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Daily Crime Prevention Tips and Property Crime in the Foothills on Dec. 29th

1 Robbery at a Residence (Home Invasion):  1500-block of Tramway.

7 Vehicles Stolen, 1 of the 7 while warming up and unattended, 3 of 7 during a residential burglary.  200-block of Shirley, 2900-block of Vista del Rey, 10800-block of Lagrima Del Oro, 800-block of Horseshoe Trail SE, 13500-block of Pino Canyon Place.

1 Commercial Burglary: 9800-block of Montgomery Blvd NE.

3 Residential Burglaries: 13500-block of Pino Canyon Place, 11600-block of Academy, 5000-block of Arroyo Chamisa.

9 Auto Burglaries: 13400-block of Lomas, 10200-block of Chapala Place, 11800-block of Menaul, 11900-block of Brentwood Hills, two at same address on the 11800-block of Montgomery, 4200-block of Eubank, two at the same address on the 4600-block of Menaul.

Crime Prevention Tips of the Day:  I’d like to focus on front doors today.  The door is the entry to ‘your castle’ — and can be the point of entry for a burglar.  In the home invasion noted above, a stranger was ringing the doorbell and was let inside the residence at night.  This person did not forced entry, but was allowed inside, yet was described as a stranger. 

If you are not expecting someone and do not recognize them through the peep hole do not open the door.  If you have a peep hole/eye viewer in your door, make sure it’s the 180-degree range of vision type.  If not, replace it so you will have a better range of vision.  Is your eye viewer at the proper height for a child to access it if you are in the shower or the back yard if someone shows up at the door?  If you have a disability, have your eye viewer drilled to the appropriate height for you to actually use it.  Have you gone over the plan with your kids if someone unexpected and uninvited is at the door?

Make sure you have a solid core or metal door and use your deadbolt and lock up when you are home.  The deadbolt throw should go into the door frame at least 1 inch.  Check your strike plates; are they secured properly and in good condition?  There are wrap-around strike plates that reinforce that weak point of the door and I recommend using four 3 1/2″ long screws for the strike plate. 

If there’s an uninvited, unexpected person at your door who you do not recognize/approve of, make your presence known through the locked door and tell them to leave or you will call police.  If they need help or claim an emergency, tell them through the locked door you will be happy to call 911 for them while remaining inside.  A “No Soliciting” sign posted at your door is also helpful to send a written notice you will call 242-COPS (2677) if your sign is not honored.  Most APD substations have these signs free of charge for the public; the Foothills substation is completely out of the signs, but you can check with nearby stations and stop by and request one. 

Is your porch lighting doing the job?  Per the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners, cleaning the bulb encasement/covering every 5 years will increase your lighting’s effectiveness by 50%!  Of course, do not let one night go by without replacing burned out or broken bulbs.  Criminals do not like to be seen — light up the night, I say! 

Check the porch for overgrown shrubs that may block a neighbor’s view (a potential witness who can call police) of anyone trying to tamper with your door.  Remove items that can be stolen or cause a trip or fall.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to do a thorough check of your front door and porch — the entry to your castle!

Be safe — Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, APD – Foothills Area Command