Almanac

News - August 14, 2013

How to secure your home from burglaries

In addition to the basic advice of locking doors and windows -- the entry points most sought by burglars and thieves -- the Menlo Park Police Department offers residents an analysis from an in-house team of officers and community service officers trained in techniques that make a home less inviting to would-be criminals. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) program recommends steps such as a well-kept property, a fence to reinforce territorial boundaries, and lighting and clear lines of sight that make concealing oneself on a property more difficult. Go to tinyurl.com/MP-203 for more information. The family name on a mailbox serves as an entry point, Commander Dave Bertini said. A web search for an address can answer many basic questions. With a name and/or an address, an enterprising burglar can track a resident on social media and pick up useful information about what's in the house and the most opportune time to pay it a visit. The average resident doesn't think like a criminal, said Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Locking doors and windows and not leaving a house key under a doormat are the most important steps. "It isn't new advice, but it's advice that people don't often take," she said.

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