As you plan outdoor spring activities and vacations, remember that this is an opportune time for crime. Homes are often unlocked with open windows and doors, garages, and autos. Valuables – cell phones, briefcases, purses, laptops, and bikes – are often left in plain view. Blooming trees and shrubs can block streetlights and the Police Department’s view from the street into your yard and home.  

Learn to keep crime at bay with these tips for enjoying a safe spring season.

“Locks, lights, and neatly trimmed shrubbery” are keys to home and personal security.

  • Install lighting, such as motion lights or dusk to dawn detector lights, on the home’s exterior.
  • Trim shrubbery around your home to eliminate hiding places.
  • Be sure that door locks are sturdy, functioning, and of the proper type, such as a dead bolt or key to key, where glass is present. Have all locks keyed to only one key. 
  • Be sure that double-hung casement and sliding windows function and lock properly.
  • Your address should be clearly visible from the street for emergency and identification purposes.
  • Close and lock your garage door when you are not nearby. Place valuables stored in the garage in a locking device not visible from the street when the garage door is open.
  • Do not leave bikes unattended. Lock your bikes, even if you are going to be away for only a few moments. 
  • Alarm Systems are effective if installed by a licensed company.  Use the alarm system even if you go out for a short time.
  • If you sleep on the second floor of your home, keep all first-floor doors and windows closed and locked.
  • Vacation planning is extremely important. Use light timers and notify the Police Department when you leave by calling 513-985-1600 to be put on the “Vacation Watch” list.  Have a neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home and pick up mail and newspapers.
  • Spring Break has presented a new problem of teens giving their friends the garage access codes, so the friends have a place to party.  The parents are unaware, and this can present some unwanted surprises.  Have this conversation with your teens and request neighbors watch the home for you while you are away. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings and those around you when you walk, jog, or bike.
  • Always secure your vehicle when unattended and secure personal property such as radar detectors, GPS devices, cell phones, purses, money, and any other valuables. These items should be placed in the trunk or taken with you.
  • Look into exterior home video options such as doorbell video cameras such as Ring or Nest.  These act as a deterrent and are an effective apprehension tool.  Systems are now very affordable.

Remember, every theft is a crime of opportunity. By following the listed tips, you can reduce the possibility of becoming a victim. For more information, contact the Montgomery Police Crime Prevention Specialists, Officers Martin, Guilkey, or Sgt. Plaatje, at 513-985-1600.