Look for clues that people may be casing your neighborhood. A strange kid ringing doorbells and saying, “Can I speak to Charlie?” may be checking to see if anyone is home. Also be suspicious if you see someone sitting for long periods in a parked car.
Remove a burglar’s cover – keep hedges and trees trimmed away from your house.
When you are going to be gone for an extended period, don’t make it obvious. Park cars in the driveway. Use timers to turn indoor and outdoor lights on and off. Leave the radio on (or put it on a timer too). Stop mail and newspaper deliveries. Have someone mow your lawn.
Make your house hard. That is, make it seem difficult for a burglar to break into. If the burglar perceives it as difficult to enter, the chances are that he/she will try somewhere else.
Develop Rapport with Neighbors
Establish that you can count on them and that they can count on you to report suspicious activities to the police. Nothing beats a cautious neighbor, ready to call 911, for burglary protection.
Have Good Lighting
Put plenty of lighting around the perimeter of your house. If you don’t want your house lit up all night, install the type of lights that go on only when triggered by motion. They have the added advantage of being startling to a burglar.
Dogs are a good deterrent – burglars will generally avoid a house with a dog. But they aren’t foolproof – most dogs tend to be too friendly.
Doors in General
Have solid doors with strong locks and strike plates at all entrances. Weak strike plates for your locks will totally defeat strong locks; they can be kicked open. Metal doors are best; thick, solid wood doors are next. Never use a hollow-panel door on any kind of entrance.
Don’t leave valuables in your car or truck, especially in plain view. Lock your vehicle when it’s not in use. When shopping during the Holiday Season, don’t leave merchandise locked in your vehicle in plain view, secure it in the trunk. Lastly, don’t leave your keys in the vehicle. Thieves often look for an easy target. By following these tips you’ll make yourself less likely to be the victim of a theft.
Mattoon Police Department Contact Information
Chief of Police: Sam Gaines
Deputy Chief: Ryan Hurst