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Aahh, summer! Vacation, lake-life, car trips and and increase in residential burglaries. Wait…what?
Contrary to popular images, the average burglar is not a 35 yr old professional, wearing a ski mask and walking around the neighbourhood with a crowbar.
Actually the vast majority of break-ins are committed by young people, often school age, and are crimes of opportunity. Also contrary to some opinions, most burglaries occur during the daytime.
So while you’re on vacation, here area few tips to help protect your home:
Involve your neighbours
Let them know you’re leaving, and ask them to do the following:
- Keep and eye out for suspicious activity
- Keep grass cut and watered.
- Have neighbour park THEIR car in YOUR driveway once in a while
Install a superior quality door lock
- The majority of break ins actually occur via a door, not a window
- This is especially true for neighbourhoods where the majorty of homes have modern, triple pane windows. Burglars HATE the noise of breaking glass
Alarm systems protect your home
- A good system will deter burglars, or…
- At the very least, limit their time in your home
Hide your most expensive jewelry
- Safety deposit boxes are great, but if you don’t have one
- Hide your jewels in a secret spot
Make your home look ‘lived-in’
- Change lights with an automatic timer
- Change curtain and blinds positions. Have a relative or trusted neighbour go in and change the positions of the blinds and curtains once in a while
- Arrange for someone to pick up your newspapers, junk mail etc (Do NOT cancel your papers or junk-mail for the few weeks. By cancelling the subscriptions, you’d simply be telling complete strangers that your home will be empty).
- Put the garbage cans out on pick-up day. Even if they’re empty, have a neighbour put them out. Nothing says “Empty Home” like the lack of garbage and recycling cans in front of a home
Bo Kauffmann served on the Winnipeg Police Force from 1981 until 2005. He worked in various patrol divisions, as well as a ‘Crime Scene Officer’ as a fingerprint technician, and has attended hundreds of break-in scenes in his career.
In 2005 he retired and joined REMAX as a residential real estate agent. He loves working with home and condo buyers and sellers.