- Lock your doors.
- Have a password for you and your child.
- Shred all documents with any information on it.
- Monitor your child on the internet.
Protect Your Home
- Install good locks on your doors and windows.
- Leave lights on when you are away. Also contact the police department to get on the house check list.
- If you suspect someone is in your home when you arrive, DO NOT GO INSIDE! Call 911!
- Be very selective on who you let in your home. Ask for identification from repairmen, delivery people, servicemen and even police department. Make sure your children know this when they're home alone.
- Try not to walk alone at night. If you must, avoid dark alleys.
- Tell someone where you are going, what route you are taking and how long you will be gone.
- Never pickup up hitch hikers or stop to offer help to unknown stranded motorists.
- Always park in well lighted areas.
- Always lock your car when you leave it.
- Always have your keys out when you approach your vehicle and look inside before you enter the vehicle.
Protect Your Children
- Never leave your children alone and always accompany your children into a public bathroom.
- Get to know your babysitters and your children's friends and their friend's family before you leave them alone with your child.
- If your child is going to stay the night or go out with a friend, make sure you check with the other parents to confirm what your child is doing. TRUST BUT VERIFY!
- Monitor your children on the internet. Keep the computer where you can easily observe it. Never let your child meet anybody in person they have met on the internet.
- Make sure your child knows their full name, phone number, address (including city and state) and carry identification with them.
- Always keep a list of emergency phone numbers and contacts where your child can locate them. Have a safety plan in case of a natural disaster where you are going to meet. Keep supplies including a radio, flashlights, fist aid kit, food, water and medication you might need.
- Teach them to tell you if anybody has touched them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable or tells them to keep it a secret. Make sure your child knows not to talk to strangers. Have a password only you and your child know and that this is the word a person who has to have to pick them up should know.
- Make sure your child knows not to play in any abandoned buildings or play in isolated areas. Never take short cuts through yards or alleys.
Keeping You & Your Property A Little Safer
Every year, local law enforcement agencies respond to hundreds of burglary calls. Although property theft insurance may help you replace stolen property, it does nothing to replace your sense of security and wellbeing after a burglary occurs. Despite law enforcements best efforts, burglaries continue to occur and property continues to be permanently lost to the criminal underworld. Property owners can make themselves harder targets for burglars and drastically improve law enforcements chances of recovering their stolen property by taking time to protect themselves.
- Lights: Exterior motion lights - bad guys don't like lights. Exterior motion lights are great, but you must pay attention and respond to them. Otherwise you are just lighting the bad guys work space.
- Locks: USE THEM! But remember, locks only keep an honest person honest.
- Locks: Home - Install deadbolts on exterior doors and use them.
- Locks: Vehicle - Lock your vehicle. Don't leave valuables visible.
- Locks: Out Buildings/Self Storage - Buy good Locks. Bad guys like storage sheds, because they make easy targets. YOU must regularly check on your storage shed. When choosing a self-storage facility, inquire about the construction of building. Are the units fully enclosed and separate? Are the doors and locks theft resistant? Does the facility have Security?
- Security: Electronic Home Security Systems - An effective deterrent and have become much more affordable. Do your homework to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company. Remember, alarms do not prevent burglaries; they alert you when they are happening and they are not foolproof.
- Security: Dogs - They make for a great home security but they require training and just like exterior motion lights, you must pay attention to them. Don’t just yell at the dog when he barks at night and go back to sleep, you will feel silly when you discover your car was burglarized.
- ID Marking: Record and keep serial numbers. Create a ‘Valuables inventory’, photograph and or video your valuables. Include a detailed description and cash value of your valuable items in your inventory. If it doesn’t have a serial number, put your mark on it! YOU are responsible for recording serial numbers of your valuables. Law enforcement does not have a list of your firearms serial numbers. Without serial numbers, law enforcement will not be able to enter your stolen property into the national database and you will likely never see your property again.
- ID Marking: Email - When you complete your valuables inventory, e-mail it to yourself. By doing this, even if your computer is stolen, you will be able to access your valuables list. Update your valuables inventory as needed to insure it reflects your current property.
Don't Make It Easy
- Close curtains at night. Bad guys like to drive around neighborhoods window shopping. Closing your street facing curtains, especially at night, makes it harder to see exactly what you have and where it is located.
- Close the garage door. Leaving the garage door open invites anyone to look inside. This is important for farmers and ranchers as well. It may not be convenient, but neither is the loss of your valuables.
- Social media. Don’t post dates and times of when you will be away from home. While you may want to share your excitement about your upcoming vacation, it tells bad guys when it’s safe to burglarize you. Set security to ‘Private’ to limit who can look at your posts.
- Get a gun safe. Part of responsible gun ownership is preventing unwanted access or loss. A glass-front display case is not a gun safe. Your bedroom closet is not a gun safe. Gun safes are not cheap, but they are necessary in order to protect your investment.
- Plan ahead. If you will be away from home, arrange for mail and newspaper pick up. For Twin Falls County residents, you can go to the Sheriff’s Office and request a Property Check.
- Know who you are allowing in your home. Do not allow unsolicited vendors into your home and obtain business cards or contact information from the ones you do solicit. Know who your kids are bringing into your home and limit access to where they are allowed.
- Be Aware. Know what is normal in your neighborhood. Watch out for your neighbors and promptly report suspicious persons and activity to law enforcement. If something looks suspicious, then it is. Don’t hesitate to call the police. It is not a bother to us when you call. It is our job.
- Prescription drugs. Keep your prescription drugs locked away in a cupboard or safe. Keep what kind of prescription drugs you have secret, even from your kids and family.
Reality Check: Family and friends of the victim are typically the initial focus of a residential burglary investigation. Unfortunately, family and friends are often found to be involved. The funding of an illegal narcotic addiction is almost always the reason behind the burglary.
This information is courteous of Detective Matt Becker of the Twin Falls Sheriffs Office.