With UNCG and Greensboro College about to begin their fall semesters, we can expect the usual uptick in criminals breaking into the cars and apartments of students … and anyone else who makes it easy for them. The best ways to avoid being victimized are to use common sense and don’t give thieves a reason to view your home or car as an easy target.
At home, never leave windows or doors unlocked, even when you’re there. Turn on your outdoor lights at night. When you’re not home, leave lights on indoors, too. Don’t leave anything valuable on your porch or in your yard. And when you leave for an extended period, stop your mail or have someone pick it up for you. Let your neighbors know when you’ll be gone for a while.
Don’t leave your car unlocked, either — day or night, not even for a few minutes. Leave nothing of value visible in your car, even spare change. Thieves don’t typically break into locked cars unless they see something to steal, but they do check doors and routinely enter unlocked cars to see what they can find.
Vehicle break-ins have become a problem all over Greensboro, and a neighborhood like ours, with a lot of young people too naive or irresponsible to lock their cars, draws opportunistic thieves year round.
Police warning on storage buildings
The Greensboro police said this week they’re seeing an increase in thefts from storage buildings. Their advice:
- Make sure you use a lock.
- Any lock is helpful, but ones designed for storage buildings are particularly good. They’re round, as seen at right.
- Record serial numbers of valuable tools or other items. It helps police identify an owner if stolen property is recovered.
- Check the hasps on the doors, and make sure they’re not easy to defeat because the metal is too thin.
- If you have an older shed or building, make sure the screws holding the door are not exposed to the outside, making them vulnerable to a simple screwdriver.
- Motion-sensor lights can help determine whether someone is in your yard and possibly scare them off. But be careful about the sensitivity: If raccoons or stray cats set them off too often, no one will pay attention.
- Wireless cameras do well for a makeshift security camera system, They may not prevent thefts, but they can help in an investigation if they can provide a good picture or if they can link your theft to another.