Posted July 2, 2014 03:56 pm - Updated July 2, 2014 03:57 pm

More ways to discourage criminals

After my last blog about locking your car doors and bringing your bicycles inside, I received an email from an officer with the Conway Police Department who had some other great tips for keeping bad guys out of your life. Here they are, shamelessly cut and pasted:

1.     Keep your porch lights on. They don’t use that much electricity and light tends to discourage the bad guys. Motion detector lights are always good. Don’t forget the back yard too. You would be surprised driving around at night, the very dark areas, in the various subdivisions around Conway.

2.     Trim your hedges and shrubbery. Would-be burglars can utilize the concealment from shrubbery and large bushes to hide while trying to enter your windows. Not only that, but they can easily hide behind them as you approach your front door, and then force their way in behind you.

3.     I mentioned garage doors. I’ve done many reports of people having items stolen from open garages.

4.     When you leave on vacation, have your newspapers stopped or arrange for someone to pick them up. A bunch of papers in the driveway signals “you’re gone
.”Same for your mail delivery.

5.     Lock your home’s windows — even while you're home. Unless you're just wanting a breeze to blow into your house, leave them locked.  In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to lock your front door, even when you are home.  I’ve worked a few reports (mainly at the various apartment complexes) where the person was home, door unlocked, and the bad guys come directly in while you’re sitting in your living room.

Wow. Good to know. 

In addition to keeping the door locked when at home, I would say always check before answering the door. That's what the little peep-hole is there for. I have read a report before where a woman answered the door and a bad guy forced his way in. If I'm home alone and a stranger rings my doorbell, I just ignore it. Sorry, strangers. I'd rather be rude than a victim.

I might sound paranoid, but you have to realize the five or six police reports that make the paper every day are just a sampling from a big stack. Pretty much every day, someone's car is getting broken into, someone's house is getting broken into, someone is getting into some kind of a physical altercation with their family members, and someone is getting arrested for being drunk in public. There are crazy people everywhere! Law-abiding citizens, watch your back.