FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Help prevent burglaries
Tips for keeping your home and valuables safe
MILTON, GA, March 10, 2011 - In the last two months, several residents in the City of Milton have experienced burglaries, said Community Outreach Coordinator Dennis Nelson. No one has been hurt, and officers are actively working to find the perpetrators.
These crimes, while statistically in line with previous years, nevertheless highlight the importance of Milton's Police and Citizens Together (MPACT) program. MPACT trains residents to be the eyes of their neighborhood and establishes a reporting and information distribution system for important updates, said Nelson.
More information is available here or at the city's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, under "Your Government" > "Police"> "Community Outreach."
Signing up for the program has never been easier. Simply click here and Nelson will contact you about setting up MPACT in your neighborhood. The online form, named "Police Department Community Outreach Program" is also available at the city's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, under the "Find a form or permit" tab and is listed under "Online forms."
You can also see all crimes reported in the City of Milton and around your address using Crime Reports, located here. Simply input your address and recent reported incidents populate the map.
This free service is always available at the City of Milton's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, under "Your Government" > "Police" >"See reported incidents in your area." It is also available as an iPhone app.
In an effort to keep the community informed and safe, Nelson has compiled a wealth of tips to help keep homeowners well protected.
"When it comes to burglary prevention, you need to know the basics," said Nelson. "While some prevention techniques may cost you money, many are simple to do and are completely free. By making these simple changes around your home, you can make it a tough target for criminals."
First, always make your home look occupied
Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
Keep your garage door closed and locked. Keep your cars locked, too. All a burglar has to do is take your garage remote control opener and he or she has a free key to your house.
Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
Make your home difficult to break into.
Check locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary. Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open and should not be considered. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors. Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen. When moving into a new home, have all locks changed as soon as possible.
Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
Most windows can be pinned for security. Drill a small 3/16-inch hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
Consider purchasing or leasing a monitored alarm system from a reputable company.
An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
Other precautions you should take to protect your property
Keep valuable jewelry in a safety deposit box or a heavy safe, if possible. Never leave your jewelry in plain sight or in a regular jewelry box out in the open.
Never leave keys under doormats or in flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers. Keep a copy in a safe place away from home -- this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
Mark your valuables with your driver's license number. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
Consider owning a dog. Besides being a family pet they are a great deterrent to criminals!
What do I do if I discover my home has been broken into?
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
And finally, the most important thing you can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a crime or any suspicious activity.
Incorporated on Dec. 1, 2006, the City of Milton is a distinctive community that embraces small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing the city's rural character. The City of Milton is committed to maintaining the unique quality of life for its constituents while efficiently delivering essential services to residents and businesses in an interactive community environment. For more information, visit www.cityofmiltonga.us, or call 678-242-2500.