A recent rise in residential burglaries across the area has residents concerned about their safety and security.
Pennsylvania State Police recently alerted residents of Concord and Chadds Ford Townships to an uptick in burglaries. The break-ins almost always have occurred during the day, when people are at work or school. Unfortunately, it takes mere minutes for a burglar to kick in a door, run to the master bedroom then make off with money, jewelry and other items that can be easily pawned for cash.
Many law enforcement authorities believe the heroin epidemic is at the root of the increase in home burglaries. Addicts looking for quick cash to fund their habit will steal from anyone, including their families and neighbors.
One couple, who had spent decades living comfortably in their Delaware County home, had their sense of security shattered by a burglary. They returned home after being gone for less than an hour to find their world turned upside down. Their home had been ransacked. They were devastated to find irreplaceable items, such as family heirlooms and the woman’s engagement ring, gone.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, burglars break into a home every 11 seconds. The majority of burglaries, 65 percent, were committed by forced entry, while 28 percent of unlawful entries were made through unlocked windows or doors. Some 7 percent of attempted break-ins were thwarted when the burglar gave up or was frightened off.
There are a number of steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a burglar’s next victim.
- The most obvious is to make sure to lock your doors and windows – at all times. Some brazen burglars have been known to enter a home through an unlocked front door while the residents are in the back yard. Back doors, generally not visible from the street, are a favorite entry point for bad guys. Teach your children to lock the doors and safeguard their keys.
- If you have a security system, use it. Delco Alarm Systems has a variety of security systems to fit nearly any budget.
- A camera system is also a deterrent. Thieves don’t want to be identified and will avoid homes with cameras.
- Don’t advertise you are away at work or on vacation. Posting on social media that you are in the midst of a two-week trip to Hawaii is simply inviting burglars to break into your home. Also remember to arrange to have your mail picked up and your grass cut while away.
- Talk to your neighbors and keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. See something suspicious? Call 911 immediately.
- Keep a list of valuables and store anything of value that is not frequently used in an out-of-the-way place.
An alarm system makes it more difficult for would-be burglars. The typical burglar will generally bypass a home with a security system and move on to an easier target. Remember, their goal is to get in and out of your home as quickly as possible.
For more home security tips go to the Pennsylvania State Police Home Burglary Prevention Guide. Contact the professionals at Delco Alarm Systems for information at 610-494-9100.