Think of the target rich environment the criminal has. If he does not want to kick in the doors, he can go and start checking on windows and balcony doors. Again, just because of the sheer numbers of apartments, chances are he is going to find that unlocked window or door.
So, where does this leave you? There are some things you can do to reduce the chances of becoming a burglary victim.
1) Always lock your doors, windows and balcony doors no matter what floor you live on.
2) Never leave door unsecured, even if your running to a neighbor’s house or checking on your cloths in the laundry room.
3) Never leave a spare key anywhere outside of your apartment. You should leave one with a trusted neighbor.
4) Never have your full name on the mailbox. Most apartment mailboxes will have your name inside only where the mailperson has access to. This is important for women living alone; potential criminals might look for a women’s name and go there first.
5) Leave shades and curtains closed. Criminals can look into your apartment and might target you later if they see all of your expensive toys.
6) Use light timers when you are not home.
7) Have a trusted neighbor or friend collect your mail and all of those Chinese food menus that pile up at the door. Don’t give the impression that no one is home.
Read your lease carefully and check with management about getting high quality deadbolts, hinges, and strike plates. If they won’t supply these and install them for you, ask if you can do it yourself. Have a wide angle peephole installed. Have a security bar and lock installed on your sliding glass door. Use special anti-theft devices made for reinforcing windows that can be purchased at your local hardware store.
You should also report any lights out, over grown trees and bushes, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, broken gates or fences to the apartment management. If they don’t respond, contact your local city or county commissioner. Make some noise and express your concerns.
Above all, contact 911 if you see or hear any suspicious activity.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.