Break-in prevention: How to protect your home and valuables

By: 
Feb. 5, 2014

Home security cameras are one way for residents to help the city cut down on crime, according to police. 

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

Ormond Beach Police may have found a lead in a recent string of car break-ins, thanks to a victim who caught two suspects on camera.

The victim's home security camera recorded two white males, ages 16-21, breaking into his car last month. Police have not yet identified the suspects, but officials say the video has helped in an ongoing investigation into other car break-ins that happened around the same time.

“Right now, we’ve got a couple of phone calls from people who may or may not have recognized them,” Keith Walker, public information officer said. “There were about two or three (cars) broken into the same night. So we can put them with those, because they were on the same street in the same time frame.”

Walker and Crime Prevention Officer Lloyd Cornelius said if a camera system is out of your budget, there are plenty of other ways to keep your home safe.

Not only should residents keep all car and home doors locked, but it’s also important to keep your valuables out of view.

“If you have curtains, and you’re leaving, pull them shut,” Walker said. “If you’re going to throw something out, I would probably shred it. You got this big box for a new TV? Cut the box up.”

Proper lighting and some creative landscaping can help prevent against break-ins, as well. Walker and Cornelius said trimming your bushes can help officers with finding suspects and protecting you from getting attacked.

“If we pull up to your house and your bushes are nicely groomed, we can see if somebody is hiding there,” Walker said.

“It’s crime-prevention through environmental design,” Cornelius said. “Design your environment so they don’t break into your house. It’s a risk and reward in every opportunity. If you get rid of one of them, the crime is going to go away."

More tips to protect against break-ins

  • Remove all labels from pill bottles and don’t throw them away in a recycling bin.
  • Make sure deadbolt locks go .75 inches into their door frames.
  • Lock up valuables in a safe.
  • Anything you can’t lock up, mark with a unique identifier so it will be easier to recover.
  • Record serial numbers for items like cell phones, rifles or TVs.
  • Don’t post on social media that you are going away.
  • Let police know you’re going out of town, and they will check on your house.
  • If you're financially able, get a security system.