The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office wants to help reduce your chance of having a burglary to your home or vehicle. The most important thing you can do it call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity. You are the eyes of your neighborhood and a large part of our community policing efforts. The following are a few tips to prevent and/or increase the solvability of these crimes:
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items (make, model & serial number), date of purchase and original value and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires, floods or other disasters too.
- Make a photographic or video record of valuable belongings. Your insurance company may provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
- Mark your valuables with your name or driver’s license number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
- Items such as Firearms, TVs, Video Game Consoles, Lap Tops, Tablets, Electric Tools, Outdoor Power Equipment, Wallets, Jewelry, Safe/Fireproof Box, Prescription Drugs and money are the most frequently stolen items. Take the time to record their information, photograph, conceal and mark these items.
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors. Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed.
- Keep your garage, shed and shop doors closed and locked.
- Don’t share your travel, trips and vacation plans on social media.
- ATV’s, Lawn mowers, Generators, Utility Trailers and Bicycles are best locked, secured and stored out of sight.
- Use curtains or blinds on garage and shop windows.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. Motion-sensitive lights are recommended on porches, in carports, near garage & shop entrances.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security.
- If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
- A Surveillance Camera System can also be of great assistance police investigators.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other frequently used hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- If you get new information on the crime, update the police as soon as possible.
If Your Home Is Broken Into:
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a phone to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence. You may accidentally destroy valuable evidence.
- Write down the description and license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons or possible suspects.
- Provide a list of stolen items (including make, model and serial numbers) to police as soon as possible.
Car Burglaries (how to avoid them):
- Do not leave valuables (GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, wallets, purses) in plain view. Always conceal these items.
- Don’t leave purchased merchandise in your parked vehicle where it can be easily seen. Conceal these items also.
- Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
- Do not leave doors unlocked.
- Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
- Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
- Do not leave out items with personal information.
- Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
While these tips won’t guarantee you will not become the victim of crime, they will hopefully reduce your chances of becoming a victim, and if you become a victim, it will increase our ability to solve it. We may not be able to prevent them from choosing your home or car, but we may be able to make them regret their decision. Together we can prevent and solve many of these crimes. Be aware. Be safe. Be smart.