By Robin Sandoval
Los Angeles County has recently been plagued by a spate of residential burglaries and the LAPD has created a task force in the hopes of bringing it to an end. For a while now, residents of various cities in L.A. County have been the victims of what is known as a “knock-knock” burglary. A “knock-knock” burglary is an incident in which would-be thieves knock on the front door to see if anyone answers. When nobody does, the thieves then enter the home and steal as many high-priced items in the home as they can.
While the burglaries have mainly targeted individuals living in affluent neighborhoods, a few notable cases have made media headlines in the past few months. Celebrities including Nicki Minaj, Alanis Morisette, Nick Young and, most recently, Jamie Presley, have had their homes broken into and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry stolen. Celebrities, it would seem, make the perfect targets for this kind of burglary. Their life in the public eye makes information regarding when they may or may not be home readily available, and their affluence raises the potential for a big score.
Importantly, celebrities are not the only ones being targeted. Many more homes of non-famous people are being hit by “knock-knock” burglars all over the place. The high dollar amount of stolen items, combined with the celebrities’ already very public life, makes for better news.
To help prevent residential burglaries, the LAPD has offered several tips, including:
Alarms – If you have a lot of valuable items in your home, you may want to consider having an alarm system installed. Burglars prefer to be sneaky, and if an alarm goes off drawing attention to the home they’re trying to enter, it’s likely they’ll choose a hasty retreat before they get inside.
Lighting – Are there any areas outside of your home that are blanketed in shadow at night? If so, installing lighting systems to hit these trouble spots has been known to deter would-be thieves.
Windows – Lock ‘em. It probably seems like a no-brainer, but failing to do so got Cesar Milan (a.k.a. “The Dog Whisperer”) burglarized when intruders entered his home through an unlocked bathroom window.
Secure Sliding Glass Doors – If you have a sliding glass door in your home, make sure you secure it closed by using locking pins to keep the door from being slid open once it’s unlocked. A cheap and easy way to do this is to simply fit an old broom handle into the track.
There are many more tips to protect your home from a residential burglary that can be found on the LAPD’s website. While there’s no exact science to keeping your home 100 percent break-in proof, you really don’t need to. Taking a few simple steps to make your home harder to break into can go a long way toward protecting your home, valuables and family.