Package theft prevention
Packages, which quickly catch the eye of potential thieves, offer criminals that ‘crime of opportunity” they are looking for. Thieves looking to steal your packages will follow or watch for UPS, Fed Ex, US Mail, and other delivery service trucks so they can target your home after the parcels are delivered.
Ask for a tracking number. Most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. This number allows you to track your packages and notifies you when they will be delivered.
Request a specific drop off time and date when you will be home to accept your packages.
Arrange to have your packages held at the shipping service so you can pick them up.
Have your packages delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who will be there to accept them.
Ask to have your packages delivered to a retail store so you can pick them up at your convenience.
Ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep a “watchful eye” out for you packages. If they’re willing, ask them to safeguard your packages until you return home.
Reporting stolen mail or packages
What should you do if you see mail or packages being stolen in your neighborhood?
Call 911 immediately! Tell the dispatcher you are reporting a “crime in progress.”
Supply the dispatcher with an accurate description of the suspect(s) and any vehicles that may be involved.
You can reduce the risk of burglary by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to would-be burglars.
House numbers and landscaping
House numbers on your home are important. They can save police officers, firefighters and paramedics’ valuable time. Make sure your house numbers are visible at night from the street.
Fences: privacy versus chain link
Burglars prey on privacy. Fences that allow activity to be seen in your yard are preferable to privacy fences.
Trees and shrubs
You should trim your trees and shrubs 6 inches below windows and at least 3 feet away from doors. Shrubbery such as rose bushes or other thorny varieties serve as a good deterrent to criminal activity.
Large landscape rocks (golf ball size or larger) can be used to damage your property. Small landscape rocks (smaller than golf ball size) are both decorative and, if someone walks on them, easily heard.
Door lock and strike plates
About deadbolt locks
A deadbolt lock is a bolt you must activated by a key or thumb turn. It offers good security because it is not spring activated and cannot be opened with a credit card.
Single cylinder deadbolts
A single cylinder deadbolt is a bolt you activate with a key on the exterior side of the door and a thumb turn piece on the interior side of the door. You should install this lock at least 40 inches away from breakable glass. Otherwise, a burglar can break the glass, reach inside and turn the thumb piece.
Double cylinder deadbolts
A double cylinder deadbolt is a bolt you activate on both side of the door. You should install this lock if you have glass within 40 inches of the lock. If you have a fire, a double cylinder deadbolt locks could hinder your escape, so make sure your key is nearby. Double cylinder deadbolt locks are only permitted in existing single-family homes, townhomes, and first floor residential –only duplexes.
Criteria for deadbolts
Both single and double cylinder deadbolt locks should meet these criteria to be a good security device:
The bolt must extend at least 1 inch and be made of case hardened steel
The cylinder guard must be tapered, round, and free spinning to make it difficult to grip with a pliers or wrench. It must be solid metal, not hollow casting or stamped metal.
It should have at least a five-pin tumbler system or equivalent locking device
Its connecting screws that hold the lock together must be on the inside and made of case hardened steel. It should not have any exposed screw heads on the exterior side of the door.
It should have a heavy duty strike plate
About strike plates
A strike plate is the jamb fastening that receives the deadbolt in the locking position. A heavy-duty strike plate strengthens the doorjamb and reinforces the lock better than a regular strike plate. A heavy-duty plate uses 4 to 6, 3-inch screws verses a regular strike plate that uses 2, ¾-inch screws. The longer screws go through the frame into the jamb and make it harder for someone to split the frame when kicking the door.
Pin your windows or add an auxiliary lock to your double hung windows. This type of mechanism allows you to secure your window when you open your window (5 inches or less) for ventilation.
Newer windows have higher quality locks while older double hung windows have locks that are easily jimmied or pried open. You can secure double hung windows by taking these simple, inexpensive precautions:
Drill a hole at a downward angle through the first sash and into but not through the second sash.
Drive a nail into the hole to pin the window
Pinning braces the window against prying
You can drill more holes to pin the window open for ventilation.
Keyed locks that offer effective protection are available for window. These inexpensive, easy-to-install locks should replace thumb turn locks that offer little security. Master key all window locks and show children how to use them. Do not use keyed lock on windows in sleeping areas.
