How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Burglary

Wednesday, December 17th 2008, 5:07 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa has had more than 4,200 house burglaries so far this year. This means an average of 12 homes are broken into everyday.

Ninety-five percent of those break-ins happen during the day.

Whether you want to protect the gifts under the tree or keep things safe while you're away for the holidays, there are some keys things you should do.

"The most popular thing in residential and commercial burglaries are big screens, flat screen TV's, they're being stolen left and right," said Sgt. Brandon Watkins, Tulsa Police Burglary Unit.

Electronics are quick to steal and easy to sell. That's why it's critical you write down your serial numbers. It's the best chance you have of police getting back your stuff.

Alarm systems let burglars know police are coming. One that can be heard outside is good, so it gets neighbors' attention. The rule is, the louder the better.

"You get one of those that almost makes your ears bleed and they'll come in, grab your TV and be gone. Yes, your TV is gone, but not everything else," said Sgt. Watkins.

Let's talk doors: your lock is only as good as your door. A solid, metal core door is a lot harder to kick in. A dead bolt is great. One without a twist knob is even better.

"If you have a key on both sides, it's a little more inconvenient for you and a lot more inconvenient for burglars. They're not getting in by busting the glass and turning the knob," said Sgt. Watkins.

If someone knocks on the door during the day, there are two things you should never do. Don't pretend you're not home. It could be a burglar who kicks in the door and finds you inside. Second, don't answer the door. Just talk through it for your own protection.

Outside, plant prickly bushes that you keep trimmed low around windows and close your shades so burglars can't see in and see what you have that's worth taking.

If you're going to be gone for a few days, make your house seemed lived in. You can leave a radio on, have someone park an extra car in the driveway, have a neighbor get your mail and papers and have that same neighbor put a bag of trash on your curb on trash day.