This week I want to share with you various types of crime that are happening and we really need to stay alert because some of these crimes we don’t really even think about. Some of these issues have been reported by various crime watch groups across the county. As I always tell you the criminal element is always thinking of ways to get to us, therefore we need to beat them at their own game, by us having a plan and being aware at all times. Here are some of the crimes I have received in the last couple of weeks:
I keep getting reports that cars are still being left unlocked. Folks this issue is bad when eight out of 10 cars are not locked. This is a simple crime for criminals since all they do is walk into a neighborhood and start checking doors to see if they are open. Of course we are sleeping and don’t see the criminals. Solution: Keeps the doors locked and the alarm on. Make sure your front porch light is on because good lighting is a good deterrent.
OK, its termite season and yes we still have termites in Florida. Many homes during these months hire companies to fumigate their houses. Well, needless to say you must be very careful who you hire. You need to make a complete check on the company you use because some have been known to clean out your house before the tent goes up. Even with the tenant on the premises there are criminals that will use mask in getting into the house.
Solution: Check with Better Business Bureau or do a Google search to see if there are any comments on the company you choose. Call your local police and place a watch order on the house. Advise your neighbors and if possible give them a number where you can be reached. Contact your alarm company and advise them of what is happening because in many instances the fumigation company does not allow you to turn on the alarm. Check to see what, if any, areas of the home you can activate the system. Folks, it is extremely important you take with you all the valuables such as jewelry, passports and important papers that have financial information (bank accounts). Ask the company if they have a security guard you might be able to hire and if it’s not too expensive you should consider it. Also, ask about their policy if someone should break-in. Do they have insurance for your loss? I cannot tell you how many emails I’ve received on this issue, people who had their houses burglarized during this tenting process. So ask those questions and contact your police department so you don’t become a victim. We recently heard about an apartment complex where 11 of the units were burglarized so its not only single homes.
So please use your good common sense, and let’s not let the criminals win on these issues.
Today we go into changing our clocks back so at the same time you need to check your smoke alarms to make sure the batteries are good.
Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.