In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
There have been a number of home burglaries and car break-ins in the area. What do you do to protect yourself, your car and your home?
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS have increased significantly in neighborhoods all over Antioch. They are only once a month and last approximately one hour where local news and suggestions are provided by city crime commissioners. Unfortunately, some of the homes hit by burglaries are homes where the residents are apathetic about attending.
At these same homes, one can easily see the mistakes made making it easier for criminals to operate. They are the same homes where the front yards are completely dark at night -- criminals love to work in darkness where they can't be seen. Their side gates are not locked, inviting illegal entry.
Their vehicles are left unlocked, and items appealing to thieves are left in plain sight. They don't know their neighbors, and don't communicate with them. Neighbors are some of the best to count on in emergencies. The list goes on and on, and often the end results are people and homes becoming crime statistics. Unfortunately, criminals work 24/7 at their trade. They are constantly looking for naive people to practice on.
I RELY ON my dog's to alert me during the night for intruders, and I rely on the second amendment to protect me if that fails. No body fools my Chihuahua!
WELL I HAVE had two cars stolen and one house broken into, all which had locked doors. There is sufficient lighting also. I invested in a burglar system and a gun.
HOME AND CAR BURGLARIES are not completely preventable, but one can greatly improve the safety of your home and cars in a number of ways.
You need to start by assessing your safeguards, pay attention to corrective measures (local police agencies have booklets with a number of suggestions), participate in Neighborhood Watch activities (whether in a group or of your own initiative), report suspicious activities, get to personally know your neighbors and area, and install video surveillance and alarm systems if financially possible.
Do not monitor on a predetermined schedule, vary it so your activities cannot be too well known by potential criminal elements. Get yourself an alert dog and get one that really constantly yaps away at strangers violating your properties! There are other things to improve your chances against being victimized, but you must educate yourselves and do what is needed. Finally, even if you had a cop on every block 24/7, crimes will still occur.
Ralph A. Hernandez
This week's question:
What are you most thankful for this year and why?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.