The end of the summer brings with it some of the best of Baltimore, the weather, great fall events and lower electric bills. It also brings shorter daylight hours and increased opportunity for criminal activity. Most criminals don’t want to be caught, and darkness provides convenient cover for their illegal activities.
There are things we can do, as individuals and as a community to reduce our risk of becoming victims of crime. Most of these things are common sense precautions, but it never hurts to reacquaint ourselves with the basics of crime prevention.
Never leave anything of value visible in your vehicle. Tell friends visiting the same thing. I am talking about items of ANY value. Remove or conceal satellite radios, gps units, parking meter change, cd’s, gym bags, shopping bags, clothes, shoes and ball caps, etc. Remember, while something may have no value to you, it may have a street value to a criminal.
Cooler weather brings with it the urge to open windows, especially at night. Keep all street level windows closed and locked day and night. Daytime burglaries outnumber nighttime burglaries, but nighttime burglaries usually present more personal risk to the homeowner.
Keep your entry doors locked, even when home and install a wide angle “peep-hole” viewer in the door. Keep the area outside your entry door well lighted and always check the “peep-hole” BEFORE unlocking the door.
Take evening walks with friends. Walking alone after dark places you at increased risk of personal attack. While this is fairly rare in our community, it does happen. A few precautions can help reduce your risk. Contain your walk to well lighted, populated areas. Walk with your dog or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Don’t walk wearing headphones or if you must listen to music, wear only one ear bud. Be aware of your environment and heed warning signs.
As a community member, report suspicious people and activities, illegally parked vehicles, unsecured abandoned properties, illegal dumping and trash. Remember, signs of public disorder tell criminals the people on this street don’t care.