PALMDALE – Residential burglaries are a common problem, not only in the Antelope Valley but nationwide.
Palmdale Sheriff’s Station officials are offering the following information to enlighten local residents on how thieves view the world and to prevent area homes from being targeted by burglars:
- Don’t leave your garage door open. This advertises your belongings to anyone passing by. A thief not only has quick access at the time the door is open, but also can take an inventory of things to take later when you are not home.
- Don’t position your television, computer, or game console within view of an open window.
- Don’t leave boxes or packaging from expensive gifts or purchases sticking out of an outside garbage can. It advertises to others the nice new things you may have inside your home. Instead, cut the boxes into pieces that will fit inside of your garbage can and spread the pieces out over several weeks, if necessary.
- Keep an eye out for potential burglars in your neighborhood. Here are some common burglary tactics used in area neighborhoods:
- Knock-knock burglary. The burglars knock on front doors in an area. If no one answers, they enter the rear yard and break into the house. They may also knock on the doors of adjacent homes to make sure there are no witnesses to them entering the targeted home.
- Phony door-to-door solicitation. The burglar (or someone working for the burglar) knocks on your door and attempts to sell you a product. They give you a long story about how they are raising money for school or for some type of educational trip. Most times the solicitors only have the display product with them. If you want to buy the product, they offer to return at a later time (specified by them). Many residents do not recognize this tactic and tell the solicitor that they will not be home at the time specified. Guess what time the thief will come back to burglarize your home? Remember, schools do have fundraisers, but they discourage door-to-door sales. And anyone selling a product within Palmdale must have a solicitor’s license. Ask to see it!
- Burglars posing as employees of an alarm company. They knock on your door and say they need to check your alarm system. If you have displayed an alarm sign or decal, guess what company they say they work for? These thieves are trying to find out if you have an alarm so they can burglarize your home later. A real alarm company will only respond to your request for service. They do not drive around and merely check people’s alarms.
If you plan to be away from your home for a vacation, you can always contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station and request a “Vacation Patrol Check” of your home. Let officers know what dates you will be gone, your contact number, and whether anyone has permission to be at your house (to water plants, feed animals, etc.). Once logged, your home will be periodically checked by the Volunteers on Patrol. The volunteers immediately report any suspicious activity to deputies for further investigation.
To a thief, the world is full of opportunities. Don’t be one of those “opportunities.”