2016-07-20 / Front Page

Cops Offer Common Sense Crime Prevention Tips

By Liz Goff
Police officials are urging borough residents and business owners to stay alert – and use common sense to stop criminals before they strike.

“Don’t become a target for thieves and other criminals,” police officials said. ”These people walk around neighborhoods, they scout streets 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, officials said.

Crime prevention officers at Queens precincts offer the following tips to help you stay safe and to safeguard your property:

  • 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 home or apartment
  • 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

Police officials are again urging 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,” officials said. “If someone rings your doorbell, do not automatically open the door. Utilize the peephole on your door, take a look at the person on the other side and ask for photo identification and proof of 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,” officials said. People may also call the company to verify that their employee is working in your neighborhood or building, the officials said.

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

Police are advising motorists to remove GPS monitors 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, officials said.

“Don’t give thieves a reason to break into your vehicle, and do not leave anything in sight to tempt them,” officials said.

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

Law enforcement sources said motorists can prevent themselves from being victimized 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,” the sources said. “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, police officials 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,” police officials said.

For more information or to schedule a free, NYPD Crime Prevention Survey for your home or business, call the Crime Prevention Officer at your local precinct.

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