Crime Prevention Tips

Crime Prevention Tips for Homeowners

Home Burglary Prevention’s top 10 tips:

  • Make your house "hard." If it looks difficult to enter, is difficult to enter, and is well-maintained, chances are they will try somewhere else.
  • Place sufficient lighting in the front/back of your home and garage.
  • Use deadbolt locks as secondary locks on all doors. Ensure you have 2 1/2 - 3" screws in the door frame strike plate to reinforce deadbolt security.
  • Fortify your windows and sliding glass doors with secondary locks or dowels that fit securely in windows. Dowels can be made of wood, PVC pipe or metal. Secondary locks include eye and hook, charlie bars.
  • Secure your garage doors with a padlock or a sliding/cane bolt. Lock the door that leads into the house from the garage.
  • Develop rapport with neighbors. You are more apt to look out for each others' homes & property if you know each other.
  • Trim all landscaping below windows to avoid concealment areas.
  • Make sure your address is visible from the street so emergency personnel can quickly respond with ease.
  • Start a Neighborhood Block Watch Program by calling Mount Vernon Police Department’s Crime Prevention Office at (914) 665- 2500
  • Get a dog. Dogs are a good deterrent to burglars.

Vehicle Safety

Park in a well lighted area so you can see your car and the surroundings from as far away as possible.

Have your car key ready before you approach the car so that you can make your entry into the vehicle as quickly as possible. When you are looking for your keys, you may be distracted from what is going on around you.

Glance into the back seat and floor boards of your car before you enter and check for anyone who may be hiding inside. This is particularly important if you drive a van type vehicle.

Always lock all doors whether you are in or out of your car. Keep the windows rolled up enough so an arm cannot be inserted through the opening If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Go to a safe place such as a police station, fire station, business or other populated area.

Shopping Safety Tips

No one wants to become a victim of crime. Robbery, assault, burglary and theft are crimes that can happen to unaware citizens. Please take a few minutes to learn some tips on shopping safely.

Before You Leave Home

Plan your shopping trip carefully. Know where you are going and what routes you will take to get there. If possible, arrange for a companion to go with you. There is safety in numbers. Let someone know where you are going and what route you are taking. Additionally, let them know when you expect to return.

When You Are Driving

  • Keep all your doors locked at all times.
  • Choose a well-lit and traveled route even if you believe it is out of your way.
  • Never allow your full tank to become less than half full.
  • Never pick up hitch hikers.
  • Do not stop to help strangers. Call the police to assist them.
  • Avoid confrontations with strangers or with others who might seek to follow you to continue the confrontation.

When You Park Your Car

  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • If you are parking during the day and returning to your car after dark, check for street and building lights.
  • ALWAYS lock all your doors.
  • Remove all electronic items, such as calculators, radar detectors, and all packages from your car. Place them in the trunk or glove compartment, out of sight.
  • Avoid parking near vans or other vehicles with covered cargo areas.
  • Look around the parking lot for suspicious persons before you get out of your car.
  • Avoid carrying large handbags. Carry only what is necessary.
  • Shop in groups whenever possible. Use the "buddy system".
  • Don't get out of your car until you are ready. If you don't feel safe, stay in the car or drive away.

When You Return to Your Car

  • Never leave the store with your arms full of packages. Use a courtesy cart.
  • Have your car key in hand, ready to unlock your door.
  • Check the parking lot for suspicious people and look around before you exit the store.
  • If you feel unsafe, always ask the store security to assist you to your car.