Burglar Resistance Tips
Thursday, February 16, 2011
Look down any street, in any Wichita neighborhood, and more than likely, you will find at least one home that is a prime target for burglars.
On average, 4,000 burglaries occur in Wichita every year. Nearly 75% of them happen in homes.
"Over a 20 year period, everyone is likely to have at least one burglary in their house," said Lt. Barry Von Fange, Wichita Police.
"A common way for burglars to get into most houses, is through doors," said Lt. Von Fange.
The front door is most common.
If it is unlocked, they will walk right on in.
If it is locked, they will more than likely kick it in.
If that does not work, they will enter through a window. Burglars will do anything to get them inside, to be able to take off with your stuff.
"The number one item that burglars are looking for, is the new thin screen tvs," said Lt. Von Fange.
Sitting next to tvs, are the second most commonly taken items, game consoles.
"The third most common things that are taken are laptop computers," said Lt. Von Fange.
Not only are they small and easy to carry, but they are usually sitting in easily accessible spots like coffee tables and sofas.
"The fourth thing we're seeing now very often, and some houses are targeted for, is jewelry," said Lt. Von Fange.
They are not looking for costume jewelry, but the gold and silver pieces that can easily be re-sold for hundreds of dollars.
Even though it is your home, police say it is important to protect all your belongings.
"You should have a special hiding place, so someone doesn't just walk in your house and open up your jewelry box and pick out your wedding ring, or something that your grandmother gave you that you cannot replace," said Lt. Von Fange.
When it comes to tools, electronics and other small items, it is best to leave your mark on them, by engraving your driver's license number next to the serial number.
"If you have time, photograph it, and on the back, write the information there," said Lt. Von Fange.
Most important, make sure all windows and doors are secure.
"What we see a lot of the time, is that the door strike plate is secured by screws that are only about a half inch long," said Lt. Von Fange.
Small screws makes it easier for a door to be kicked in.
"The idea is that the screw goes all the way back to the rough framed 2x4 that's a part of the whole door frame," said Lt. Von Fange. "If you have glass, it's best to have it at the top of the door, because it's really hard to reach down that far to reach the lock."
Finally, leave your porch light on when it is dark, and watch out for your neighbors.
"When something's not normal, and you have a gut feeling something's wrong, call the police," said Lt. Von Fange.