BURGLARY PREVENTION TIPS

We need you to do your part to help protect your home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • DOORS are the primary method of entry for burglars, install a dead bolt and use it.
  • WINDOWS are the second most common method used; make sure they are properly secured.
  • EXTERIOR LIGHTING should be utilized. Sensor-activated lighting can alert you of someone on your property.
  • LANDSCAPE should be trimmed and cut away from windows. This will reduce concealment opportunities.
  • ALARM consider an alarm system that is monitored.
  • BE VIGILANT. Report suspicious non-emergency activity to 305-891-8111. In the event of an emergency call 911.

Locking your door and using a deadbolt may not be enough to properly secure your home.

Install a high-quality deadbolt made of case-hardened steel. A good deadbolt extends one or more inches into the door frame, and uses a metal strike plate installed with screws at least 3 inches in length, and not accessible from the outside of the door. Check your current deadbolts and if necessary, replace them, or replace short screws with longer ones. Devices such as “The Door Club” are also available to make forced entry much more difficult.

Sliding glass doors should also be reinforced. A long piece of wood, such as a broom handle, can be placed in the inside track to prevent the door from opening from the outside. If the slide track is on the outside, consider installing a slide bolt along the bottom inside track.

Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away. Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow. Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.

Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, and above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called territoriality which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.

  • Get to know all your adjacent neighbors
  • Invite them into your home and establish trust
  • Agree to watch out for each other’s home
  • Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
  • While on vacation – pick up newspapers, and flyers
  • Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
  • Return the favor and communicate often

What is suspicious activity? Generally, if you trust your instincts, they’ll tell you what is suspicious about someone’s actions. Below, we’ve listed some types of behavior commonly associated with criminal activity to help “educate your instincts.”

  • Any person going door-to door in a residential neighborhood. A person is especially suspicious if, after a few houses visited, he goes into a back or side yard. It is even more suspicious if another person remains in the front when this occurs (acting as a possible lookout for a burglary in progress inside).
  • Waiting in front of a house or business. It is particularly suspicious if owners are absent or business establishment is closed (a possible burglary, theft, or trespass in progress).
  • Non-Resident going into back or side yard of house. This is suspicious under almost any circumstances (a possible burglary or trespass in progress).
  • Carrying property, depending upon the circumstance. For example, if it is at an unusual hour or in an unusual place, and if the property is not wrapped, as if it had just been purchased (a possible subject leaving the scene of a burglary, robbery or theft).

Remember, if something doesn’t “feel right” or if it “gives you a funny feeling”- make a detailed note of the person/vehicle and call it in to our non-emergency number 305-891-8111.

In combination with efforts from patrol officers, our goal is to reduce residential burglaries. Your assistance in securing your home and reporting suspicious activity to the North Miami Police Department is a crucial part of this endeavor.

CRIME STOPPERS 

Crime Stoppers in Miami-Dade is a community-based organization which gives residents the opportunity to become involved in the fight against crime

in Miami-Dade County. The Crime Stoppers organization has three important partners who work together to make our communities a safer environment to live, work and play: Our partners are the South Florida citizenry, law enforcement and the media. They work together towards one goal – reducing crime!

A single tip matters. If you have information on any crime, call 305-471-TIPS (8477).

For more information, access the CrimeStoppers website.

FALSE ALARM REDUCTION PROGRAM

City Ordinance No. 1317 requires that all homes and businesses register their alarm. False alarms divert emergency resources away from true emergencies, are a nuisance to the community, make your security system less reliable, and cost you and your community money.

 

Did You Know?

– Three main causes of false alarms are:

1) user error

2) installation or service error

3) equipment failure

– More than 80 percent of all false alarms are caused by user error.

 

Registering Your Alarm is Easy and Convenient!

  • You can register online and it only costs $25. Annual Registration is required.
  • Failure to register is a $100 violation in addition to the $25 registration fee.
  • Go to this link, https://crywolfservices.com/northmiamifl, and click on “New Alarm Users.” Once you successfully register your alarm for the year, you can pay your registration fee online or mail in the payment.
  • Or, you can complete and send the attached False Alarm Registration Form.
  • Mail your registration payment for your alarm to;

North Miami False Alarm Reduction Program

P.O. Box 864764

Orlando, Florida 32886-4764

Questions ? Log onto www.crywolfservices.com/northmiamifl

or call 1.877.665.2987.

Help us, help you, keep our city safe!

IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION

KEEP YOUR COMMUNITY SAFE 

Protect yourself from identity theft with these basic tips:

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1. Consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service. Several companies offer services to help you in the case that you become victim to identity theft. For information on some of these services, please see our reviews of identity theft products.

2. Keep personal documents in a safe. Consider keeping a personal safe for your home as well as a safety deposit box elsewhere. You can use your safe at home to protect items such as your social security card, birth certificate and passport.

3. Protect your purse or wallet at all times. The best purses are those that can be zipped or closed shut. Try not to use bags that others can easily see or reach into, and keep bags close to your body with a tight grip at all times. Do not leave wallets or purses in the car, or if you must, do not leave them exposed or in an obvious place.

4. Photocopy the contents of your wallet. Make copies of credit cards, ID cards, and all other personal documents you keep in your wallet. Also, keep records of phone numbers to contact in case you need to close accounts or order replacement items.

5. Examine your bank account statements monthly to ensure that your accounts have no unauthorized charges. If they do, contact your banking institution immediately.

6. Remove yourself from promotional lists such as junk mail and pre-approved credit card lists. This added clutter doesn’t do any good, and you at risk of ID theft if a stranger gets their hands on your pre-approved cards.

