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January 13, 2012 > Resolve to Not Be an Easy Victim

Resolve to Not Be an Easy Victim

Submitted By Officer Mark Doyle, Milpitas PD

The Milpitas Police Department encourages you to add one more New Year's resolution. Resolve to not be a victim of opportunity and actively help keep your neighborhood safe.

Recently, MPD received a report from a resident that had accidentally left his garage door open overnight and an opportunistic thief stole his snowboard. A woman's purse was stolen from her car when she left it on the front passenger seat. Elsewhere, a child's bicycle was left outside then stolen. Obviously, no one asks to be a victim; however, each of these cases may have been avoided if the owners had been more cautious.

Many thefts are crimes of opportunity. The easier you make it to steal your property, the more likely you are to become a victim. In contrast, cautious safeguarding and early reporting of suspicious activity can keep you, your things, and your neighborhood safe. It should be your goal to deter and delay a would-be thief's efforts to steal from you so that the risk of making you the target outweighs the potential gain. More simply, if a thief doesn't see any temptations in plain view or thinks he might get caught, he's likely to leave you and your property alone.

MPD encourages you to follow these simple tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim at home:

* Close and lock your doors and windows at night and while away.

* Install secondary locks, rods, or dowels to prevent opening of closed windows by force.

* Be sure automatic garage doors close completely and stay closed before leaving the area. (Pets and small debris may trigger the safety mechanism and reopen the door.)

* Do not leave valuables (bicycles, tools, toys, etc.) unattended in your front yard or on your porch.

* Record the serial numbers of and engrave your driver's license number into electronic devices for easy identification and recovery in case your property is stolen.

* Keep side gates closed and padlocked.

* Install a home burglar alarm and use it consistently.

* Keep trees and bushes trimmed to prevent privacy for burglars or prowlers.

* Use motion sensor lights to properly light the front door, driveway, and other pathways around your home.

* Never leave valuables unattended in parked cars, especially in plain view.

* Familiarize yourself with your neighbors and their vehicles in order to recognize strangers to your neighborhood.

* Immediately report any suspicious activity around your home or neighborhood to the police. Call 9-1-1 if necessary.

* Immediately call 9-1-1 to report the activation of a burglar alarm in your neighborhood. Your call may give the police the head start necessary to catch a fleeing thief.

* If a crime occurs, report it. Report major or recent crimes to the police immediately. Minor or prior cases may also be reported by phone or online for your convenience.

* If your neighborhood does not have an active Neighborhood Watch Program, please consider calling MPD to start one.

In summary, be vigilant in protecting yourself, your property, and neighborhood. The Milpitas Police Department wishes you a safe and crime free New Year and are always here to serve you. The Milpitas Police Department may be contacted at (408) 586-2400. Information can be given anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500, or via the Milpitas Police Department website at: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/citydept/police

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