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Crime Prevention Tips

60 Crime Prevention Tips

Courtesy of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office

#1 Burglary Prevention Tip - Lock your doors at home even when you intend to return home shortly. A burglar may be just watching for you to leave.

#2 Burglary Prevention Tip - Lock or secure doors and windows when you leave or are alone or asleep. Double check to make sure that all windows are truly locked.  Use auxiliary locks on windows that can not be jiggled free.

#3 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away and when you will return.

#4 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not let strangers enter your home.  If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to telephone for them instead of allowing access into your home.

#5 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave house keys in hiding places. Burglars will find them.  Carry your keys or make sure that anyone who truly needs them has their own set. For that accidental lockout consider giving a trusted neighbor an extra key.

#6 Burglary Prevention Tip - Install and use dead bolts in all exterior doors.  Change out all striker plate screws for longer screws that are 2-3 inches long.  Long screws will catch a wall stud and make it harder for the door to be kicked in.

#7 Burglary Prevention Tip - Report suspicious persons and activity to law enforcement immediately at 911 or 337-232-9211 (Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office).

#8 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave extra car keys lying out in the house when you are away from the home. If your home is burglarized you do not want your car stolen, too.

#9 Burglary Prevention Tip - When placing trees, bushes and flowers, remember to keep doorways, windows and porches clear. Remember that the bushes that provide you with privacy also give a burglar a place to hide. Plan your landscaping with both privacy and security in mind.

#10 Burglary Prevention Tip - Keep fence gates closed and locked.  A recent burglary strategy in Lafayette Parish is to knock on the front door and if no one answers to go around into the back yard and check for easy access.

#11 Burglary Prevention Tip - Record the make, model and serial numbers of all appliances, electronics, tools and weapons. If stolen this information is entered into a computer data base to aid in recovery.

#12 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave items of value in unattended vehicles.  Vehicles are safest stored in a garage. If that is not possible, park in a well-lighted area and use an alarm.

#13 Burglary Prevention Tip - Take color photographs of jewelry, antiques and collectibles.  A home video is a good record of your valuables too.

#14 Burglary Prevention Tip - Know who is coming into your home.  Control the access by persons not well known to you.

#15 Burglary Prevention Tip - Report suspicious persons, activities or noise (glass breaking) at your neighbor’s house to the law enforcement immediately. You could be witnessing a crime in progress.  Know your neighbors’ phone numbers so you can double check with them.

#16 Burglary Prevention Tip - While out of town, make your house look occupied.  Put lights and radios on timers. Stop mail and newspaper delivery.  Have your lawn mowed.  Leave a key and alarm code with a trusted friend or neighbor who can make checks of your home. Consider having a neighbor use your driveway.

#17 Burglary Prevention Tip - Lock your vehicle every time you leave it.  Roll your windows up. Make it a habit. A criminal looks for the easiest way into a vehicle.

#18 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave your garage door opener visible in your car as a temptation.  A garage door opener and your car registration give a criminal your address and access.  Better yet, do not leave vital information in your car.  Your registration and insurance cards contain person home information that allows a criminal to then target your home.  Carry them in your wallet or purse.

#19 Burglary Prevention Tip - Park your vehicle in well lit areas. Criminals do not like to be seen.   Parking under or near a light will improve other people’s view of your car.   It also improves your personal safety.

#20 Burglary Prevention Tip - Do not leave valuables in view in your vehicle. If the thief can not see it he can not steal it.  Take valuables with you or put them in your trunk.  Do not put them in the glove box or under your seat, as that is the first place a thief will look.

#21 Burglary Prevention Tip - Burglars to do not want to be seen.  Light up access points to your house. Use motion security lights and dusk to dawn fixtures for porch lights.

#22  Burglary Prevention Tip - Trim shrubbery below window level and clear of entrances.  Do not give burglars a place to hide. Trim trees up so there is clear view of your house by neighbors and the burglar will feel obvious.

#23 Burglary Prevention Tip - Beware of leaving your garage door open even a few inches.  It does not take much for a skinny youth to slip underneath.

#24 Burglary Prevention Tip - When leaving home for awhile, mechanically pin your garage door and/or disconnect your garage door opener.

#25 Burglary Prevention Tip - Treat and secure the entrance door from the garage to your house the same as an exterior entrance.  A burglar in you garage can work on your house door undetected.

#26 Burglary Prevention Tip - Before going on vacation complete a patrol Request with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office.  It will be Subject to the limitations of manpower, we will attempt to honor your request, however, responding to calls received through our 911 emergency switchboards will always remain our top priority. If you know that you're going to be away for an extended period of time, please let us know the dates that you would like extra police patrol. Deputies will be dispatched to do a visual inspection of the exterior of the house.  A Patrol Request is available online at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website at www.lafayettesheriff.com

#27 Burglary Prevention Tip - Treat all exterior doors and windows on the rear and sides of your home as possible targets for entry.  Since they may be less observable from the street and by neighbors than a front entrance, extra precautions may need to be taken.

#28 Burglary Prevention Tip - Get to know your neighbors.  Share your concerns about burglary and tell them what you are doing to protect your home.  Ask them to report any suspicious persons or activities around your home to law enforcement.

#29 Burglary Prevention Tip - Start or join a Neighborhood Watch Program.  By calling the Community Service Unit of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office for more information – 337-236-5657

#30 Burglary Prevention Tip - Consider installing a burglary alarm system. 

#31 Crime Prevention Tip - A thief’s paradise is the gas station and convenience store.  This is where people regularly leave their wallets, purses, cell phones, navigation systems and cars unattended and ripe for theft.  Always remove keys, close windows and lock doors while you pump gas or momentarily leave your car.  A theft only takes a few seconds.

