Officers will often be sent to burglary calls, and burglary prevention is information that an officer can pass on to the victim.
A lot of what you will be doing in this line of work will be speaking to victims of crimes after they have already occurred. They will often ask you for advice and look to you for reassurance, and offering them ideas and strategies for burglary prevention can be of benefit.
As a cop, unless you come across the burglary yourself, or the
homeowner comes home and interrupts the guy in the act, the suspect will
most likely not be on scene any longer. But, let's take a look at what
you can do if he or she still is...
If he is, and he takes off running from the scene, it often just becomes a foot pursuit. If he hides inside the home, you can create a perimeter from the outside and wait until more officers arrive. If the K-9 unit shows up, the handler can order the suspect out, and combined with the barking from the dog and the warnings, that's often enough.
Now, what can you look for as a police officer on the street? If you see someone in an alley with a hood up carrying a bag which looks to be filled with items, he might be worth stopping and checking out.
Now, has he done anything wrong at this point? No. But you can always stop and talk to someone if you think things look suspicious.
Burglary guys also sometimes seem to commit these crimes when it's raining. One of the reasons is that cops don't seem to stop and talk to people when it's raining out. Nobody wants to get drenched, including officers, so the natural reaction is not to exit the cruisers, or roll down the window. So, if you're in an area known to have burglary problems, and you see the guy with the hooded sweatshirt and bag walking in the alley when it's raining.....
Let's get back to the burglary prevention portion of
the discussion. After all, passing on this kind of info can potentially
prevent it altogether.
Although burglary may not be one of the most serious crimes when compared to murder, sexual assault, kidnapping etc, it can still be a very traumatic experience. Any homeowner will feel completely violated when they return home after a long days work to find that some scumbag has entered their home and rummaged through their personal property.
Not only are items of value such as cash, electronics and jewelry stolen, but more personal and meaningful items are sometimes damaged due to the suspect's actions inside the home.
One way that homeowners can prevent burglars from targeting their home is to clear away branches and bushes that obstruct the view of potential entry points ( such as windows and doors) to the street. Sure, that makes for less privacy but it also means that potential suspects may move on to a different location that they feel will be less visible to people who are passing by.
Another way to deter suspects is to get a security alarm service. Having stickers on the windows and an alarm system that will go off during unauthorized entries can also prevent break ins. The bad guy sees that there is an alarm system, and moves on. Or, if they do enter, the alarm goes off, and the suspect(s) are forced out by the alarm because of the attention it is generating. Although not as good as having a live person standing guard at your home, an alarm can be the next best alternative.
Burglars will often enter a home on weekdays during regular working hours, as they know that many homes will be unoccupied at that time. They are also aware that many families leave town on long weekends, and again, many homes will be unoccupied.
As an officer, if you are working the first day after a long weekend, be prepared. You could be getting lots of calls for entries...
As an officer, you can also mention to victims that if they don't know their neighbors, that they should try to get to know them. It's always beneficial to have an extra set of eyes watching your property when you aren't around. They can also request their neighbors to collect their mail and flyers when on vacation so that it isn't so obvious that they aren't home.
Home owners can also benefit from the addition of a dog into the family.
The presence of the dog, or the noise it makes while barking could be
enough to thwart off any attempt, and will definitely help in burglary
Having proper lighting on the premises during the night is also helpful. When you're working, you'll notice that when homes have proper lighting, it's easier to see street address numbers and get to the calls. I can guarantee you that there will moments where you will be responding to a call and have a tough time finding the exact location because of poor lighting and trees/ branches blocking your view.
Homeowners can also do their best to ensure that valuable items are not easily visible when people pass by the home. Expensive and high priced items, and bottles containing medications (junkie bait) shouldn't be visible when people walk by on the sidewalk.
There's no reason to attract that kind of attention and advertise to a
burglar that you have lots of goodies inside to take. It's a good step to take for burglary prevention.