What is a burglary?

A burglary occurs when a person enters or remains unlawfully in a home/building with the intent to commit a crime. It is a property crime. A burglary is not “robbery”, which is a crime against a person. Burglary is a crime of “opportunity”. The first goal in prevention is to reduce the opportunity.

When do burglaries occur?

Most burglaries occur during the daylight hours because most people are working or running errands. Entry is most often made through a front or back door. Glass is seldom broken, but will be if necessary.


◊ Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have window locks.

◊ Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.

◊ Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don't rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.

◊ Update locks if necessary.

◊ Burglar alarms - Not necessarily a deterrent for the “professional”, but more for peace of mind. Can reduce the amount of time thieves are in your home, and help to notify the police of a problem.

◊ Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door.

◊ Secure your valuables in a home safe or lock box.

◊ Photograph your valuables and log their serial numbers.

◊ Apply a personal identification number such as your driver’s license number on your valuables by engraving or with a permanent marker.

◊ Lights with motion sensors are a great way to keep the perimeter of your home well lit.

◊ Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and TV's.

 Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, will deter criminals.

Vehicle Checklist

√ Always Lock it, Lock it, Lock it!!!

√ Roll up windows.

√ Leave in a well-lit area.

√ Do not leave valuables in the car! Especially cell phones, GPS units, satellite radios, money, purses, and laptops.

Vacation Checklist

√ Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate, or stop their delivery. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present.

√ Use timers on lights, radios and TV's to create the illusion that you are home.

 Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, will deter criminals.

√ Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your residence.

√ Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine telling people that you are away from home. A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim.

√ Don’t talk about vacations on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Remember: Crime prevention is not difficult. It is a common sense approach to securing your home, car, and neighborhood. Organize a community watch program to protect your neighborhood; an alert community is a safe community! When you see something that looks suspicious call the police immediately. The Montgomery County Department Police are here to serve the needs of our community.