#32 Crime Prevention Tip - Gas station and convenience store safety involves picking businesses that are well lighted and have video surveillance cameras at the pump.  Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t let your cell phone distract you.

#33 Crime Prevention Tip - Program the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office phone number (337-232-9211) into your cell phone for immediate reporting of non-emergency suspicious incidents, vehicles or people.

#34 Crime Prevention Tip - Avoid calling attention to your valuables.  When you do, you are dangling a carrot in front of a thief.  This can be done by showing off your new stereo/speaker system on the boulevard, bragging of a recent purchase in a mixed group of acquaintances, displaying a wad of cash, the inappropriate wearing of expensive jewelry, etc.

#35 Crime Prevention Tip - When you move into a new home or apartment, change the locks if you own it or ask the manager to change them if you rent.

#36 Crime Prevention Tip - Does your residential street seem too dark at night?  Get your neighbors along the block to all use their front porch and garage lights at night.  You will be surprised at the difference.  Compact fluorescent bulbs cost only pennies to run.

#37 Crime Prevention Tip - If you arrive at home and your door is open or things appear out of place, don’t go in.  Leave and call 911.  Confronting or trapping a burglar in your home is a dangerous position to be in.

#38 Crime Prevention Tip - Don’t allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say that they need help.  Keep the door locked and dial 911 for them.

#39 Crime Prevention Tip - When you use an Automated Teller Machine be aware of your surroundings.  Look around before conducting a transaction.  If you see anyone or anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and go to another ATM.

#40 Crime Prevention Tip - Ask your sheriff office to conduct a free home or business security survey to help identify your individual security risks. For Lafayette Parish residents and businesses call 337-236-5657

#41 Crime Prevention Tip - What is in your backyard shed?  How much would it cost to replace your lawn mower, weed eater, hedge trimmer, hand tools, etc?  Is worth the cost of a lock and the habit of locking it?  Do you have those serial numbers written down?

#42 Crime Prevention Tip - More and more businesses are allowing their employees to telecommute and entrepreneurs are running businesses from their homes. Offices are standard in many homes today and are equipped with the latest of expensive business equipment.  Remember, it is important to secure yourself and your equipment when you’re working from home.

#43 Crime Prevention Tip - If your office is at home and you are meeting a client for the first time, arrange to meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop or the library – not your home.  Let someone know when and with whom you have appointments

#44 Crime Prevention Tip - If your office is at home keep an updated equipment inventory with descriptions, serial numbers and values (along with photos if possible).   This list should be kept in a safe secure place and as well as at another site.

#45 Crime Prevention Tip - If your office is at home, use the same caution with deliveries as businesses do.  Anyone making a delivery should be properly identified before you open the door.

#46 Crime Prevention Tip - Company burglary alarm signs and “Beware of Dog” signs can be a deterrent to a burglary.

#47 Crime Prevention Tip - Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

#48 Crime Prevention Tip - DON’T LEAVE IT OUT!  Much of crime is of opportunity. If the opportunity is not there it does not happen.  If the bike is not left out in front of the house it is not stolen.  If the car is not left running unattended it is not stolen. If the purse is not left in the car it is not stolen.  Take the extra time to put things away and lock things up.

#49 Crime Prevention Tip - While shopping do not leave your purse in the shopping cart.  Do not turn your back on it, even for a second.

#50 Crime Prevention Tip - Limit the amount of information and credit cards in your purse or wallet.  Do not carry around seldom used credit cards.  Limit your losses and hassle if your purse or wallet is stolen or accidently left some where.  Keep a separate record of your credit cards with customer service numbers to be able to quickly cancel them if they are lost or stolen.

#51 Crime Prevention Tip - When children are home alone instruct them to keep the door locked and not open the door to anyone.  If you want your child to respond to a person at the door, instruct them to say, “Mom can’t come to the door right now. Can you come back later?”

#52 Crime Prevention Tip - When children are at home alone set house rules on whether or not or which friends may come over.  Unsupervised and unlimited visiting friends often lead to missing property.

#53 Crime Prevention Tip - When children are home alone set rules about answering the phone.  Children should never let callers know that they are at home alone.  A good answer is, “My mom can’t come to the phone right now.”

#54 Crime Prevention Tip - Teach children how and when to use 911.  Have additional phone numbers posted to call in case of any problem or emergency that may arise when they are at home alone.  Practice emergency procedures and rehearse what they would do in different situations when home alone.

#55 Crime Prevention Tip - Choose babysitters with care.  Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors.  Once you have chosen a caregiver, drop in un-expectantly to see how things are going.  Set rules about the babysitter having friends over, using the phone and the internet.

#56 Crime Prevention Tip - Before going on vacation, notify a friend and have all newspapers, flyers and door hangers removed daily. If you have an alarm system, have a friend be a responsible party should your alarm go off.  They will need the keys, pass code and password. Also visit www.lafayettesheriff.com to request additional patrol on your home.  

#57 Crime Prevention Tip - Invest in your home security.  Repair any broken windows, window locks or door locks.

#58 Crime Prevention Tip - When going on vacation put window shades in normal daytime position and make sure that floor drapes, shades and curtains are arranged so that neighbors and law enforcement can see into your house.

#59 Crime Prevention Tip - Before leaving on vacation, take a walk around the house.  Make sure things are put away and all doors and windows are locked.  Be sure that the last person out of the house locks the door.

#60 Crime Prevention Tip - When leaving on vacation, consider removing valuables from your house, such as guns jewelry & cash and store them in an alternate secure place.