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How to protect your home from intruders

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 08:26:42-04

There are 2.5 million burglaries every year, with 66 percent of them being home break-ins.

Every 13 seconds, a burglary occurs in the U.S. Typically it happens when you’re off at work.

"Most of these people trying to break into homes are not trying to have a confrontation," said Orlando police officer Kevlon Kirkpatrick.

Officer Kirkpatrick says break-ins are seasonal, most occurring near Christmas and during the summer when schools are out. So, what can you do to protect your home?

"Creating obstacles, the more obstacles you have for a person wishing to do you harm or wishing to steal from you, the more obstacles you have for them to deal with, the less likely they are to break into your home," Kirkpatrick said.

This means keeping windows and doors locked, including the one from your garage to your home. You can also get a shatterproof glass for your sliding doors. Keep trees and bushes trimmed so you have natural surveillance and use timed or motion-detecting lights. Enlist your neighbors to help when leaving town to take in the mail or newspapers.

"Having one of them park a car in your garage or driveway," he advises.

Also, be careful what you post on social media.

"You don’t necessarily want to tell people your business until you come home from said vacation or trip, so hold off on that stuff until you come home," he said.

Visible cameras are a great way to deter a crook, but make sure you are recording and saving the footage, so it can be viewed if a break-in does occur. Officer Kirkpatrick also says to take photos of your valuables and email them to yourself, so you can identify them if stolen.

The Milwaukee Police Department offers a free program where officers can survey a home or business and identify security weaknesses. It’s called the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Program. The Wauwatosa Police Department offers a similar program that’s free to the public. Check with your local law enforcement agency to see if officers conduct security inspections.