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Front Page » January 6, 2009 » Carbon County News » Home invasions pose local threat
Published 2,052 days ago

Home invasions pose local threat


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate community editor

As winter sets in and some Carbon County residents leave town for a warmer climate, local law enforcement remind people that they need to take steps to protect their homes from burglaries and other types of home invasion.

"The most important thing when leaving a home unattended is to let people know that you will be leaving town," said East Carbon Police Sgt. Philip Holt.

"Let your trusted neighbors, friends and even the police know if you are going to be gone for a long period of time. This gives many individuals the chance to safeguard and watch your property," advised Holt.

East Carbon law enforcement officials were recently involved in a case that apparently involved a rancher who noticed suspicious behavior, reported it and, with assistance from local police, was able to stop a burglary.

"Individuals should not be afraid to call police with any information that looks suspicious or out of place to them," said Holt. "People have good instincts and more times than not their information leads to an arrest. However, you can't always count on someone else to safeguard your property, there are many steps that can be taken to keeps criminal perpetrators away from your property."

Holt recommended that individuals consider utilizing a timer attached to a light inside the residence, giving the illusion that someone is home.

"Even if you don't wish to use a timer, with the new lower wattage energy saving bulbs, it is worth it just to leave a light on at all times while you are gone," explained the East Carbon police official.

Holt offered several additional tips, including:

•Having a neighbor pull in and out of the driveway to give the impression that someone is coming and going from the house on a regular basis.

•Having a friend park a spare vehicle in the driveway.

•Arranging ahead of time for packages to be delivered to a different residence or address.

It may surprise some people to learn that residential burglars work mostly during the day, according to the home protection website www.tipsandtreats.com.

Additionally, the website stipulates that most burglars tend to probe a neighborhood or area looking for the right residence and the right opportunity.

Alarm decals, bars on windows, strong locks and doors and big dogs can also work as effective detractors to particular burglars.

The site claims that most burglars will avoid confrontation and usually flee when approached.

The majority of burglaries do not result in violence unless the criminal is cornered and uses force to escape the scene

Home invasions can become more violent and the site outlined several procedures for keeping ones property and person safe.

"The weakest home security link is the home occupant who fails to lock doors or windows or who will open the door without question at the sound of a knock," emphasized the website. "The best defense against home invasion is education and planning. Parents should hold a family meeting to discuss how to answer the door when someone knocks. Another important topic is how to act should your home or family be invaded."

According to the website, Carbon County residents should:

•Always ask for identification and be cautious of anyone requesting that the door be opened.

•Install deadbolt locks.

•Use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates.

•Keep doors and windows locked even when home.

•Keep shades drawn after dark.

•Always use the peephole before opening the door.

•When in doubt, do not open the door.

"Taking simple steps to protect yourself and your property does not take that much time or effort," concluded the East Carbon Sgt. "But it can save you the trauma of having complete strangers rummage through your personal belongings taking whatever they choose."

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January 6, 2009
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