The FBI has discovered in recent years that theft is one of the most common crimes committed each year.

Residential burglary has proven to be a favorite choice of many urban thieves.  One significant pattern regarding home break-ins is that over half occur during daylight hours when no one is at home. In general, thieves prefer to target unoccupied residences.  The most common entry tactic is to kick in an exterior door, forcing the wooden jamb to give way. Burglars will also help themselves to any household tools that might be lying around to gain entry into your home.

Once inside, burglars will target small expensive type items that can be easily converted to cash. Items such as jewelry, cash, laptops, CD/DVD players, watches, guns and small electronic devices are usually at the top their “want” list.

To enhance your home security and make your residence a less likely target, review the following suggestions. Remember the majority of daytime burglars are opportunists and do not want to be caught.

1. Install lights by all exterior doors. Use lights at night.

2. Use timers on indoor lights to give the impression that someone is at home.

3. Trim shrubs back from doors and windows. Don’t give burglars places to hide while they are trying to break into your home.

4. Install good quality deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and use them.

5. Use solid core or metal exterior doors.

6. Add auxiliary track-type locks, removable drop bars, wooden dowels, or pinning devices to windows and sliding glass doors.

7. Install peepholes on exterior doors with a minimum 160 degree view to aid with screening strangers at the door.

8. Never leave notes for anyone on your door.

9. Keep your valuable information in a safe deposit box.

10. Always lock all of your doors and windows when you leave your residence.

11. Install an approved and monitored alarm system.

For more information regarding these topics and other crime prevention programs, please contact the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8474 or visit www.santamonicapd.org.

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