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CRIME STOPPERS...WHAT CAN I DO

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN NOTHING YOU DO SEEMS TO HELP PREVENT PROFESSIONAL CRIMES FROM HAPPENING .THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT WE CAN DO TO BEGIN TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THE AMATEUR THIEF. THESE THINGS ARE BASICALLY COMMON SENSE THINGS THAT IF WE PUT THEM TO PRACTICE, AT LEAST WE CAN PUT OUR MINDS AT EASE THAT WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PROTECT OURSELVES. FOR INSTANCE:

PERSONAL SAFETY

WHENEVER YOU GO OUT TO A MALL, OR A RESTAURANT, ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. WHEN YOU PULL INTO YOUR PARKING SPACE? IS THERE SOMEONE SITTING IN A CAR BESIDE YOU? IS SOMEONE LINGERING AROUND YOUR AREA WHEN YOU ARE COMING BACK TO YOUR CAR LOADED WITH PACKAGES?

I DON'T WANT YOU TO BECOME PARANOID AND FEAR EVERYONE, BUT YOU REALLY NEED TO CONSIDER WHO IS NEAR YOUR PERSONAL SPACE. DOES IT MEAN ANYONE SITTING IN THEIR CAR IS BAD? NO OF COURSE NOT. YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW THAT ANYONE IS A POTENTIAL ASSAILANT.

WHEN YOU GET OUT OF YOUR CAR, KEEP SCANNING THE AREA. WALK IN A BRISK PACE. IT HAS BEEN NOTED THAT SOMEONE WHO IS WALKING WITH A STRONG PACE IN THEIR STEPS, WITH A DETERMINED LOOK ON THEIR FACES, ARE SOMETIMES PASSED OVER, SINCE THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE AN EASY MARK. IT'S LIKE SENDING VIBES ... DON'T MESS WITH ME...I'M HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY, AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE BEING ACCOSTED BY YOU TODAY.

ANOTHER THING YOU CAN KEEP IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND IS WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PARKING AREA, AND YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS, OR SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL UNEASY... THEN DON'T PARK THERE. IT MAY BE RIGHT AT THE FRONT DOOR, BUT IF YOU DON'T FEEL EASY... GO WITH YOUR INSTINCTS. PARK SOMEWHERE ELSE.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR A FEW PEOPLE WHO ARE WALKING NEAR YOUR CAR, GOING THE SAME DIRECTION THAT YOU WANT TO GO. THEY ARE WITNESSES, SO THAT WOULD BE THE TIME TO GET OUT AND STAY CLOSE TO THEM. THEY DON'T EVEN NEED TO KNOW THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HURRYING TOWARD THEM. JUST WALK NEAR THEM. THE SAME WHEN YOU ARE GOING BACK TO YOUR CAR. TRY TO FIND SOMEONE WHO IS GOING YOUR DIRECTION. BETTER YET... ASK STORE SECURITY TO WALK YOU TO YOUR CAR IF YOU ARE THAT UNEASY.

UNLESS YOU CAN HIRE A PERSONAL BODYGUARD, YOU MIGHT TRY AND PLAN YOUR DAILY / WEEKLY EXCURSIONS TO INCLUDE A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOR. SAVE MONEY BY CAR-POOLING OCCASIONALLY, AND YOU ALSO HAVE SOMEONE TO TALK TO. YOU ARE REDUCING THE RISK OF SOMEONE COMING UP TO YOU IF YOU ARE WITH SOMEONE.

DON'T LET YOUR FRIEND DISTRACT YOU FROM YOUR OBSERVATIONS OF AN AREA WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

DON'T FORGET TO KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED AS YOU DRIVE. MANY TIMES AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS, THUGS APPEAR TO CROSS A STREET, BUT INSTEAD THEY REACH IN AND GET YOUR PURSE OR VALUABLES WHICH ARE SITTING ON THE FRONT SEAT. BEFORE YOU REALIZE IT, THEY HAVE JUST RIPPED YOU OFF, AND ARE GONE IN A FLASH. SO KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED AND WINDOWS UP WHERE NO ONE CAN JUST REACH IN.

THERE ARE MANY OTHER THINGS WE COULD MENTION. YOU MIGHT EVEN BE ABLE TO ADD THEM TO THE LIST. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. WHAT YOU DO, WHERE YOU GO, AND HOW YOUREACT IS KEY MANY TIMES IN YOUR SAFETY.

HOME SECURITY

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR HOME. NO... A REAL CLOSE LOOK. GO OUTSIDE AND CHECK AROUND THE HOUSE. ARE THERE BUSHES THAT BLOCK YOUR VISION AS YOU PULL INTO THE DRIVEWAY. CAN SOMEONE HIDE BEHIND TALL BUSHES AS YOU MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT OR SIDE DOOR ?

WHAT ABOUT SECURITY LIGHTS. DO YOU HAVE MOTION DETECTORS AT EACH CORNER OF YOUR HOME SO THAT IT LIGHTS UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE IF THERE IS THE SLIGHTEST MOVEMENT?

MAYBE IT'S TIME TO REMOVE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT PREVENT US AS POLICE, AND YOU, AS HOMEOWNER FROM SEEING CLEARLY UPON APPROACHING THE HOUSE.

MOST THIEVES DO NOT LIKE LIGHTED AREAS. EVEN THOUGH MANY ARE GETTING MORE BOLD, AND BURGLARIZING YOUR HOME DURING THE DAY... THE AMATEUR USUALLY WONT. HE'S AFRAID OF BEING SEEN.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO? LET'S LIST A FEW THINGS. IF YOU ARE DOING THEM, THEN CHECK THEM OFF IN YOUR MIND.

  • WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR HOUSE... PUT A "DO NOT DISTURB" SIGN ON YOUR DOOR, AND TURN SOME SOFT MUSIC ON.
  • MAKE IT LOUD ENOUGH FOR SOMEONE TO THINK THAT YOU ARE HOME, BUT NOT LOUD ENOUGH TO BUG YOUR NEIGHBOR.
  • KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED... EVEN IF YOU ARE HOME. THIS ALSO GOES FOR KEEPING YOUR CAR DOORS LOCKED.
  • WHEN YOU ARE MOWING YOUR GRASS OR WORKING IN THE GARDEN. ANYWHERE YOU ARE AWAY FROM WATCHING YOUR FRONT DOOR... KEEP A KEY WITH YOU ON A CHAIN, IN YOUR POCKET... OR SOMEWHERE YOU CAN CARRY IT.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR WINDOWS HAVE LOCKS IN THEM. MANY HAVE LOCKS WHERE YOU CAN RAISE THEM SLIGHTLY BUT IT WOULD PREVENT THE THIEF FROM RAISING IT ALL THE WAY. IF THERE ARE NO LOCKS ON THE WINDOWS, HAVE
  • SOMEONE PUT A NAIL HOLE WHERE THE WINDOW CANNOT BE RAISED ABOVE THE NAIL. YOU CAN HAVE PLACES WHERE YOU CAN ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF THE WINDOW... JUST TO THAT NAIL POINT.
  • ALARMS ARE GREAT, I ONLY WISH WE COULD ALL AFFORD THEM. IF YOU HAVE A SECURE AREA WHERE ACCESS IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE, THEN BUY A SURVEILLANCE CAMERA (COSTS UNDER $1000.) IT HAS SEVERAL CAMERAS WITH
  • IT, SO YOU CAN KEEP EYE ON DIFFERENT AREAS. YOU CAN PUT THE VCR IN THAT SECURE AREA. ( MANY TAPE SEVERAL DAYS OR WEEKS AT A TIME ). IF WE CAN'T KEEP THE THUGS OUT... MAYBE WE CAN AT LEAST IDENTIFY THEM FOR COURT.

VACATIONS

WHAT IF YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION. WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE TO REDUCE THE " GONE FISHING" LOOK.

THERE ARE TIMERS THAT YOU CAN BUY THAT ARE VERY INEXPENSIVE. HOOK UP A COUPLE OF LAMPS. HAVE THEM SET TO GO ON AT DIFFERENT TIMES. FOR EXAMPLE: AT AROUND 5PM... HAVE ONE TIMER TURN ON YOUR TV OR RADIO... CHECK IT FROM OUTSIDE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT CAN BE HEARD ( AGAIN WITHOUT HAVING NEIGHBORS COMPLAIN ). IF SOMEONE IS GOING TO BREAK IN... THEY WILL LISTEN FIRST TO SEE IF ANYONE IS STIRRING INSIDE. THIS LITTLE TRICK CAN BE USED IN YOUR HOME EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT GOING ON VACATION, BUT IN PLAIN HOME SECURITY. THAT SAME TIMER CAN TURN THE TV / RADIO OFF WHEN YOU NORMALLY GO TO BED... SO HAVE ANOTHER TIMER IN YOUR BEDROOM TURN THE BEDROOM LIGHT ON. LEAVE IT ON FOR A WHILE. WHEN YOU GO TO BED... HAVE THE TIMER TURN IT OFF WHEN YOU NORMALLY GO TO SLEEP. SOMEWHERE YOU MIGHT EVEN HAVE ANOTHER TIMER TURN A LIGHT ON WHERE IT CANNOT BE VIEWED FROM A WINDOW, OR DOOR. IT LEAVES THE IMPRESSION THAT MAYBE SOMEONE IS WALKING THE FLOOR, AND CAN'T SLEEP. FEEL LIKE A SECRET AGENT YET?

TELL A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR THAT YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION AND WOULD THEY PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR SOMETHING UNUSUAL. LEAVE THEM A NUMBER / DESTINATION, OR CELL PHONE WHERE YOU CAN BE REACHED.

IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CAR ( WHICH IS UNUSUAL IN THIS DAY ) THEN HAVE THE NEIGHBOR MOVE ONE OF HIS CARS IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. IF YOU HAVE A SECOND CAR...LEAVE THE KEYS WITH THE NEIGHBOR, AND ASK HIM TO MOVE IT TO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS OF THE DRIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, MOVE IT FORWARD OR BACK... TO THE LEFT OR EVEN MOVE IT IN YOUR YARD SLIGHTLY. A THUG SOMETIMES STAKES OUT A NEIGHBORHOOD LOOKING FOR SIGNS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT AT HOME. I DON'T THINK I WOULD TAKE A CHANCE OF STARING AT A DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN IF I DIDN'T KNOW FOR SURE THAT SOMEONE WAS GONE.

CONTACT THE POST OFFICE, NEWSPAPERS, ETC. HAVE THE SAME NEIGHBOR PICK UP ANY FLYERS THAT ARE LEFT ON YOUR DOOR, OR YARD.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE GONE... TALL GRASS IS A SURE SIGN THAT SOMEONE ISN'T HOME... ASK THE NEIGHBOR... TO MOW YOUR GRASS. YOU BETTER HAVE YOUR MOWER FILLED WITH GAS, ETC.

IF YOU TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE... MAKE SURE THE NEIGHBOR TAKES THE CANS BACK TO YOUR HOUSE. THAT SAME DAY.

THAT'S QUITE SOME NEIGHBOR HUH. WELL TELL THE NEIGHBOR THAT YOU WILL DO THE SAME FOR HIM / HER .

WHEN THEY ARE GONE...YOU SURE NEED TO WATCH AND DO THE SAME FOR THEM. YOU'RE A TEAM.

A NICE WAY TO PAY BACK THIS GOOD NEIGHBOR IS WITH SOME TICKETS TO A NICE RESTAURANT...OR BALLGAME ETC.

IF THERE ISN'T A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR, ASK A RELATIVE ( IF POSSIBLE ) COME BY AND SPEND AN HOUR OR TWO INSIDE.

THERE ARE MORE THINGS, BUT LIKE I SAID... MOST ARE COMMON IDEAS. THE BEST SECURITY IS AWARENESS.

USE IT.

BLOCK - WATCHES

ONE OTHER THING THAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER IS TO TAKE BACK YOUR STREETS. BLOCK WATCHES ARE EFFECTIVE IN THAT THEY GIVE THE RESIDENCE THE POWER TO CONTROL THEIR ENVIRONMENT SOMEWHAT. IF WE ALL WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER... AS IT WAS IN THE OLD DAYS... THEN WE CAN REST ASSURED THAT NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN, THE CROOK WON'T COME INTO OUR AREA. WHY DON'T YOU GET TOGETHER AND FORM A LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH.

IF YOU HAPPEN TO GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, PEEK OUT OF YOUR WINDOW FOR A SECOND. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY, OR SOMEONE SUSPICIOUS, CALL THE POLICE. DON'T TRY AND CONFRONT ANYONE YOURSELF.

THERE IS NOTHING MORE UNNERVING FOR A CROOK TO BE CONFRONTED BY A POLICE OFFICER, WHO GET IDENTIFICATION FROM HIM. HE WILL KNOW THAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD...POLICE WILL BE ON HIS DOORSTEP TO CHECK HIM OUT.

GET TO KNOW YOUR BEAT COP... IT'S A GOOD WAY TO BUILD TRUST FROM CITIZEN TO POLICE.. AND POLICE TO CITIZEN.

WHAT THEN?

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS THE COURTS ARE SLOW TO PROSECUTE THOSE WHO HAVE VIOLATED OUR PROPERTY AND US... BUT IT WILL CATCH UP. LET'S JUST MAKE SURE WE MAKE IT AS TOUGH AS WE CAN FOR THE BAD GUYS. IT MAY TAKE US GOING TO COURT, OR FILING A COMPLAINT. IF WE DON'T, THEN WE BECOME MARKED AS AN EASY TOUCH, AND THE BAD GUY WILL BE BACK FOR MORE OF THE THINGS WE'VE WORKED SO HARD FOR.

LET'S PUT A STOP TO AS MUCH CRIME AS POSSIBLE. OUR OWN SAFETY IS UP TO US DON'T FORGET:

THE RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT... BUT THE SMART. JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL

WHAT GOES AROUND...COMES BACK AROUND

GOOD LUCK

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