SPD: What is burglary and how can you prevent it?
By Jennifer Danner
SPD Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator
As we head into the new year, the SW Precinct would like to focus on residential, as well as commercial burglary prevention. Within this newsletter, you will find information about what a burglary is and about the best ways to prevent a burglary. As always, please remember to always call 911 to report criminal and/or suspicious behavior. If you see something, say something!
Please keep in mind that I do offer free safety/security assessments- and if you are interested in this- you can contact me directly (you will find my contact information at the bottom of this story).
What is burglary? How is it different from theft?
-Burglary is defined by the Seattle Police Department as: when someone enters physical property (including a garage or shed), not his or her own, without permission, with the intent to commit a crime
-Theft is defined as: whenever property is taken
For law enforcement, there is a difference between burglary and theft and when you report a crime to 9-1-1 the language you use makes a difference! The Seattle Police Department distinguishes between two types of burglary- residential and non-residential. Residential burglary refers to the theft occurring in a dwelling, other than a vehicle (such as a private home or apartment) and non-residential burglary refers to the theft occurring in a commercial or non-residential building (such as a grocery store or clothing store).
How can we prevent burglary?
-All exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand force and should be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw
-All windows and doors should be shut and locked (especially at night)
-Try not to leave valuables (such as packages, electronics or cash) in plain sight through windows or doors
-The main entrance door to a home/apartment should have a door wide-angle (180 degree) viewer/peephole
-Make the home/business appear as if there is someone there by leaving lights, music and/or televisions on
-Install lights to be specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas; consider exterior lights on timers or motion sensors to ensure all negative activity is illuminated
-Secure and lock all windows and doors when leaving the premises- even if you plan to return within a short amount of time!
-Do not leave a spare key out
-Consider installing security system with loud exterior siren to draw attention
-Secure and maintain yard, patios and outdoor spaces- making sure you trim back all concealing shrubbery
-Check to ensure all garages and sheds are consistently locked with a sturdy lock
-Take inventory lists and photos of belongings to ensure you know if something is missing
-Check sheds and garages regularly in order to report a burglary as quickly as possible
Another very important prevention technique for residential property crime is getting to know your neighbors and starting a Block Watch. Block Watch is one of the most effective crime prevention tools. Block Watch brings residents and law enforcement together to improve safety and prevent crime. Safety improves when neighbors watch out for each other by reporting suspicious activity and in progress crimes to 9-1-1. Crime prevention occurs when the opportunity for crime is removed and neighbors work together towards a safer neighborhood. If you are interested in setting up a Block Watch for your area, have questions and/or would like to learn more about this program- please feel free to contact me.
Below you will find my contact information, including email address and phone numbers. Keep an eye out for my newsletter next month, which will again focus on a specific crime/safety issue and include important prevention techniques. Below you will also find upcoming event in the SW Precinct in the next month, as well as other resources- such as the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, the link for our online-reporting system and the link for how to ‘thank an SPD employee’. Contact me with questions, concerns, to request my presence at a future meeting, to discuss Block Watch, to request a free safety/security assessment of your home or business and/or if you are interested in free firearm cable locks.
Email address: Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk phone number: (206) 256-6820
Work cell phone number: (206) 471-2849
Upcoming events in the SW Precinct-
- Monday February 18th, 10am- 3pm, SPD Training Facility (2203 Airport Way S- Building C)
- West Seattle Crime Prevention Council Meeting
- Tuesday February 19th, 7pm- 8:30pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St.)
- West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network Meeting
- Tuesday February 26th, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St.)
- Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Phone Number: (206) 625-5011
- Seattle Police Department’s Website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/
- Seattle Police Department’s Online Crime Reporting: https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting
- Seattle Police Department’s ‘Thank An Employee’: https://www.seattle.gov/police/about-us/contact-us/thank-an-employee
- Contact information for other SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators: