Street Smart with Patrolman Hoover: Home Security
Burglary, also called "breaking and entering", is the crime of breaking into a building to commit an offense, usually theft. Every year there are over five million home burglaries in the United States which account for 21% of property crimes. On average, one burglary results in a financial loss of $1,725. You can greatly reduce the risk of being burglarized by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to potential burglars.
Street Smart with Patrolman Hoover: Distraction Burglaries
Burglars are always finding new tricks and methods when it comes to burglarizing a home. One of the newest and trendiest is the "distraction" burglary. In other words this is a con game. A distraction burglary is when a "visitor" comes to your home, tells you some lie to swindle their way into your home, or creates a ruse to distract the victim so an accomplice can slip in, which is the most common method. The most frequent target for these distraction burglaries are the elderly and vulnerable. The average age of a victim of a distraction burglary is 81 years-old.
Police report that with spring here in bloom, more and more of these crimes will occur. A distraction burglary involves witty manipulation, and if you don't know the signs, you may fall victim to this type of crime, even if you have burglar alarm in place. The East Brunswick Police Department provides information and tips to help you be aware of someone attempting a distraction burglary.
When to Contact the Police Department
Contact East Brunswick Police Department if you experience any of the following situations in your community:
- For any suspicious vehicles parked in your neighborhood.
- Learn your neighbor's schedule so you can recognize unusual activity such as open doors, windows or persons walking on or through the property who are unfamiliar to you. If you observe suspicious activity report it to the police.
- In the event someone rings your bell claiming to be a solicitor, all solicitors must be permitted by the township. If they can't provide proof or refuse to display their permit (close and lock your door immediately), call the police.
- If someone rings your door bell whom you are not familiar with. In many cases, burglars will ring your door bell to determine if someone is home. If someone answers, they will make an excuse why they rang the bell. They may ask for directions or to use your phone. Close the door and contact the police immediately, note a physical description, what kind of vehicle they were driving and direction of travel, if possible.
- Do not allow anyone into your residence claiming to be from any water department, tax office, electric department or any public or private utility. Criminals often will pose as utility workers in an attempt to create a distraction and steal your valuables once you let them inside. Keep your doors closed and locked and contact the police. Officers will respond to determine if the person(s) are from a legitimate service.
- Please do not attempt to intervene and approach anyone you believe to be suspicious, be the best witness from a distance and contact the police immediately.
- Lock your doors and make your home appear occupied at all times, if you observe anything suspicious contact the police immediately.
If you further questions about residential security or are interested in creating a neighborhood watch in your community, email the Community Policing Unit or call at 732-390-6938.