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Protect yourself from criminal acts

March 31, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Not long ago, someone asked if crime is increasing in the area. Police say there is nothing out of the ordinary.

A few weeks back, residents of the Valley area were the victims of home and car break-ins. Although police don't deny the incidents occurred, they are keeping tight-lipped on details possibly hoping to gather evidence that will implicate a culprit.

It matters not whether crime is on the rise or if these pillagers who made their way through the Valley are still on the loose. People need to protect their property from vandalism and theft at all times.

A member of the Randolph County Local Emergency Planning Committee recently sent an email to other members and the media offering tips he considers as "good advice." We agree and think many could benefit. Some of the information comes from Chris McGoey, who runs, and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book "Burglars on the Job." The other source is unknown, but too valuable to keep to ourselves.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind:

Would-be burglars may pose as someone taking a survey, asking for directions or offering to do odd jobs - be cautious of unfamiliar people who knock at your door.

Burglars love looking in your windows. They're looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems. They'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick targets.

Avoid announcing your vacation on Facebook. It's easier than you think to look up your address. Parents should caution their children about this, too.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. Obviously, this will attract neighbors' attention.

Protecting ourselves and our property against crime is one crime deterrent we can practice every day. We'd love to hear more safety ideas from our readers. If you have something you'd like to share, send them by email to



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