Be Smart with your Smartphone
Smartphones are expensive devices that, to criminals, are a easy way to make a quick and large amount of money. Make sure you are not lost in your phone and are aware of your surroundings. It is illegal to text and drive, but it is also unsafe to text and walk. Save the messaging and music for when you get safely home.
If you own a smartphone, take steps now to help the police recover it in the event it is stolen. Download the “Find My Phone” application now, and if your phone is ever lost or stolen, you or the police can track where the phone is. This application will also allow you to “lock” your phone so that no one else will be able to use it. Click here to see a description of how this app can be used by the police and smartphone users.
Leaving the House
Before leaving your house or apartment, keep strangers out by locking all of the doors and closing windows. Activate your security system on the way out of the door to scare off potential intruders.
Before leaving, even for a few minutes, lock your front door and close the garage. If you go out at night leave one or two lights on to deter burglars from entering your house. When leaving on extended trips and vacations have someone get your mail and newspapers and set your outside lights on a timer to turn on at night.
If you see anything suspicious around your house or your neighbor’s house, please call 911 or report it to the 48th Ward office by calling 773-784-5277 or emailing Harry@48thward.org.
Auto Burglary Prevention Tips
Because many of us spend so much time in our cars, we forget that the same rules apply to car safety as in home safety.
Remove visible items from your vehicle
- If you leave items visible in your car, you are a target. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, especially at a gym. Take these with you or secure them in your trunk.
- Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands.
- Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the vehicle.
- Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
- Buy an alarm and use it! Many people believe that alarms no longer make a difference, however, they do remain an effective deterrent to a burglar. Remember criminals are looking for the easy target.
- Black out the address on your registration and photocopy it. Keep the copy, not the original, in your car. You must have the registration available to present to a police officer upon request.
Do not attach personal information to your keys
- If your keys are stolen, having your personal information or vehicle license number attached only compounds the problem. A criminal now may have access to your home, automobile or office.
- Do not leave outgoing or incoming mail in your car, especially where visible. This has your name and address on it.
Garage Door Opener
- Avoid leaving this in your car if possible.
- At home, park in your garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors.
- Park in a well-lit area.
- Check to see that your vehicle is visible from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Also check out these links for more tips on burglary prevention:
Beware of Burglars
Believe it or not, thieves can get a good amount of money for certain metals like copper and brass, and it is important to remember that, though these metals can make for great additions to your property, they are often looked at as quick money for robbers.
- Make sure that metal door frames, “kick plates” and keyhole borders are fully secured. Screws and nails help, but with enough time, thieves can remove these and be off with your property. Use industrial glue to make it more difficult for the metal to be removed.
- Make sure your property is well lit and has security cameras if possible. Both of these measures will help deter anyone from even attempting to steal metal or anything else from your property.
- Mark any metal and other valuable property with your information. If you own or oversee a multiple unit property, put your company’s logo on the metal (property of…). This will help deter theft as thieves will have a tougher time selling the stolen property.
- Be a nosy neighbor. Many times, residents recall seeing property being stolen, but assume that the thieves are residents, building maintenance or delivery people. It is OK to ask, and is often enough for the bad guys to change their mind and move on.
- If metals or other property is missing, report it to the police right away and let your residents and neighbors know as well. The report will help police look for potential patterns and will help your chances of them locating your property. Neighbors may have seen something that will help police in their investigation.