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How should you burglar-proof your home? We asked a Sioux City expert

How should you burglar-proof your home? We asked a Sioux City expert

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SIOUX CITY --  Around 11.5 out of 10,000 Americans will fall victim of a property crime this year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

There is approximately one burglary every 13 seconds. About 2.3 to 2.6 million robberies occur every year in the United States.

What's the safest month from burglaries? That would be in February, since snow and cold conditions act as a deterrent for home invaders.

What is a burglar's favorite month of the year? That's July, when many homeowners are on vacation.

Plus, the FBI say 41 percent of robberies are an impulsive decision based upon an opportunity that presents itself.

This is why Sioux City Police Department Sgt. Jeremy McClure has some tips on making your home less appealing to burglars.

CLIP JOINT

Shrubbery, bushes and trees may lend your property with plenty of eye appeal. But when they become unkept, such greenery can serve as a hiding place for burglars.

"Make sure that bushes and trees don't obscure sightlines from windows," McClure said. "The perfect solution is to keep everything looking neat and trim."

LIVED-IN LOOK

This goes hand-in-hand with McClure's next recommendation. Burglars will notice if a house looks unoccupied, even when it is not.

jeremy mcclure

McClure

"There are certain signs like newspapers piling up in a yard which may give the impression that nobody's home," he said. 

To give your domicile a lived-in look, McClure suggests timers that will allow indoor lights to come on at a certain time.

LOCK YOUR DOORS

An open door or window is an invitation for as robbery. Don't make a burglar's job easy, McClure said.

More than 95 percent of home invasions require some sort of forceful entry. This means that locked doors or closed windows aren't a definite deterrent for bad guys.

However, they can sure trip 'em up, according to McClure.

"Robberies are impulse crime in which robbers want to get in and get out as quickly as possible," he said. "A difficult entry will delay a bad guy from entering your home or prove to be so frustrating that he'll decide it simply isn't worth his effort and he'll move on." 

A 9-TO-5 LIFE

McClure said there is a big misconception that burglaries only occur in the middle of the night. This isn't always the case.

"Burglars work on the assumption that people are at work in the daytime and at home at night," he said. "Bad guys prefer breaking into an empty house than an occupied one." 

SOME 'ALARM'-ING STATISTICS

Home security experts say that only 17 percent of U.S. residences have a working home security system, while 83 percent of burglars say they look to see if a home has an alarm system before making a decision about breaking in.

While not every burglar alarm is fool-proof, many do deter crime. Plus you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to feel secure. 

"Many security cameras have come down in costs," McClure said. "They can be an effective tool against crime. So are things like motion detector lights."

But the best deterrent against burglaries may turn out to be the buddy system.

IF IT LOOKS SUSPICIOUS, REPORT IT

McClure said people are the best defense against crime.  

"If you see something that doesn't look right in your neighborhood, report it," he said. "If you see unusual activity going on during the day or night, let the police know about it."   

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