Police offer tips to protect your home from housebreaks

Sgt. John Delaney recommends you get involved with a "Crime Watch"

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police are warning residents to be on high alert for any suspicious activity in their neighborhood. Sgt. John Delaney issued some simple precautions you can take to protect your home.

Leaving a car parked in the driveway, even if someone isn’t home can help prevent break ins. Remove window air conditioner units to prevent burglars from pushing them in to gain entry.Turn porch and outdoor lights on, and make sure windows and doors are locked and secured. Turning on the TV can make it look like someone is home, and if you’re leaving for a night, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house and collect your mail.

Make sure to set your house alarm when you leave, and to test the system periodically to ensure that it’s still functioning. If you see a car repeatedly driving around the same area at low speeds you should report this to the police.

If you’re leaving for work or school and see a suspicious person or car parked on your street, don’t assume that a neighbor has already called 911. The Springfield Police Department says you should get on your cell phone and immediately call the police to give them a detailed description of the person or vehicle.

“Get a light that will have sensors so when somebody walks in you get the sensors and they automatically turn on,” Lewis Caraballo of Springfield told 22News.

Sgt. Delaney also recommends getting involved with a “Crime Watch” on your street. The Springfield Police Department will help you get started. Call the Ordinance Office at 413-787-6341.

Below is a list of tips from the Springfield Police Department on how to protect your home:

  • Remove or secure window air conditioners. Suspects breaking into homes will often just simply push an unsecured air conditioner into the E home and climb in to steal your personal items.
  • Be a good neighbor. Keep watch out your window and report any suspicious activity by dialing 911.
  • If you see a suspicious car repeatedly driving in the area at low speeds, in front of a neighbor’s house or in your neighbor’s driveway this should be reported to police.
  • If you see people ringing doorbells or knocking on your neighbors’ doors that look suspicious call police. Be especially alert for people forcing open doors after receiving no answer or walking into side or back yards which is often an attempt to find a place out of easy view to break in.
  • If you are gone overnight please tell your neighbors to keep an eye on your house. Have them bring in your mail and newspapers.
  • If you leave a car parked in your driveway while you are not home a burglar will assume somebody is home.
  • When you leave your home and have a house alarm system, make sure you do not forget to set it.
  • Test your house alarm occasionally to ensure that it is functioning properly (alert your alarm company first!).
  • Keep all your doors and windows locked when you leave your house. This might sound like common sense but many suspects break into your home through open doors and windows.
  • When you leave your home leave lights on or the television. This will make it appear that somebody is in the house.
  • Keep your porch lights on. Also make sure your backyard and rear of your house is well lit or have sensor lights installed.
  • If you’re leaving for work or to school and see a suspicious person or car parked on your street do not assume a neighbor will call 911. Get on your cell phone and call the police. Give them the description of the person or the motor vehicle.
  • Be vigilant and if you see something … say something.