Crime is on the rise in the O.C.? Yes, indeed it is. In fact, eight of Orange County’s cities with populations over 100,000 have seen increases in serious crime through the first half of 2015. How much of an increase? By double digits, according to the FBI.
In Costa Mesa alone, crime jumped 33 percent in 2015, which is their highest single-year increase in over a decade. The crimes that have increased the most sharply are stolen vehicles, aggravated assaults, thefts and burglaries.
How can you prevent yourself from being a victim of one of these crimes? Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid being a victim of a crime, but there are ways you can reduce your chances. Here’s a few tips:
- Get an alarm system. There are a lot of options nowadays apart from your usual big-company alarm systems that can be a big investment. Big box stores sell all sorts of wireless indoor/outdoor security cameras that can send video to your computer or mobile device. But if you’re not willing to invest in tech, there are other ways to decrease your potential for property crime.
- Try a deadbolt instead. There’s a reason these low-tech locks are still popular—they work. Especially if you install a grade one or two deadbolt, you’re going to make it difficult to pick the lock into your house. And difficult means more time for a burglar to be seen outside your house, and they don’t want that. These high grade deadbolts should also have a beveled casing, preventing burglars from successfully using channel lock pliers that can shear off the cylinder pins in other locks. Talk to your local hardware store before you buy to make sure you get the best lock you can afford.
- Don’t talk about your vacation plans. You might mention a business trip to the cashier at your local store, or your children might share your vacation plans with friends at the mall. And when this happens, you’re potentially telling more people than just your friends and family that your home will be empty for a certain period of time. So be aware of your surroundings when you talk about travel—and that means on social media as well.
- Visit the local pound. It might sound like a cliche, but it’s true—burglars are more likely to go to the house without a dog than the one with the dog. Their barking attracts attention, and the dog itself can pose a threat once they’re inside. Even the bark of a small dog can be a deterrent! So, in addition to preventing your home from being robbed, you’ll get a friend for life. We do feel that it’s necessary to remind you that a dog is not just a burglar alarm, it’s a living animal that requires a long-time commitment and needs food, water, veterinary care and love.
- Buy a home safe. Most burglars aren’t safe-crackers, and instead want to get in and out of your house in the shortest time possible. So if they manage to bypass your security and they see a safe, they are likely to leave it alone.
Next week we’ll talk about how to reduce the chances of car theft, but in the meantime, if you’re wondering if all of the items in your home are covered, give us a call. Because if you leave your garage door open and someone walks by and steals your $3,000 mountain bike, it might not be covered unless you have a special rider on your policy. Not sure what that means? Dial 714-838-1911 and we’ll explain it all.
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