Investigative Services Division

Economic & Property Crimes Unit - Burglary Prevention Tips


ECU Home Typical Fraud Schemes Explained
Burglary Prevention Tips Check and Credit Card Fraud Tips
Pawn Shop Detail Q & A on Stolen Property

The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Police when you see something suspicious.

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.

Don't Tempt a Thief

  • Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”

Locks…Get the Best:

  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.

Targeting the Outside:

  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.

Windows:

  • Most windows can be pinned for security.
  • Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.

Alarms:

  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
  • If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
  • Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
  • Don't forget to register your alarm with the Modesto Police Department. 

If Your Home Is Broken Into:

    If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
  • Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

Other Precautions you should take:

  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

Car Burglaries

    Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view:(GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses)
  • Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
  • Do not leave doors unlocked.
  • Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
  • Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
  • Do not leave out items with personal information.
  • Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
  • Slow down and use common sense before you leave your car.
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