2016-02-24 / Front Page

Cops Offer ‘Common Sense’ Crime Prevention Tips

By Liz Goff
Police officials are urging Queens residents and business owners to install some simple crime prevention measures designed to deter crooks and criminals from preying on unsuspecting victims.

“Don’t become a target for thieves and other criminals,” police officials said. “Using common sense can be a major crime deterrent.,” NYPD officials said. “Criminals walk around neighborhoods and scout an area, looking for an opportunity to strike.”

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

The NYPD Crime Prevention Unit is offering the following tips:

  • Install dead bolt locks on all doors at your residence or business
  • Invest in a video surveillance system. You can purchase a video camera or multiple cameras at little cost – such a system is an invaluable tool for home security purposes
  • 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, locked and bolted at all times

Be on the lookout for criminals who pose as utility workers to gain entrance to residences, police said.

“Do not automatically open your door to someone who rings your bell posing as a utility worker or service provider,” police said. “Use the peep hole on your door to see if you know the person on the other side, and ask to see a photo ID and proof of identification and employment issued by the firm they claim to work for,” police said. “You have to right to call the firm to verify the identity of the individual, and to ask why he or she is at your door.

Dial 911 immediately if the firm does not verify the identity of the individual and give a reason for the visit. Stay sway from the door and wait for police to arrive to handle the situation, police said.

Auto vandalism and vehicle break-ins are a frustrating fact of life, particularly for city dwellers, police said.

Police are advising motorists to remove portable 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 re-sell, police said.

“Don’t give thieves a reason to break into your vehicle, rme3mber to remove valuables and anything else in sight to tempt them,” police said.

Police are advising motorists, especially owners of new or “tricked-up” vehicles to purchase and install wheel locks. “Tires and rims are pure profit for thieves,” police said. “Take time to protect your investment.”

Motorists who arrive home late at night can help stay safe by taking a few moments to drive around their block once or twice before they park, police said.

“Take a few minutes to check darkened alleys, doorways, stoops, stairways and other places where criminals may be hiding, waiting for you to exit your vehicle,” police said. “Call 911 if you see something suspicious, and wait for police to arrive before you exit your vehicle. Parking is tough in almost every neighborhood, but it’s worth losing a parking spot to avoid being robbed or injured by a criminal, police said.

Remember, there is safety in numbers, so walk with a neighbor or call a friend or family member to meet you when you get out of your vehicle late at night, police said.

Do not take chances with your safety or the safety of others. “Remember, the police are your first-line protection, so do not hesitate to call for help,” NYPD officials said.

Police are urging the public to take advantage of a series of free crime prevention programs available at local precincts.

Call the Crime Prevention officer at your local precinct for complete information, or to arrange for a free, NYPD Crime Prevention analysis of your home of property.

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