Police urge residents to be more vigilant at home

Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other secret hiding places, burglars know where to look for hidden keys.

According to Bethal Police even the shifting of blinds in front of an open window amounts to breaking in.

Local residents have lodged complaints for numerous housebreakings that occurred in and around the area.

The police said: “Perpetrators use different strategies to monitor the presence of the house owners.

“They leave anything from a bottle cap to bottles or even marks next to the gate.

“If such markings are destroyed or removed, this will serve to show that there are people residing in that home,” said Const Thomas Mogadime, communication and social crime prevention officer at Bethal SAPS.

“Housebreakings occur any day of the week between 3.30am and in the afternoon at about 12.30pm.

“During those times most people are leaving their places or premises to work and others will be taking their kids to school.”

During the housebreakings, criminals steal electrical appliances such as plasma televisions and laptops, as well as gardening tools.

The police advised the community to:

– lock all outside doors and windows before leaving the house or going to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.

– Leave lights on when you go out if you are going to be away for a length of time.

– Keep the garage door closed and locked.

– Do not allow daily deliveries of mail or newspapers while you are away.

– Dispose of any packaging of electrical appliances you bought and place them in a black refuse bag to avoid showing criminals what appliance you have in your house.

– Check your locks on doors or windows and replace them with a secure device if necessary.

– Always lock your garden sheds and garages.

– Use curtains on garage and basement windows.

– When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.

Other precautions you should take are:

– Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other secret hiding places, burglars know where to look for hidden keys.

– Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, serial numbers etc. Keep a copy in a safe place away from home, this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters.

– Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.

– Trim the trees around your home to reduce cover for burglars.

– Be a good neighbour.

If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police immediately.

Join a neighborhood watch group.

They help in creating a good relationship with neighbours and reduce risk of burglary.

Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

To report criminal activities in Bethal, contact Bethal SAPS at 017 647 9929/30.


Also read – 13 tips to help prevent housebreakings

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