Burglary of Homes, Apartments, Condos
The City of Berkeley statistics in this category are dropping, although we still feel that together we could be doing much better. We should point out that community members often confuse burglary and robbery. They call our Public Safety Communications Center and say "I have been robbed! I came home from work and my home was robbed! " Now, if no one was home and there was no confrontation, it is a Burglary. Burglary is simply defined as a suspect or suspects entering your home or apartment to steal property - these crimes most often happen when no one is home/present. A robbery is taking personal property in your possession or in your immediate presence by means or use of force or fear. So, if a community member/victim is in the suspect's presence such as being confronted by a suspect with a gun, knife, threats or physical force, that is robbery
Property crime which includes burglary continues to be our collective greatest crime challenge.
Community members can make their homes less appealing to opportunistic thieves and burglars by locking windows and doors. Over 40% of the residential burglaries in the city are accomplished through open/unlocked windows and open/unlocked doors. Each week, this trend continues and it is disheartening. Certainly very upsetting for community members to return home and discover someone has gone through their residence and made off with all sorts of property. Perhaps locking the home tightly could have made the difference. We are not in the practice of blaming victims. Our focus is with arresting these burglars as well as this much needed crime prevention message.
In addition to locking windows and doors, CPTED is great practice. It is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. We have some information on our website or a simple search on the Internet can provide recommendations for creating safer spaces around and in your home.
Other Crime Prevention basics....
Leave your porch light on.
Install Window locks.
Install motion lighting in area around the home that are particularly dark.
Place poles/stops in sliding glass doors/windows.
Purchase a good quality, well maintained alarm system if you can. Learn how to use it, provide temporary codes to regular workers - cleaners, childcare workers, contractors to minimize false alarms.
Get good high quality dead bolts/strike plates for your doors.
Do not leave keys hanging in the interiors of doors with double cylinders esp. French or glass doors
If possible, Do not display electronics such as computers in view such as in front of windows or draw shades/drapes.
Get to know your neighbors/create community to call if they note suspicious individuals or cars near or at your home.
Do not leave ladders stored on the side of your home
Move bins from under windows/away from second floor decks - suspects often use them to climb on.
Do not open doors for solicitors, after darkness. There is no requirement too. Politely ask him/her to leave literature outside
Call BPD if a solicitor or other come to your door late at night or it seems suspicious. Some individuals may be "casing" for burglaries.
Having a family animal companion, a dog, is a great deterrent. Although we do not recommend getting one just for this purpose. We have heard some interesting protective cat stories too.
Please go to next Crime Challenge and how we can make a difference