Motion detector lights
Motion detector lights are very effective in deterring crime. They also light up your driveway or entry door when you are leaving or coming home.
Dusk to dawn lighting
Dusk to dawn lighting is a strong deterrent against criminal activity. It constantly lights up your entry doors and possible obstacles that would otherwise be unseen.
Landscape lighting is low voltage lighting that can highlight your property line, light up your sidewalk and light up the exterior of your windows making your home a less attractive target to nighttime burglars.
You can use light timers on interior lighting to make your home look occupied. Good lights to leave on are bedroom and bathroom lights.
Radios and televisions
Radios and television are also good items for you to have on timers. If someone hears a radio playing a talk station from outside your home, it gives the impression that a conversation is being carried on and someone is home. The perception of someone being home greatly reduces the possibility of a burglary.
Burglary prevention tips
Lock your doors and windows
Close and lock your garage door
Use a dowel or charley bar in the track of sliding doors to help secure them
Have an inside light set on a timer
Leave a radio on to make it seem like someone is home
Leave outside lights on overnight
Keep your landscaping trimmed, no hiding places for burglars
Make sure your address numbers are easily read from the street
Set up a free premise survey
Start a neighborhood watch
Credit card skimming protection
What is skimming?
A small device attached to a credit card terminal that captures your credit card data. In almost all cases you have no way of knowing the device is there. Once the thieves have your information they quickly create a cloned card and start their spending spree. They can make off with hundreds of thousands of dollars with very little risk.
SkimStop is a crime prevention program that is a partnership between local law enforcement and local businesses. It is designed to help safeguard your account information when you use your credit card at a gas pump. A business that participates in SkimStop agrees to check their equipment daily and place security tape on all the credit card terminals to prevent skimming devices from being used. Businesses are held accountable with daily logs that can be checked by law enforcement. SkimStop greatly decreases the possibility of the use of skimming devices, but consumers should always monitor their credit and debit cards for unauthorized activity as even the best efforts are open to error.
Currently these Brooklyn Park businesses participate in SkimStop:
Holiday, 8500 Edinburgh Centre Dr.
Holiday, 9605 Colorado Ln. N.
Holiday, 8517 Jefferson Ln. N.
Holiday, 9399 West Broadway Ave. N.
BP, 8080 Brooklyn Blvd.
Speedy Market, 4610 85th Ave. N.
View locations of participating businesses on a map
Look for the sticker
When you see this SkimStop sticker you can rest easier knowing that the business and local law enforcement are working together to try to protect your information.
Actual sticker size is 2 inches by 2 inches.
Although we have several of our gas stations participating in our program, many gas stations already take strong measures to protect customer information at the pumps. If you do not see the SkimStop sticker at your favorite gas station we encourage you to ask one of their employees what is being done to protect your credit card information at their location.
Interested in participating?
Are you a business in Brooklyn Park interested in SkimStop? This program is as easy as 1 2 3!
Contact us for program details and buy the security labels.
We will come out and inspect your pump
That day you receive the SkimStop sticker you are added to our list of participants.
Social media: buying and selling safety tips
Selling or purchasing items online can be a great way to make some money or get a great deal. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind when buying/selling on social media garage sale sites or online sale sites.
Here are some safety tips:
Make sure you meet in a safe, public place.
Do not go to their home—go somewhere where there will be other people around.
Consider meeting at the local police department-the Brooklyn Park Police Department encourages you to meet at one of our stations.
Do not meet in a secluded place.
Never invite strangers into your home.
Be especially careful when buying/selling items of high value.
If you can, take someone with you or at least let someone know where you are going.
Look for anything out of the ordinary on the property such as a scratched off serial number or personal etchings on the item. It may indicate it could be potentially stolen.
If you are asked to deposit a check, money order, or some other type of suspicious currency into your account before sending it to someone else YOU ARE PROBABLY BEING SCAMMED. Your bank could hold YOU responsible for the loss!
Trust your instincts.
Stolen cell phone check
Brooklyn Park area cell phone providers are offering a free public service to residents. If both parties (seller/buyer) meet at the provider’s business to conduct their sale, the provider will run the cell phone’s ESN (Electronic Serial Number) for you to see if it is stolen or currently under another cell phone plan. This is a great way to protect yourself from purchasing a stolen cell phone.