According to crime statistics and law enforcement officials burglaries and break-ins are on the rise throughout New England. Thieves are targeting gold, platinum, silver and anything they can grab quickly and pawn easily for fast cash.
“Since January, we’ve had 53 burglaries. At the same time last year, we had 41,” said Sgt. Scott Pettingill, Dover Police Department, in a recent interview with WMUR 9 New Hampshire. “We’ve seen an increase particularly in daytime residential burglaries.”
What’s true in New Hampshire is true throughout the region. Police believe that much of the increase in break-ins is due to wide spread addiction to prescription drugs. Police officials have said that many of the burglaries are perpetrated by drug addicts looking to fund their habits.
According to police, an alarm system, along with video surveillance, is excellent for home security and break-in prevention. A monitored alarm system provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while they’re on vacation. Police departments remind consumers that there are a wide variety of alarm systems and alarm monitoring companies in the marketplace. They suggest that you look for a company with a long standing professional reputation and knows the region.
Law enforcement officials also remind homeowners to be sure to activate their alarms. An alarm system can’t do you any good, if you don’t remember to set it.
In addition to an alarm system, The National Crime Prevention Council offers a security checklist to help homeowners understand how to minimize the chance of break-ins. Some of the items included on the checklist are:
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house – even if it’s only for a little while – and before going to bed;
- Reinforce the windows and glass doors near entranceways to prevent them from shattering;
- Be sure to leave lights on when you go out. When you go on vacation, or if you’ll be away from home for any extended length of time, use automatic timers to turn lights on in the evening and off during the day;
- Always check to be sure your garage door is closed and locked;
- If you’re going to be away, arrange for your local post office to hold your mail until your return, or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to take it in. The same for newspaper and magazine deliveries;
- Don’t let your lawn become overgrown while you’re away. Arrange to have someone cut your grass if you’re going to be out of town for a while;
- Your exterior doors should be metal, or hardwood, and they all should have deadbolt locks;
- You need to have adequate exterior lighting; floodlights with motion-detectors are highly recommended;
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they can’t be used as hiding places for intruders.
Most importantly, police ask all residents to be good neighbors and be vigilant. They say the most important thing you can do to reduce break-ins in your neighborhood is to call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity.