Police Officers Look For Ways To Better Protect Homes From Burglaries
Posted April 24, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
CHAPEL HILL — Many homes are easy targets for criminals. Local police are playing the part of thieves to help people protect their belongings.
As Chapel Hill's crime prevention officer, Jeff Clark does security checks on homes and businesses for free. He looks at homes to tell residents how to better protect themselves from crime.
Clark says overgrown shrubs are one of the biggest security mistakes.
"The shrubs offer concealment, so it's a good idea to keep the shrubs down," Clark says.
Clark says lighting is another problem when protecting the house. He says it is a good idea to light all four corners of the house.
"The more, the merrier when it comes to lighting," Clark says. "Motion lights are really important simply because motion lights, in my opinion, give the illusion that someone is in the house."
Another good investment is a solid-lock, double cylinder deadbolt that requires a key for entering and exiting. Additional locks on any ground level windows can also slow down a burglar.
"I think we've all established that you're not going to stop someone from getting into a house, but the object is to make it harder," Clark says. "Make them work at it, and don't make it easy for them."
Art Englebardt's house passed Clark's test.
"You make an investment in a home, and you want it to be safe," Englebardt says. "I feel very good about it."
Clark also recommends placing a padlock on a house's breaker box so that potential burglars would not have a way to turn off the house's security system or electricity.
Most police departments offer free security checks. They will also drive by and check on your homes if you ask them to when you are on vacation.