Thieves practically cleaned out both homes in a Lubbock duplex over the holidays in the 500 block of North Chicago. The residents were students on break from college. The thieves took everything from a washer and dryer to the victims' bedding. Police say that's unusual because thieves usually look for items that are quick to steal and easy to sell or pawn.
|Crime Prevention Tips for You and Your Home|
This robbery is just one of several in recent weeks. Police think no one was suspicious of the thieves because the residents were college kids and college kids often move during the holiday break. The thieves could have just acted like they were moving out.
In this or any other case, it's a good idea to let your neighbors know you'll be away for vacation and ask them to keep an eye out. But there are several other ways to protect your home.
Get an alarm system. They're more affordable than you might think and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, if a thief sees that you have one, chances are he or she won't even bother with your home. Even an alarm system sticker can be a deterrent.
You can also put your lights on a timer to keep thieves guessing when you are or aren't home and use motion sensored lights outside.
Next, pay attention to windows. Even something as simple as planting cacti in window planters can deter thieves. You can also rig windows so they're harder to get into. Drill holes in the casing and insert bolts so the window can't be opened all the way.
Also, plan ahead in the case you are robbed. Write down descriptions of all valuables and their model and serial numbers. Police can track them if they end up in a pawn shop or if they're recovered. Lubbock police will even engrave your driver's license on items for you to help in that process. Sergeant Keith Woodard says, "They have an engraving pen and if they engrave the driver's license on items like VCR's and DVD players and Playstations, which is the stuff that is normally stolen, when we find it if it's at a dope house or whatever it just takes seconds to find out who's driver's license that is."
Also, suspend your newspaper and mail delivery so it doesn't clue in thieves that you're away.
Last, but not least, put a lock on the gate to your back fence. Thieves don't want to heist heavy items over if they don't have to.