EVERY neighbor is a VITAL part of the Neighborhood Watch Program. PLEASE keep a watchful eye out and report any suspicious activity to the Fitchburg Police IMMEDIATELY! 270-4300. OR CALL 911 for emergencies.
-Get to know your neighbors. They are most likely to see if something unusual is happening at your home.
-Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property when you are away, help with your trash cans or to pick up your mail and newspaper if only gone for a day and can’t get them stopped.
-Be watchful of suspicious cars in the area, especially cars driving slowly past or repeated passes by a home.
-Post neighborhood incidents on Blog and/or contact a Board member and they will post for you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Crime Prevention Tips
You must always be aware of the risk that a crime may be committed against you, the key factor is OPPORTUNITY. Take away the opportunity for someone to get in to your home.
- Lock all doors and windows when you are not home, even for a short time. Especially windows that can be accessed from a lower level. This is a common entry point for burglars.
- Doors should be a solid core hardwood or metal door.
- Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and doors from your garage to house.
- Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed so not to obstruct windows and doors.
- Have working lights over every door and a photo cell light post near your front door. Have lights on timers inside to make it appear someone is always home.
- Keep your garage doors closed and vehicles locked when unattended outside.
- If you park a vehicle outside overnight, lock the vehicle, remove the garage door opener; remove valuables and park in your driveway with exterior house lights on.
- Periodically change the code number for your garage door opener. This will prevent someone who learned the number from another party from gaining entry to your home. If someone is working in your home for a short period of time, set up a temporary number that can be deleted when work is completed.
- Manage your newspaper and mail delivery when you are gone. Nothing says “homeowner is gone” like a newspaper on the driveway at the end of the day.
- Have someone take out your garbage on trash day, rather than taking it out before you leave for the weekend. Ask somebody to bring in the cans if you won’t be able to bring them in by the end of trash day.
SECURITY IN THE HOME
Many families contract for house hold services, maid service, nanny care, window cleaning, and lawn care. These services are performed when most home owners are at work. It is important to contract with a trusted contractor.
- Ask for references.
- Get a referral from a trusted friend or co-worker.
- Check the person’s background. The Wisconsin Circuit Court web page is public record. Check this site for any history, wcca.wicourts.gov.
- The sale of gold for cash has become very popular. Thieves target jewelry, gold, silver, old coins and electronics. Keep valuables in a fire proof safe or safety deposit box. Record serial numbers and engrave your valuable electronics. Identity theft is a fast growing crime. Remember to secure mail, computer passwords, financial statements passports and any documents with personal information. Password protect your computer to prevent unauthorized use.
- Never let a stranger in your home to use the telephone or bathroom. Offer to call assistance or the police for the person. A common tactic for daytime burglars is to knock on the door or ring the doorbell. If there is no answer, they believe it is safe to break in. If this occurs and a stranger is at your door asking for an unknown person making you feel uneasy or arousing your suspicions, get a detailed description of the person and any vehicle and contact the police immediately. It is not a problem for an officer to stop and say hello to someone and ask if help is needed, this gives law enforcement an opportunity to investigate.
The City of Fitchburg Police Department is providing the following information in an attempt to increase citizen awareness of jewelry thefts by suspects believed to be associated with the victims. Increased advertising related to “cash for gold” purchasers has resulted in several cases which demonstrate the need for citizens to ensure their jewelry is secure. Persons trusted to enter a home to provide services may succumb to the temptation of a modern “gold rush”. A local case, which occurred in May 2009 in the City of Fitchburg, demonstrates how a person may be drawn to the temptation of gold sales. In the May case, a cleaning person who worked for the victim for over 10 years stole over $30,000 worth of jewelry which was sent via mail to a remote gold refinery where the items were melted down. While the suspect received less than 10 % of the value of the property and was arrested, the victim lost heirloom property. Additional similar cases are currently being investigated.
The City of Fitchburg Police Department has identified common characteristics of these crimes which warrant this alert.
Common to the cases identified is:
- An association between the victims and persons who have been given access to the victim’s home for the purpose of cleaning the home.
- Lack of knowledge by the home owner as to who specifically is cleaning the home (various staff sent by a company or contact person).
- Significant amount of jewelry unsecured within the home.
**** Immediately report suspicious persons in your neighborhood ****
Fitchburg Police 270-4300