and keep from being taken advantage of. Here’s his main points:
- Reinforce your doors – Get some long screws (at least 3″) and replace the screws in your latch and deadbolt plates, fastening them all the way to the frame of the house. This will help the door survive the force of an intruder who tries to kick it in.
- Watch open garages – Working in the front yard, with an open garage at the back? It’s a perfect opportunity for someone to swipe some of your tools. Make sure to secure any garage or other entrance to your home if it’s not within eyesight
- Close and lock your windows – We all want a gentle breeze through the window on a warm day, but open windows are a prime way for thieves to get into your house. Close and lock all windows when you’re away, even on upper floors, and consider using dowels or other devices to limit the window’s range of opening
- Secure your electronics – Laptops, cell phones, and other easily sold electronics are most often stolen. Don’t leave them sitting out in view, and use things like laptop locks to secure them. You can also etch your name into electronics and record their serial numbers to make it harder for thieves to resell them.
Mark and the other Crime Prevention Coordinators are available to meet with your blockwatch to go over these tips and other safety topics in greater detail. You can contact them through the SPD website.
Also note that Mark holds one of the positions that’s scheduled for termination by SPD next year. Contact the mayor and city council if you’d like to see them continue their work in the neighborhood.
Just located a few numbers to call and get your support for Mark Solomon and other crime prevention coordinators:
Mayor’s Office, (206)684-4000
City Council Public Safety & Education Committee Chair, Tim Burgess, (206)684-8806
Police Chief Diaz’s office, (206)684-5525
It’s a shame that SPD is now suggesting that you lock down your laptop and electronics in your own home. I wish they could get this under control.
SPD is suggesting that you do what you can to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of – It’s called personal responsibility. Don’t leave your house open and not expect that someone may want to go in. Don’t walk down dark alleys and expect lollipops and roses. As citizens, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re not inviting criminal activity – the police department, *our* police department, can’t do everything. The real shame is that some people think they can sit back and let everyone else solve their problems for them.
I hear both shame and shame on shame, and I think it’s a combo of both perspectives. Shame is saying ‘it’s a shame that we should lock down electronics INSIDE our own homes’ (even when they’re locked) and I agree. However, ‘I wish THEY could get this under control’ does smack of sitting back helplessly. Let’s ALL join in to get this under control.
We can partner w/ SPD in these efforts. Block watches, Night Out, knowing our neighbors, watching the action on our block, knowing when someone is new/visiting/up to no good, keeping our eyes open…. It’s one reason I say ‘how ya doin’ to everyone, ESPecially the saggy-pants kids in red and black. It’s an acknowledgement, an ‘I see you.’ Most everyone likes an acknowledgement and if they don’t, maybe they’re up to no good. Maybe they’re just shy. Anyway, we can all help, from watching our blocks and having a block party to voting, working on the justice system to be just, and so on.
Also, no need to be all self-righteous up in anyone’s face, SDO.
As a citizen, if I have locked my door, and I have locked my windows, and if I have locked my front gate, that is the best I can do. To suggest that we lock down items in our own homes is a very sad sign of the times. Smart? Yes, Sad? Yes. I hardly wait for others to do for me SDO. If I were to ever catch one of these rat thieves in my home, you can bet that I would do my part in making sure they wouldn’t even need to be chased by police again, and there is no ‘shame’ in that. My property is alarmed, and under video surveillance. I suppose it’s fair to say that we need tougher sentences for the Juvys and others committing these crimes, that would start solving for this, it doesn’t just lie on SPD (I did misspeak, I own that), and us. The main part of my previous comment was that it’s an absolute shame that we have come to needing to be locking down things in our own homes, plain and simple. Argue that how you’d like.