Summer crime prevention tips

NORTH COUNTY – As summer approaches, people take advantage of the sunny weather to do outdoor projects, take their families to fun places, relax and keep cool. For criminals, however, it’s a very busy time of year.

It can be easy to forget to close a door or window, but if they are left open it creates an easy opportunity for a burglar. Criminals focus on easy targets. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind residents of some tips for keeping safe.

At home

• Always lock doors and windows, especially at night and when away

• Close garage and pet doors

• Secure ladders and tools so they can’t be used to gain entry into the home

• Be wary of anyone who approaches the front door and don’t let them take up too much time. Criminals work together; one will come to the door to serve as a distraction while another sneaks into the home. Ask for ID from people stating they are from a utility company.

• Be a good neighbor, lookout for one another.

• Excessive dog barking could be a sign of an intruder and may warrant a call to the Sheriff’s Department.

• Report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s non-emergency line (858) 565-5200

• Sheriff’s crime prevention specialists offer a free security check to show vulnerabilities in a home. For Fallbrook or Bonsall residents, call (760) 451-3115 and ask for John McLelland.

When going on vacation

• Lock up the house; activate alarm

• Don’t broadcast vacation/trip plans on social media

• Hold the delivery of mail and newspapers or ask a trusted friend to pick them up

• Buy a timer for lights and set them in a random pattern

• Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in the driveway of your home

• Sign up for a free vacation check by Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol members

Car safety

• Never leave a car running unattended, even to dash into a store

• Always roll up windows and lock the car, even in hot weather

• Never leave valuables in plain sight

• Park cars in well-lit areas

• Never leave any keys in the car or ignition

Bike safety

• Always wear a helmet

• Follow the rules of the road

• Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it

• Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing

• When not riding it, a bike should be locked

• Parents, set parameters on where kids are allowed to ride

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