Crime Prevention Tips

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The City of Oak Creek Police Department would like to remind residents that they can help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of a burglary. The following are tips to reduce the potential of burglary to your home or vehicle:

Protect Your Residence While You Are Away

If you are away from your residence for an extended period of time, check out the following tips to help protect your home:

  • Ensure that all the locks for your doors and windows are in good working order well in advance of your planned trip.
  • Look into using timers for your lights, television or radio to give the impression that someone is home. Set the timers up in different rooms and at different times to create the illusion that your residence is still occupied.
  • Do not let newspapers or mail pile up while you are away. Place a hold on these items or have someone collect them for you while you are away.
  • Before you leave, check and make sure all your doors and windows are locked before you head out the door.
  • Park your vehicles in your garage and lock your garage doors. If possible, disengage your garage door opener.
  • If possible, have a neighbor place your garbage cans out on scheduled pick up days (even if they are empty).
  • If you will be gone for an extended period of time, make arrangements to have your lawn cut while you are gone in the spring, summer or fall. In the winter, arrange for someone to clear your driveway or sidewalk of any snow accumulation.
  • If possible, have someone you trust check on your residence while you are away.
  • Electronic equipment (computers, digital cameras, video game systems, etc...) are a common target for criminals. Consider locking these items up while you are away from your residence.

Burglary Prevention Tips While At Home

Many cases involve the criminal going from house to house looking for unlocked doors or windows. Often the criminal will knock on the door of a residence to see if anyone is home. If someone answers they will ask for a person, pretending as if they have come to the wrong residence. In order to make you and your home less of a target, please keep in mind the following:

  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are at home, will only be gone a short time or are “just going next door.”
  • Never leave your sliding doors unlocked.
  • Make sure all locks are functioning properly.
  • When home, habitually lock the outer screen/storm door if you have one, along with your main door. This adds protection when opening the inside door to unexpected visitors or activity outside your home.
  • Always keep your service door to the garage locked while you are home.
  • Never leave your vehicles unlocked.
  • If you leave your vehicles outside they should be locked, all valuables/purses/keys/fobs removed.
  • Your garage door opener is a key to your garage, but if it is an adjoining structure it is also the key to your home. Treat your garage opener as a key, and take it with you or lock it in the trunk when you leave or park your vehicle.
  • Never leave your garage door open when you are home. When working outside, cutting grass, working in the back yard or doing other activities, your open garage is an open invitation to criminals.
  • When retiring for the evening, habitually check all your windows and doors, including the garage.
  • Never allow someone you don’t know into your residence. If someone comes to your door needing assistance, offer to call the police for them, while they wait outside.
  • Keep valuable items out of sight of windows and glass doors.
  • Keep a list of your valuables, including the serial numbers and unique characteristics.    If a burglary does occur having this information can greatly help in the investigation and recovery process.
  • Be alert to persons going from house to house, looking in windows or knocking on doors.  Report any suspicious activity to the police. Make note of the person’s physical description, clothing, tattoos or other distinguishing characteristics and give that information to the police.
  • Keep all entrances to your residence well -lit and maintain landscaping to prevent hiding places.
  • Beware of burglars posing as solicitors. Ask to see their Solicitor Permit issued by the City of Oak Creek prior to going door-to-door. After you verify the solicitor has the proper permit and if you choose to let them in your residence, do not leave them alone while they demonstrate their product.
  • Don’t advertise new items you have recently purchased or received as a gift. Put the boxes in a trash bag or trash container. If you don’t break down your boxes, and place them outside for trash pickup, others can see what you now have inside your residence.

The Oak Creek Police Department offers a Vacation Watch Program to help reduce the potential of burglary while you are away from your residence for an extended period of time. The program is free to all Oak Creek residents.  Call 414-762-8200 and press 0 to request a Vacation Watch. The police department also offers a free Home Security Survey to all Oak Creek residents. The survey offers recommendations to the resident focusing on the use of locks, lighting and landscaping to reduce the potential for burglaries. For more information about these programs please call The Community Resource Bureau at 414-766-7624.

REMEMBER! The best crime prevention tool is to be observant of your surroundings. Help your neighbors by watching their property, and ask them to watch yours. Be aware of suspicious activity in your neighborhood, and report it to the police.