Spring is upon us and Summer is just around the corner. From a security point, this brings both good news and bad news. The good news is that we have longer day light hours and the bad guys prefer to work in the dark. Additionally, the extended day light hours and warmer weather allows us to be outside more and visible to those hoping to steal a package or pilfer through an automobile without being seen.
The bad news is that most of us will use this time for vacations, leaving our homes unattended for long periods of time. An unattended home can become a target for that criminal element driving around looking for opportunities. As you plan your Summer activities, please consider the following.
- Call Jeff Baxter on the PHWCA recorded line and inform him of the dates you plan to be away. Ask our patrolman to pick up the mail and any packages that might be delivered in your absence.
- Provide the officers information on where to put the mail (please provide a plastic bin in a covered area if possible) and packages. In addition, leave information on anyone, friends, family, yard services that you expect to be at your home while you are gone.
- While Jeff and his team will pick up your newspapers, I would suggest it is more secure to suspend your paper delivery as the patrol may have just made their round before the paper was delivered and it may stay in the driveway or yard till the following day.
- In addition to informing Lt. Baxter, please tell a neighbor(s) that you will be away. Lt. Baxter’s men are only on duty 5 hours each day. Your neighbor can be your 24/7 watch dog!
- Leave some lights or radio on to give the impression someone is home. Even better is to connect one or more lights to a timer that go off and on during the evening.
- DO NOT post pictures of your wonderful vacation on social media. Criminals monitor Facebook, Instagram, etc. hoping to see you on safari in Africa, trekking in Nepal or enjoying a cold beer at the beach. Next stop for them is your house!!
- Lastly, I’d ask all residents to be on the lookout for anything that appears suspicious, an unfamiliar car driving up and down a street, a “solicitor” going door to door, a vehicle parked in the driveway of someone you believe is out of town. DO NOT be embarrassed to call 911 on these or anything that you deem important. The 911 operators are trained to receive and dispatch the appropriate response. We all complain about our high taxes. Security through the 911 system is where part of those funds go. Use it!!
I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe Summer. Keep your own home secure and be on the watch to help your neighbors enjoy this great time of year.