Don’t make it easy for thieves

It’s a good idea for rural readers to keep in mind that the area is still experiencing a jump in break and enter crimes...

Purchase quality locks for your home and business.

It’s a good idea for rural readers to keep in mind that the area is still experiencing a jump in break and enter crimes, and preventing these crimes isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

On the Falun Rural Crime Watch Facebook page, this note was recently posted: “June 1st, 2016, Report of a break and enter to a compound, on Township 460 and Range Road 10. Suspects seem to be checking out the buildings when an alarm went off, scaring them away. Video surveillance reveals two males in a dark truck with an altered tailgate. The purpose of this message is to make residents aware of potential suspicious activity in their area. Please be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious vehicles and or people. RCMP General Complaint Line 780-312-7267.”

On the Millet Rural Crime Watch page, this was noted last week: “Just a warning to anyone living on porter Ave and area! Just see 2 younger looking men going door to door skipping houses that had vehicles in the drive way or houses with people outside. The didn’t look much over 20 years old. Drove away in a white Honda newer year didn’t get a model. Not sure what they were doing but could have been scoping out houses.”

While depressed economy plays a role in the recent crime spike, there are always thieves cruising around rural areas, towns and hamlets to exploit the friendlier, more open communities looking for an easy payout.

Preventing crime in your community is easier than it sounds.

Residential tips

Good lighting around your home. Thieves enjoy the dark, where they’re free to work without any witnesses. Either leave one or more outside lights on overnight, or invest in a motion sensing light.

Lock up your valuables. Your home, garage and sheds should all have strong locks, which are available at many different stores and are not expensive. Having decent, visible locks will often deter thieves as they won’t be willing or able to break the lock. Keep doors and windows closed and locked when you’re not home and while you’re sleeping.

Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle; vehicles are a prime target for thieves and even if locked, are relatively easy to get into, especially for a professional criminal. Keep computers, cell phones, wallets, purses, credit or debit cards and cash out of sight. When parking your vehicle, try to park under a light if possible.

Are you going away? Ask a neighbour to pick up your mail for you. An overflowing mailbox suggests that no one is home, an obvious invitation to thieves. Give your home the “lived in” look by leaving a couple of lights on, and that’s what thieves will think when they’re checking it out.

Business tips

Good lighting also helps businesses. If you have a dark alley behind your business, it’s a perfect spot for a thief to break in. Install lighting and leave it on overnight and consider installing a motion sensing light. As well, leave one or more lights on inside the business overnight.

Strong locks are also a good idea for businesses. Some businesses have single key locks on a standard door, and combined with a dark alley are not much of a barrier to thieves. Consider deadbolts combined with a steel-framed, heavy-duty door to prevent entry.

A heavy-duty metal safe securely fastened to a concrete floor will require more time to penetrate than most thieves have available. Combine this with a loud alarm system and any valuables that have to be left overnight are much safer.

Signage notifying thieves that there are no valuables in the building is a good idea and if a budget allows, metal bars are an obvious security feature that may deter thieves who can’t or won’t try to break them.

Keep a tidy environment around your business. Don’t leave things like bottles, rocks or tools around that thieves could use for break and enter. Remember that entries like vents and fire escapes could be exploited by an enterprising thief.

Lastly, keep an eye on your neighbourhood, and get to know your neighbours. When someone out of place is in the neighbourhood, you’ll know.