CRIME PREVENTION TIPS

Here is a Richmond Police Department checklist of basic measures you can take to reduce your chances of being burglarized:

Home tips

  • Doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.

  • Doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.

  • If there are glass panels in or near doors, they are reinforced in some way so they cannot be shattered.

  • All entryways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame of the door.

  • Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge or in the mailbox.

  • Shrubs and bushes are trimmed so there is no place for someone to hide.

  • There are no dark areas around the house, garage or yard at night that would hide prowlers.

  • Every outside door has a bright, working light to illuminate visitors.

  • Outdoor lights are on in the evening -- whether someone is at home or not, or a photocell or motion-sensitive lighting system has been installed.

  • The door leading from the attached garage to the house is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.

  • The overhead garage door has a lock so as not to rely solely on the automatic door to provide security.


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  • All garage doors are locked when leaving the house.

    Vehicle tips

  • Lock your car and take your keys with you even when parked in your driveway. An unlocked car is an easy target for a thief.

  • Park in a well-lighted, well-traveled area, close to a corner with foot traffic. Completely close your windows and sunroofs even when leaving your vehicle for a short time.

  • If your vehicle is parked in front of your house, consider installing a light with a motion detection sensor. Replace knob or "T" shaped door lock buttons with tapered ones.

  • Consider etching your driver's license number, or a personal identifier, discreetly on any car parts or accessories that might be taken by a thief so it can be returned to you if recovered.

  • Ensure you have a locking gas cap.

  • Be careful not to leave valuables such as purses, wallets, CDs, iPods, cellphones, laptops or other expensive items in you car in plain view. If you do not want it stolen, take it with you.

  • Consider anti-theft devices for commonly stolen vehicles such as 1991 Honda Accord, 1990-95 Honda Civic, 1989 Toyota Camry, 1994 Nissan Sentra, 1990 Acura Integra, 1986 Toyota Pickup, 1993 Saturn SL, 1987 Toyota Corolla, 1990 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup and 1997 Ford F150 Series.

  • Activate any theft-deterrent device you may have such as car alarms, mechanical locking devices, ignition cutoffs and wheel locks. Many people have these devices, but it is important to use them consistently. Consider theft-protection devices for car radios and rims.

  • If you have access to a garage, use it. If you share a carport or communal garage, meet with your neighbors and your property manager to discuss strategies improving vehicle safety.

  • Do not leave your license, wallet, spare keys, Social Security card, vehicle registration, car title, proof of insurance, bills or anything with your address unattended in your car. Although it is required that you carry some of these items when operating a motor vehicle, it is recommended that you carry these on your person, rather than in your glove compartment. A thief can use the information in your car to sell it or assume your identity.

    If you have further questions about this and other safety tips, call the Richmond Crime Prevention Unit at 510-620-6538.