It’s residential burglary season: Hoboken Police tell you how to prevent it

It’s that time of year, with summer here and holidays fast approaching like the 4th of July, many Hoboken residents will be getting away from it all. This leaves your home the perfect target for potential burglars.

So the Hoboken Police Department says it’s important to know how to protect your residence against intruders.

Follow these easy and in most cases, inexpensive steps below to make your home appear less appealing to burglars. The best protection simply involves smart thinking and good habits.

• Know your neighbors and look out for each other’s homes. This is the key to neighborhood security. 
 If you know their typical schedule, it’s much more likely you’ll be aware when something is out of the 
ordinary. Talk to your neighbors when leaving on vacation; and tell them how long you expect to be 
away.

• Install an alarm system, if a burglar sees a decal stating that there is an alarm system in the residence, they will most likely move on.

• If going on vacation, arrange for your mail to be held by the post office and have a
neighbor pick up any newspaper deliveries or flyers.

• Train children so they know not to answer the door when you’re gone and never give
information out over the phone to callers they don’t know (this may vary depending on
the age of the child).

• Lock all doors and windows when you leave your residence, even for a short errand.

• Ensure that doors accessible to the exterior are equipped with deadbolts and reinforced
strike plates. The dead bolt makes it difficult to “pick” and the strike plate makes it
difficult to just kick the door in.

• Upgrade doors to a solid core that can withstand excessive force.

• Shield windows near doors, install a quarter-inch Plexiglass over any existing glass.
This can prevent a burglar from breaking the window and either opening the door from
the inside or getting into the house through the opening.

• Add wide-angle viewers or doors to accommodate all occupants, including children or
handicapped family members.

• Windows and doors should be visible from the street; high shrubbery and plantings can
provide thieves with a place to hide.

• Don’t leave valuables where they are visible from doors and windows — use shades,
drapes or blinds. Burglary is sometimes a crime of opportunity and “window-shopping”
is one way criminals choose potential targets.

• Don’t leave notes with details of your absence.

• Don’t advertise new purchases. Be sure not to draw undue attention to your home by
discarding empty boxes at the curb with your trash, a big problem during the holidays.
By putting out boxes from a new flat-screen television, video game system, a laptop or
other expensive home electronics at the curb, you’re showing a potential burglar exactly
what new and valuable items are now available in your home. Break down boxes into
small pieces and bundle them so you can’t tell what was inside.

• Photograph valuables and engrave, place a copy of your inventory and related photos in 
 a safe deposit box in case of fire. Don’t use your social security number to identify your valuables.

• Remove all identifiers from your keys. If you lose them, there’s no reason to think they’ll
fall into honest hands. If you believe someone has stolen your keys, have the locks
changed.

• Keep the garage door closed and locked. When exiting your garage, ensure that it closes
before leaving. Thieves often wait for residents to exit the garage and will then enter
before the garage door closes.

• Install motion sensor-activated exterior lights on entry points. Not only will it discourage
burglars, it also makes it easier for you to get into your home at night. Criminals do not
like well lit targets.

• Install timers to switch lights, televisions, or music on and off, especially if you’re
planning to be away.

• Don’t announce on social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) that you are away from
your residence or that you plan on going away. Wait until you return to give details of
your vacation.

• Air conditioners that are installed in ground floor or basement windows should be
secured in a manner where they cannot be pushed in or pulled out.

• Don’t hide spare keys. Burglars know about the fake rock and statues and will check
under doormats, in mailboxes and over doorways. Ensure everyone in the household
has a spare key and give a spare set to a trusted neighbor.

• Make sure that you have renter’s insurance, in the unfortunate event that you are
burglarized, at least your valuables will be covered.

IF YOU ARRIVE TO YOUR RESIDENCE AND BELIEVE SOMEONE MAY BE INSIDE, DO NOT CONFRONT THE BURGLAR.

* Retreat to a safe area and contact the Hoboken Police at 201-420-2100.
* In the event that you are the victim of a burglary, do not touch any surfaces or items 
 the burglar may have touched and immediately contact the police.

There is nothing that can replace vigilant, caring and concerned neighbors and friends.

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