In many cities across the country, not just in Jacksonville, there has been an uptick in home break-ins and property theft. Scroll through any Facebook neighborhood group and you’ll see residents talking daily about a theft that happened to them. As security professionals, we see these sorts of things all the time. Car theft is on the rise as is bike theft. Garage break-ins always spike during the summer as do home break-ins. Warm weather always sees an increase in home break-in and property stolen from vehicles. ¬†Luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent being a victim of these crimes.

Lock Up

The best way to prevent having your garage or home broken into is to lock them up, even when you are home. A thief doesn’t want to draw attention to himself by using force to gain entry. Using force like a crowbar or breaking a window causes a fair amount of noise that might alert the homeowner or their neighbors to what’s going on. The thief will move on to the next unlocked home if yours is locked. So lock up when you leave the home and when you are in it, especially at night. Lock the garage and lock your car.

Lived in Look

If you leave your home for a weekend or longer to go on vacation make sure someone is coming by to make your home look lived in. Hire a neighbor to mow the grass and turn on the sprinkler. Stop the newspaper while your gone and have the post office hold your mail until you return. Set up some lights on timers or set up smart lights in your home that you can control from your phone while you’re away. The goal is to make your home look as though there is someone there and therefore a poor target for thieves.

Vehicles

These days vehicles are being stolen at record numbers. In part due to the ease of starting keyless vehicles and also because homeowners will forget their key fob in the vehicle making it easier to steal. When you leave your vehicle make sure your key fob is with you and not left behind in the vehicle. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle, but if you have to lock them in the trunk before you arrive at your destination – so thieves don’t see you put your purse or other valuables in the trunk and then break into your trunk the minute you’re away from your car.

Practicing these three things will reduce your chance of being a victim of a break-in. Remind all household members to do the same.