Crime prevention can stop thieves in their tracks
Great Bend has seen a number of thefts and burglaries in the past month, but with some helpful tips from the Great Bend Police Department a lot of these crimes can be prevented and these thieves can be stopped.
“People just need to lock their doors, turn on lights and take action,” Lt. Scott Bieberle said. “By doing these simple steps these crimes can be prevented. We see a lot of these crimes due to people not locking their doors at their house or the doors on their vehicles. This makes for easy access for thieves.”
Another way to stop thieves is to call in any suspicious activity like strange vehicles casing neighborhoods or people that you have never seen before looking around at houses.
“We do get a lot of calls from the community about suspicious activity, which is great,” Bieberle said. “This has led to some arrests and stopped the crimes before they happened.” If people see any suspicious activity they are asked to call either 911 or 620-793-1920. The GBPD asks that people gather as much information that they can about the person or vehicle that is acting strange.
According to Nationwide Insurance and Bieberle, these are tips to follow to help prevent break-ins.
Theft prevention tips
• Store lock boxes or safes in a hidden area of the house. The basement or lowest level is recommended to reduce the risk of heat damage from a fire.
• Keep all personal information (passports, financial statements, etc.) in a locked, fire proof safe or a safety deposit box.
• Close curtains or blinds to prevent thieves from taking inventory of your personal belongings and seeing the home’s layout.
• Store ladders, tools and any other outside objects that can be used to assist in home entry in a locked shed or garage.
• Keep garage doors closed and locked. If the garage doors have windows, put the garage door release cord away from those windows.
• Replace worn keypad entry devices. After extensive use, the combination of numbers and letters could be visible, providing criminals with information that can be used to gain access to your home.
• Change the home’s entry device access code periodically to prevent wear.
• Make sure the home’s address is visible for police, firemen and paramedics for easy identification of the home.
• Don’t post the family name on the mailbox or on the house.
• Don’t talk about vacation plans in public areas, such as the beauty shop, shopping mall or car rental office.
• Secure a wireless network at home. Computer access could allow cyber criminals easy access to confidential personal information.
• Before placing anything in the garbage, do the following:
• Shred all papers.
• Destroy old computer hard drives.
• Break down all boxes for high value equipment. Brand names on boxes alert thieves to items inside the house.
Five ways to help protect your home from thieves
• Home security system – Deter thieves with noise or an automatic call to the police.
• Proper outside lighting – Thieves may choose to bypass a well-lit home.
• Strong exterior doors – Solid wood or metal provides stronger protection against break-ins.
• Block windows for the basement or locked window well covers – Use these to keep thieves from seeing or entering your basement.
• Locks for pet doors – Make sure your pet door isn’t a point of entry for a thief.
Home burglary statistics and cost
• A home burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States.
• On average, a home burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600.
• About 30 percent of all burglaries are classified as “unlawful entry,” meaning the burglar was able to gain entry without using force – often through an unlocked door or window.
• Nearly 66 percent of all burglaries are residential, and of those, 62 percent occur during the daytime, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when no one is likely to be at home.
• Only 13 percent of reported burglaries are solved by the police.
• About 30 percent of private homes have security systems. Homes without security systems are two to three times more likely to be broken into.