7. Cancel credit cards that you aren’t using. There’s no reason to have open credit for the taking. Besides, the less credit you have open, the less you’ll have to monitor.

8. Select passwords that are difficult for others to uncover. An impersonal combination of letters and numbers is the best.

9. Protect your computer with anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Make sure you keep them up to date.

10. Do not reveal personal information to unverified sources whether over the phone or the Internet. Do not feel pressured to answer personal questions if you do not trust the source. Feel free to request verifying information before giving anything up.

11. Monitor your credit. Take advantage of your free credit reports and consider purchasing additional copies throughout the year for continuous monitoring. Consider placing fraud alerts and credit freezes on your account for greater protection.

12. Shred personal documents before throwing them away. Dumpster diving is a common method of stealing personal information for the sake of identity fraud. Purchase a shredder for your home and make sure you destroy paperwork containing personal information before discarding. This includes mail, credit card statements and even receipts.

Identity theft is a crime that is estimated to affect over 9 million Americans per year. Every individual must take measures to protect themselves from falling victim to this growing crime.

SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS

  • Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
Protecting yourself from a pickpocket or other thief is not as difficult as you would think; just a few thoughtful precautions can be enough to give you peace of mind and confidence in going about your day.
Common Misconceptions about Pickpockets
  • An experienced pickpocket is not necessarily the sleazy person lurking in dark doorways we expect to see. He (or she!) appears as an average person in both appearance and manner. Because of their chosen “line of work,” they spend a great deal of time studying how to blend into a crowd, therefore eliminating the possibility of detection before they can get away.
  • Pickpockets don’t have a regular schedule; they operate just as well at night as they do during the day. They operate in crowds just as easily as “accidentally” bumping into an unsuspecting victim alone on a sidewalk. In fact, about the only “known” fact about pickpockets is that they generally focus on the public during times when they may be carrying more money than usual, such as during the holidays, at store sales, at fairs or carnivals, at casinos, or near bank entrances, etc.
  • Many times, pickpockets work alone; however, there are also teams of two or three, which sometimes will involve a female accomplice. The first team member removes the valuables from the unsuspecting victim’s pockets. He then passes them on to the next member who disappears quickly from the area. When a female member is used in this “team effort,” her role is generally to engage the victim in conversation to distract his or her attention.
  • Contrary to what most of us believe, experienced pickpockets do not put their hands all the way into your pocket to steal your belongings. The expert pickpocket reaches into the top of the pocket, takes up a pleat in the lining, and continually folds the lining up until the bottom of the pocket (holding your valuables) reaches the top of the pocket. This entire act only takes a second or two.
What can you do to protect yourself?
The best protection is to eliminate the opportunity of becoming a victim in the first place.
  • The target areas are back trouser pockets, and suit coat and sports jacket pockets, located both inside and out. A pickpocket generally avoids front trouser pockets, and especially buttoned or zippered pockets.
  • If you have to carry your wallet in an unbuttoned jacket, coat or pants pocket, be sure it holds only what you can afford to lose. Keep large sums of money, credit cards, IDs, in your front pocket or any buttoned or zippered pocket. Some people even place a rubber band around their wallet, because the rubber band creates friction and rubs against the fabric of your pocket if someone is attempting to remove it without your knowledge. The best place for keys is on a chain attached to your clothing.
  • Never pat your pocket to see if your wallet is there; this lets a criminal know the exact location of your valuables.
  • Larger-size “pocket secretaries” are particularly inviting to pickpockets, and relatively easy to steal.
  • Do not carry your wallet in your purse. Conceal it in a buttoned or zippered pocket where it doesn’t show a bulge.
  • Use a purse that is difficult to open. A purse with a zipper or snaps is best.
  • If you are carrying a shoulder bag, place the strap(s) diagonally across your body, as opposed to carrying it on one shoulder. This keeps the purse in front of you, instead of at your side or behind you, which sometimes happens with purses with long straps. If you are carrying a hand bag, then make sure to hold it close to the front of your body, instead of holding it on your wrist or loosely in your hand.
  • Never leave your purse unattended on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart.
No one ever expects to have their vacation or business trip interrupted by a criminal act, but there are additional precautions that you can take to help ensure a safe, enjoyable trip:
  • Pack a photocopy of your airline tickets, passport, credit cards and any other documents that would be impossible or inconvenient to replace if stolen.
  • Keep a list, separate from your wallet, of contact numbers to report lost credit cards.
  • Don’t wander into risky areas alone or at night, and try to avoid buses that are “standing room only.”
  • It’s always a good idea to carry your valuables in a money belt and leave your expensive jewelry at home.
One of the most common types of theft is theft of valuables from your automobile. Theft from auto is strictly a crime of opportunity that can be prevented if you take away the opportunity. Thieves generally won’t waste their time breaking into autos that don’t have valuables in plain sight.
  • The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight. Never leave cell phones, briefcases, suitcases, or small electronic devices (walkmans, palm pilots, etc.) in your car in plain view. Take these items with you, or secure them—all the time, every time.
  • If your car has a trunk, use it. Put valuables in there or in a locked glove compartment. Hiding items under seats is better than leaving them in plain view, but securing them inside the glove compartment or trunk is a far better deterrent.
  • During the holiday season especially, or any time you’re shopping, place packages in the trunk, not on the passenger seats or floors.
  • Look for car radios or other sound systems that can operate only in the vehicle it was originally installed in. This reduces the risk of theft.
  • If you can unfasten your sound system and take it with you, or lock it in your trunk, do so. And don’t forget to do the same with your CDs and tapes.
  • Also, keep your car doors and windows locked—all the time!
  • Remember: “Outta sight, outta mind.”