TPD alert on home burglaries

The Tucson Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Tucson to take extra care this summer in an effort to avoid becoming a victim of a burglary or larceny.

Historically, there has been an increase in reported incidents of larceny and burglary during the summer months.

Here are some steps can be taken to better protect your homes and assets:

• Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars, and has been a point of entry in a number of recent burglaries in Tucson.

• Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have window locks. Sliding glass doors should have a metal rod or piece of wooden dowel in the track, and vertical bolts to prevent lifting the door.

• If you have an attached garage, always lock the door that leads into the house. Don't rely on your automatic garage door mechanism for security. In addition, consider updating your older automatic opener to include one with enhanced security features. Don't get in the habit of leaving your garage vehicle-bay door open when you are home and only closing it at night. Thieves need just seconds to take valuables from an open garage.

• Dog and cat doors or flaps are frequently used by burglars for gaining entry. If you must have a pet-access door, invest in one that has security features, and secure it if you will be away from home for an extended period.

• Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Low-voltage lighting is relatively inexpensive.

• Create the illusion that you are home through the use of timers on lights, radios and TV's.

• Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. They provide concealment for burglars.

• Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place, and to open and close curtains and shades to make it appear that you are home.

• Know who is in your home. Don't allow friends to bring unknown people to your home or host parties that are open to uninvited guests.

• Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine telling people that you are away from home. A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim.

• Restrict access to your social media pages to family and close friends. Don't accept "friend" requests unless you are convinced that you know and trust the sender. Don't post about upcoming vacation dates or times when you will be away from home, or update your "status" to tell others that you are currently sitting on a tropical beach,and not at home.

• Organize or actively participate in a neighborhood watch program. An alert community is a safe community, and your neighbors will be the first ones to recognize when someone or something is out of place. Look out for your neighbors and notify police as soon as possible if you see someone or something suspicious at your neighbor's house.

For more crime prevention tips as well as contact information for Neighborhood Watch coordinators visit  http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/police/crime-prevention.