2011-10-12 / Front Page

Cops Talk Crime Prevention

by LIZ GOFF

Police officials are urging borough residents and business owners to stay alert and take measures to prevent becoming a crime victim.

“Don’t become a target for thieves and other criminals,” Lieutenant John Dzwlewicz said. Dzwlewicz, a supervisor at the NYPD Crime Prevention Unit at One Police Plaza, said using common sense is a major deterrent to crime.

“Criminals walk around neighborhoods,” Dzwlewicz said. “They scout an area looking for opportunities to strike.”

People can stop criminals from cashing in by locking up valuables and staying alert to their surroundings and to people around them, Dzwlewicz said.

The NYPD Crime Prevention ace offers the following tips:
•Install dead bolt locks on all doors at your residence or business.
•Invest in an alarm system designed to offer maximum protection.
•Have your keys in-hand when you arrive at your doorstep, to provide quick access inside your location.
•Stay alert – look around to make sure you are not being followed, before you unlock your door. If you see something or someone suspicious, do not enter your home alone. Go to a friend or neighbor and ask for help to alert police.
•Keep windows – especially those on fire escapes – bolted at all times.

Dzwlewicz urged people to be on the lookout for criminals who pose as utility workers to gain entrance to residences.

“There have been a number of incidents involving these criminals, who ring a doorbell and pretend to be employees of the local cable, electric or phone service provider,” he said. “If someone rings your doorbell, do not automatically open the door. Utilize the peep hole on your door, take a look at the person on the other side and ask for proof of identification and employment by the utility they claim to work for. If the person is a verified employee, they will have no problem providing a photo ID.”

People may also call the company to verify that their employee is working in your neighborhood or building, Dzwlewicz said.
Auto vandalism and vehicle break-ins are a frustrating fact of life, particularly for city dwellers.

Police are advising motorists to remove GPS monitors, CD’s and other eye-catching items from vehicles when locking up for the night. Thieves scout vehicles parked on city streets to determine which are stacked with items they can grab and resell, officials said. Police are advising motorists, especially owners of new or “tricked-up” vehicles to purchase and install wheel locks.

Law enforcement sources said motorists can prevent becoming crime victims by taking time to drive around their block once or twice, before they park for the night.

“Take a few minutes to check darkened doorways, stoops, stairways and other places where criminals may be hiding, waiting for you to exit your vehicle. “Let them know you are aware that they are there, call 911 to report a suspicious person and wait for police to arrive before you exit your vehicle.”

Remember, there is safety in numbers, so walk with a neighbor or call a friend or family member to meet you before you get out of your vehicle. Do not take chances with your safety or the safety of others, sources said. Remember, the police are your first-line protection, so do not hesitate to call for help.

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