Protect yourself, your home and business
It seems there has been a series of burglaries and robberies across our valley recently. Some have been reported on El Paseo, including one store that had $10,000 worth of purses stolen and other store owners afraid to speak out for fear of being targeting for retaliation.
According to recent statistics, burglaries across California are down however; they are rising in our area. And according to the Palm Desert Police (Riverside County Sheriff’s Department), burglaries are one of the most frequently reported crimes in that city and across the valley.
In general, burglaries are a crime of opportunity. In California, residential burglaries happen about every two minutes. A very large percentage of burglaries reported are found to have been preventable had the victims implemented proper safety measures. More than half of burglaries committed occur without any signs of forced entry, usually gaining access through an unlocked door or window. Currently, the most common burglaries are garage burglaries, residential burglaries and vehicle burglaries.
As with all other crimes, prevention is the most important thing, not arrest and prosecution. If the need for arrest and prosecution arises, it is already too late.
For homeowners, when away from the home, going to bed or out of town, close and lock all doors and windows, including the garage. Do not leave valuables in plain view. If possible, close all the curtains and blinds so that no one can see inside the residence. At night time, leave the front and back porch lights on and exterior garage lights as well. If away at night time, leave an interior light on, such as a hallway light; not one that could cause a fire if on too long and hot. Unless in the garage, leave it closed at all times.
In an effort to deter would be burglars, it is a good idea to keep shrubbery trimmed down to a point that it would be difficult to hide behind. Have motion detection security lights installed and positioned to light up as much of the property as possible. Do not set the motion sensor too high as it will turn on with every passing car and person. Adjust it so that if someone enters your property, it will turn on. Use a reputable alarm system with sensors placed on all doors and windows, including interior motion sensors in the house. If one really wants to be extra secure, glass-break sensors are also available. If an intruder does enter the home, the audible alarm is loud enough to alert neighbors.
A neighborhood watch, if implemented properly, is an excellent deterrent. When neighbors know each other, they usually know when someone doesn’t belong there. No one knows a neighborhood better than the residents. Communicate with each other and notify the police when any unusual or suspicious activities occur.
Make a list of all valuables. Record brand names, models and serial numbers, especially weapons. Keep the list in a safe place i.e. a fireproof, waterproof, mounted safe or safety deposit box. When police recover stolen property, it greatly increases the chances of those items being returned.
If a vehicle is parked in the driveway, or anywhere for that matter, keep vehicle windows closed and the doors locked. Do not keep valuables in the vehicle. An alarm system and/or LoJack (or similar device) is highly recommended. There are also computer chips that can be installed that will not allow the vehicle to start if it is broken into. And keep copies of the registration, insurance, and vehicle identification number in a secure place. Note any markings or damage to the vehicle that can be given to the police that will help them notice the vehicle easier in the event that it is stolen.
For business owners, it is highly recommended that an alarm system is installed. Cameras are a good tool and deterrent if they are correctly positioned. The capabilities of the cameras are very important. Have sensors on all doors and windows, motion sensors inside and if there are store front windows, install glass-break sensors as well. Have lights covering all sides of the building, including parking lots and leave some kind of lighting on inside as it is easier to see someone moving around. With a well-lit perimeter and parking lot, it will be easier for the police to notice if someone does not belong there. In addition, it will deter other criminal behavior. Do not keep any cash in the business and keep all valuable merchandise out of view and in a secure place. Keep a thorough record of all employees, including phone numbers, addresses, full names, dates of birth and a copy of their driver’s license or other photo identification. This is all information that should be recorded at the time of hire for employment records however; it is multi-functional.
If one is walking at night time, always be aware of the surroundings, stay in well-lit areas and away from alleys and secluded areas. And always keep a cellular phone in a place where it can be quickly and easily accessed. Do not wear excessive jewelry and do not carry large amounts of cash.
Before hiring a security company, alarm response, patrol company or any other security vendors, contact us for an evaluation.
Security companies will take advantage of someone if they feel that that person doesn't know much about security. In addition, many security companies advertise security consulting however; their only goal is to place their security guards and install their equipment in an effort to make a larger profit.
In so many cases, security guards have little to no training which places a potential liability to their clients.
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Please see the Current Events page for information on these incidents.