Burglary Prevention

No one individual or agency working alone can prevent crime. It takes police and citizens working in partnership. The Naperville Police Department community policing strategy provides many ways for the police and communities to work together to prevent crime and build safer neighborhoods.

One of the most important things you can do is to know who belongs in your neighborhood and be alert in protecting not only your home, but your neighbors' as well. Report any suspicious persons immediately to 9-1-1. In addition, don’t enter your home if it looks like it’s been illegally entered. Leave the premises and call the police.

Ruse Entry Burglary Prevention Tips

Ruse entry burglaries or “distraction burglaries” are an attempt to enter someone’s house through deception, usually with the intent to steal valuables or cash money kept in a house. Senior citizens are often targeted by these groups during daylight hours. Offenders usually will pose as outside workers, such as surveyors, utility company workers, tree trimmers or city water department employees to get homeowners outside and lure them away from the front entrance. Once the homeowner is outside the home or isolated to a particular area of the home, another offender will sneak inside to snatch small items like jewelry or cash.  

Protect yourself from ruse entry burglaries with these tips: 

  • If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it.
  • Check the identity of the person by calling the company they are purporting to be from. Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the individual, though. Find the company's number online, on a utility bill or through other means.
  • Many utility service providers will call on the phone prior to arriving at your home. In many cases, the caller will be the technician who will be arriving. Ask them for their name ahead of time.
  • Safeguard valuable items and documents in a safe or safe deposit box.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
  • If somebody shows up at your home asking for help or needing to make a phone call, assist them through a closed door or call a friend or neighbor to come and assist.

When to call 9-1-1:

  • If you are suspicious or it just doesn’t “feel” right.
  • If someone forces entry or enters your home without permission.
  • If you notice valuables or money have gone missing shortly after someone has visited.
  • Whenever you think a crime has been, or is about to be, committed.

Residential Burglary Prevention Tips

Doors and Windows

  • Windows have latches not locks; therefore, install secondary locking devices on all windows.
  • All exterior doors should be solid core or of metal construction.
  • Exterior doors should have deadbolt locks with a 1-inch throw and reinforced strike plates with 2-3 inch screws. Most importantly, use them!
  • A good quality double cylinder deadbolt lock should be used if there is glass with 40 inches of the lock.
  • Install a peephole with at least a 180-degree viewing area.
  • Secure sliding glass doors. A metal or wood rod along the bottom track is advised, as is the installation of vertical bolts along the top track.
  • Secure basement windows with grilles or grates (but make sure they can be opened from the inside in case of fire).

Exterior, Interior, and Landscape

  • Install outside lights and keep them on at night. Pay special attention to entrances, porches and yards.
  • Use inexpensive timers or photo electric cells to automatically turn lights on and off and dusk and dawn.
  • Utilize a high-quality, heavy-duty safe bolted to the floor to protect cash, jewelry and other valuables.
  • There is no guaranteed foolproof hiding spot(s) for valuables, but there are places in a home that should be avoided such as the master bedroom, master bedroom closet, nightstands, dresser drawers, jewelry boxes, and portable safes.Old clichés of hiding valuables under mattresses, in freezers or in or behind toilet tanks should also be avoided.
  • Create the illusion that someone is home by using timers on lights and/or leaving the TV on.
  • Trim shrubbery and trees so doors and windows are visible from the street.
  • Don't let your tree be a ladder. If there is a second floor, prune nearby trees so a thief cannot use them to reach second floor windows.
  • Don't leave ladders or tools outside; they can assist a person in gaining entry.
  • Draw all curtains/shades at night to prevent viewing from the street.

Alarm Systems

  • Learn how to use your alarm system properly to reduce false alarms. Fees can be assessed for excessive false alarms.
  • Put a warning sign on windows and entrances.
  • Know your pass codes and make sure your call back list is up to date.

Additional Prevention Tips

  • Keep doors, windows and garage doors locked even when at home. Patrol officers report hundreds of open garage doors each month during the evening hours.
  • Never leave a house key in an obvious place such as in a mailbox or under plants or doormats.
  • Don't tell a stranger that your neighbor is not home or volunteer any personal information about your neighbor.
  • Do not post on any social networking sites that you are going out of town.
  • While traveling, keep your home looking lived-in by having the grass cut, mail and newspapers picked up, and lights turned on and off with timers.
  • Know who belongs in your neighborhood and be alert in protecting not only your home, but your neighbors' as well. Report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity immediately to 9-1-1.
  • Report all unusual activities and unrecognized cars circling the area. The thieves that are targeting our area are scouting the neighborhood and observing people as they are leaving their house to ensure that there is no one at the house when they break-in. Be vigilant.
  • Discuss the importance of home security with everyone. It only takes one person to forget to lock a door or window.
  • The best place to keep important items safe is in a safety deposit box in the bank. Keeping too much jewelry and a lot of cash at home is not only impractical, but also makes you a target for a burglary.

Burglary to Motor Vehicle Prevention Tips

  • Don't leave vehicles unattended with the doors unlocked, windows down or the keys in them, even in your garage or driveway.
  • Always take your car keys with you and lock your car doors.
  • Take valuables with you or keep them out of sight by placing them in the trunk or using stow-and-go seating, preferably before arriving at your destination.
  • Park in well-lit areas.

Lock It or Lose It Logo