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Deter Burglaries with These Tips

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Burglaries in and around the Capitol Hill area have recently increased around the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Lt. Barbara Hawkins. She has asked for additional manpower and a "burglary tactical" unit, but could not elaborate on operational details.

In the meantime, however, you can help reduce chances a burglar will target your home or neighborhood. According to MPD, take a look at your home from the outside, and keep in mind the following tips to help make your home as safe as it can be:

* Burglars hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night. Motion-detector lights can be particularly effective.

* Keep your yard clean. Prune shrubbery so it doesn’t hide windows or doors. Cut back tree limbs that a burglar could use to climb to an upper-level window.

* If you travel, create the illusion that you are at home by getting timers that will turn lights (and perhaps a television or radio) on and off in different parts of your home throughout the day and evening hours. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.

* Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. And make sure you don’t let your mail and/or newspapers pile up. Call the post office and newspaper to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick them up.

* Make a list of your valuables, such as VCRs, stereos, computers, and jewelry. Take pictures of the items, list their serial numbers and description. This will help police if your home is burglarized.

* Ask your District police station for a free home security survey.

* When getting work done on your vehicle, leave only the vehicle key for the service personnel. The same goes for car park attendants and valets.

* If you are having work done on your vehicle, give the service station your business address – not your home address.

* Call 311 to report a description of any unfamiliar people or vehicles—even ones posing as workers.

For more safety tips, visit the MPD website.

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