Burglaries are a significant part of our crime stats. Burglaries and thefts make up most of the FBI Part 1 crimes. Thefts are by far the most in numbers, but burglary is the most significant challenge.
By challenge, I mean a pain in the butt. Burglars are snakes. They break into your home and steal your stuff when you’re gone. Sometimes they think you’re gone, but they can make mistakes. And if you’re home when they break in, it can be a serious confrontation.
Most of these guys want your possessions and that’s all, but the “by-chance” meeting can be very dangerous. Chances are this will never happen to you. But it can happen, so don’t make the fatal mistake of assuming anything.
What to do when you hear a strange noise
Let’s say you are home watching “Dr. Oz.” You hear a noise that is definitely not something that sounds normal. A noise downstairs, upstairs, whatever — it’s a noise that shouldn’t be there.
First of all, it is most proper to hit the 9-1-1 button when this scenario presents itself. My advice: If you hear noises that raise the hair on the back of your neck, move away from the noise, grab the cell and keep moving out until the cops arrive. You do not need to engage someone who is burglarizing the home. Once they know you are home, it’s almost certain they will flee. But, again, never say never.
Here’s a fact about catching burglars
We catch burglars when people call 9-1-1. It’s a fact. The crime doesn’t have to unfold in front of you to raise enough suspicion to call the cops. Noises are enough to make the call.
Another fact, this one about how burglars work
Chances are the break-in will occur during the day, not night. The scenario of the cat burglar is unlikely. It happens, but the percentages say they’ll hit during the day. They like to break in when they think the resident is at work.
Some do their homework by casing the neighborhood. That means at some point, a car may drive down the street. Maybe the car doesn’t look right. Slow-driving car, maybe twice comes down the street with the driver just looking around.
Did you notice the car? If so, did you remember the color, the make and the occupant of the car? Grab the tag.
When something happens such as circumstances that make you suspicious, call 9-1-1 and get the cops into your neighborhood. Last week I got four e-mails from concerned residents who saw a car and a person loitering and it made them suspicious. Their intent was on the ball, but the delivery went to me via e-mail instead of 9-1-1.
Don’t be afraid to call. Get the cops out there and get it checked out.
When to e-mail, when to call
Stay in touch with one another and use that e-mail tool to get information out when the time comes — but stay with the facts. Confirm anything that you may doubt with your police agency. Crime prevention officers, COPS officers and even the neighborhood precinct is a good start.
Confirm rumors by e-mail, but when you see something going on, that’s when you call 9-1-1. It does make a difference. You’d be surprised what a phone call can be the start of!