Keeping you and your family safe is a priority for your City of San Mateo police officers. Despite our best efforts, we regrettably still see the occasional residential burglary here in our beautiful City. With that in mind, I would like to offer you a few tips to help prevent your family home from failing victim to a burglar. We constantly strive to collaborate with our community on a daily basis with the ultimate goal of keeping our neighborhoods safer and with your help, we can accomplish that goal together.
FACTS ABOUT UNOCCUPIED HOMES
Most of us have to leave our homes for at least a little while during the day. People engaged in residential burglaries usually target homes based on what they observe while they are “casing” the area.
- Most home burglaries are committed during the daytime hours when people are most likely out of the house.
- They will specifically target unoccupied homes.
- Thieves like to see inside your home first to check for dogs, residents, security devices, and desirable property.
- Often times they will check for unlocked doors and windows prior to entering.
DISGUISE YOUR HOME AS “OCCUPIED”
- Close your blinds and window coverings.
- If you have a car which is not being driven for the day and is not in the garage, leave it in the driveway.
- Alarm systems are very helpful. Simply having signs which state your home is equipped with an alarm helps to deter theft. Furthermore, if you home is equipped with an alarm, unauthorized entry into your home with alert law enforcement and prompt an immediate response to your residence. If it is an audible alarm, it will let the suspect(s) know police are on their way and the notification of police will increase the likelihood of suspect apprehension.
- Mans best friend is not for everyone, however, if you do have a dog, the intimidation and/or noise produced by your pet has the potential to be a significant deterrent. Very few burglaries are completed in homes where a dog is present.
- Keep doors, windows, and all other points of entry into your home locked whenever you leave the home.
- In recent years, your police department has gained valuable insight into these crimes using neighborhood surveillance systems. Register your system with SMPD using the NEST Program: http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/index.aspx?NID=2726
- Get to know your neighbors. A close nit community is stronger and more effective in preventing crime.
- If you know your neighbors and they know you, your community will have better knowledge of cars and people who are unfamiliar.
- If you observe people who you do not recognize or who you believe are behaving suspiciously, PLEASE call the police.
- Suspicious persons calls are a helpful tool in preventing and solving crime. Sometime these calls assist in identifying suspects who are engaged in residential burglaries. In most cases, San Mateo residents will be our most crucial avenue for developing intelligence pertaining to these cases.
For your safety and that of your loved ones, your San Mateo Police Department also asks that you remain vigilant and don’t hesitate to report suspicious persons or activity via 911 as the alert witnesses did in this case. Trust your instincts and when in doubt, call us and report what you see. Stand up for the good of our community. Remember: you are are extra “Eyes and Ears” and together we can build safer neighborhoods. – Det. Nick Ryan
Detective Nick Ryan is a 7 year veteran of the San Mateo Police Department. He is currently a member of the Investigations Bureau and assigned to S.W.A.T. He is also a lifelong Peninsula resident and a proud Serra High School Alumni Member.