A recent spike in home burglary incidents in Bloomfield was reason for a special meeting last week between concerned residents, Bloomfield Chief of Police Christopher Goul and the Bloomfield Police Department.
After the meeting, Officer Kevin O’Connell of the Community Policing Division released the following Public Service Announcement for residents to safeguard their homes and valuables. Here are some preventative awareness tips for homeowners from the Chief Goul and the Bloomfield Police Department.
1. Is your home well lighted with particular attention to exterior doors?
2. Are all exterior lights and security devices in good working order and protected from breakage?
3. Can your main entrance be seen from the street?
4. Are all trees and shrubs pruned and well maintained to prevent anyone from hiding?
5. Are exterior doors at least 1-3/4 inch thick and made from solid wood or reinforced with metal?
6. Do all exterior doors have heavy-duty dead bolts and reinforced door jams?
7. Have all sliding glass doors been protected from being easily lifted out from their frames?
8. Do trees, drain pipes, lattice work or other structural elements on your property provide easy access to upper floors?
9. Do you have any ladders or tools kept outside assisting any potential intruder?
10. Are you guilty of keeping a hidden house key outside the house where it's sure to be found?
11. Can anyone gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent, or pet entrance?
12. Do you keep the overhead doors closed, and your car locked inside the garage?
Does the door from the attached garage leading to the house have a dead bolt?
13. Do all windows have reinforced locking devices that can be secured in the open position?
14. Are all irreplaceable items kept in high quality fire resistant safe or in offsite safety deposit box?
15. Have you arranged to have a member of a law enforcement agency do a professional survey?
16. Have you locked all doors and windows even when you are leaving your house for a few minutes?
The Bloomfield Police Department also offered the following advice:
The above steps can go a long way to protecting your home but no matter how secure your residence is, if a professional burglar has targeted your home and is determined to break in, the unthinkable may still happen. To aid law enforcement agencies and greatly assist in insurance claims you should maintain a detailed household inventory of all your valuables.
It makes sense to "mark" important items with some permanent identifying mark. Remember most burglars "fence" stolen items in order to get cash, usually for illegal drugs. You'll greatly reduce the chances of someone walking off with your TV, DVD or other valuables if it has a conspicuous identifying mark that can't be removed. This will greatly reduce its street value and make it too much work to get rid of, and of course it is a lot easier to trace and return the property to the rightful owner.
However, when marking your items do not put information that can be used to commit the crime of identity thief against you. Use the last four numbers of your social security only.
Take phtographs of the items you own. Sweep each room and record the contents from several different perspectives. Take close-ups of really important items. Identify each item by recording the date of purchase, price paid and model and serial numbers. The more information you have about your valuables, the greater the possibility of recovery. It is very important that the information and pictures be kept off the property or they may be stolen or damaged. Keep them in a safe place.