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A simple home assessment can provide valuable solutions to deter burglaries

The past two weeks have been full of break-ins and crime; more than I have seen in 25-plus years living in Hinsdale. Burglaries and car theft have been growing in affluent neighborhoods like Hinsdale across the country. Thanks to Hinsdale’s finest there have been arrests too.

There is no better time than now to assess your home and make changes to let thieves know they are not welcome!

Consider a few tips:

Walk around your property

Are there overgrown shrubs hiding access points? Your doors should be clearly visible. Trim or remove any overgrowth impeding the view to access areas. Crooks will take a pass if they can be seen.

Consider installing a Nest or Ring doorbell camera system 

An online search will provide a myriad of choices. These systems alone can make a potential burglar move on. If not, they can help you and your neighbors identify perpetrators and getaway vehicles.

The Hinsdale Police Department has a Block Watch program where neighbors register and provide camera footage where crimes have been committed. As a result, Block Watch participants have been instrumental in placing criminals at the scene of the crime. Depending on the system purchased, most cost under $1,000.

Consider a cellular connection

So, you already have an alarm system with a security monitoring company? Consider a cellular connection. The police will automatically be called by your system if the power is out or a wire is cut.  Also, you typically will receive a discount on your homeowners insurance bill.

People may be bright but don’t act wise

Lock your cars if they are left on the driveway and bring your garage door opener inside so you . Don’t make it easy for crooks to enter your car or home. Vehicles left open have been stolen off the driveway as recently as last week. Car theft and break ins are a weekly event, just read the Police Beat in the Hinsdalean!

Assess your surroundings

This is a big one: When we walk our dog, we observe two ridiculous things. First, it is dark out much earlier now. So many homes are pitch black inside. What does that tell everybody? Next, we see many newspapers in the driveway and garbage cans at the curb long past garbage day: a sure indicator that residents are away.

If you plan to be away, ask a neighbor to take care of this and reciprocate when they are out of town. Also, either request a mail stop or have neighbors collect that too. Identity theft is another weekly event. Just read the Police Beat in the Hinsdalean.

Use timers inside and out

I can’t say enough about the importance of timers, inside and out. Get them, use them, and change the settings often. Be ahead of the game for daylight savings time as well. Purchase timers at any home center and install them in place of switches by your front and back doors and your garage. While you are there, pick up inside timers to plug into lamps for less than $100 . If you make the thief guess, they will pass on your house and move on. 

If you don’t know who’s who, how will you know whether someone is moving or being cleaned out?

An obvious answer is to get to know your neighbors. The Hinsdalean is delivered weekly to every resident and is full of useful information. Also, subscribe to the Hinsdale Patch or Nextdoor, you will know what is going on in Hinsdale and surrounding communities.

All we are doing here is managing probabilities. If you keep them guessing they will move on to the next target.