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Protect your stuff

Post Date:06/26/2017 2:00 p.m.

Read the story in the Summer 2017 Hometown Messenger 

As the weather warms, reports of thefts tend to rise, too.

Shakopee Police Sgt. Angela Trutnau says theft is all about opportunity. That's why it's important residents take precautions against your home becoming a victim of theft and improve your chance of recovery if the worst were to happen.

First of all, it's very important to know who you're letting into your house, Trutnau says. Whether they are your kids friends or service technicians "you never know what they’re intentions could be."

Trutnau also advises residents to be careful about sharing your whereabouts, particularly if you're not at home.

“Don’t advertise on social media that you’re going away for an x amount of days," she says. "This gives someone the perfect opportunity to break into your house."

PROTECT YOUR HOME

  1. Ensure valuables are out of sight in your home and vehicle. For example, take the extra step of closing your laptop to make it less visible through a window.
  2. Don't leave your garage doors open. Park in your garage rather than your driveway. A visible garage door opener can be tempting.
  3. Put up security alarm signs – even if you don't have a security system. These warning signs are often enough to deter would-be thieves.
  4. Install motion-sensor lights. In general, good lighting is a useful deterrent for theft and vandalism.
  5. Know your mail. Have a special place for delivered packages.
  6. Install good locks on your doors – and use them! A locked door is another barrier to a thief. Lock the interior door of your house and garage.

RECOVER YOUR VALUABLES

  1. Know your valuables. Take photos and videos of the items in your home. Trutnau recalls how a photo once helped her identify and recover an heirloom bracelet.
  2. Create a home inventory list that includes make and model number of electronics, furniture, etc. This is helpful for insurance claims and monitoring stolen items through pawn shops.
  3. Email your photos, video and inventory to yourself to store on the cloud. Don't leave the photos on your phone since it may be a prime target for theft. Even a safe can be stolen or broken into.