Police Offer Tips to Make Your House Less Attractive to Burglars - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Police Offer Tips to Make Your House Less Attractive to Burglars

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Reno police Officer Tim Broadway showed us the weak points in homes that burglars look for.

"They pull the screen off, use some tools and simply pop it off its tracks and the window comes out," Broadway explained.

One tip is using dowels to shore up your windows. They cost about 80¢ each. You can put them in the lower track to keep the window from opening. In older homes, you can put a smaller dowel in the upper track to prevent burglars from lifting the window out of the track. "You can slide it in and fill the gap which will keep the window from sliding out," Broadway said.

Police say there are lots of ways to make your home more burglar-proof and make it less likely your house will be the target of a crime. Motion sensitive outdoor lights, door alarms and chain locks can all discourage burglars, and they don't cost very much to buy and install.

Another weak point is the screws that hold door latch plates in place. At one house they were only ½ inch long. 

"You want to get one that's three inches long which will actually put it into the stud and will help prevent someone from kicking in the door," explained Reno Police Officer Donna Robinson.

Other tricks include timers for your lights, and a simple inexpensive radio that you can leave on when you leave the house.

"Simply having a $12 radio is good. If someone breaks in, they hear a voice, they don't know-- especially if it's on a talk show -- if it's you talking on the phone," said Broadway. 

Robinson says the outside of your house is also important. She and Broadway often give presentations to Neighborhood Watch groups. "How can we prevent crime from the outside first? Because that's what burglars look at first. They will drive around an area and look at what is an easy target because burglars want to get in and out," explained Robinson. 

Police urge homeowners to trim the bushes around their house, so burglars can't hide while they break into a window or door. Planting thorny rose bushes under your windows also discourages people from breaking in, and signs that a dog may be inside the house can work in your favor. These are all things burglars notice, but we may not.

Police also ask that you put house numbers on the wall where they show clearly, so if officers have to respond in an emergency, they can find your house quickly. And they advise homeowners to write down the serial numbers of items that might be taken during a burglary. Things like laptops, firearms and TVs, that way they can help you recover your belongings if they are stolen. 

Written by Jennifer Burton

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