8th District captain shares tips on burglary risks and prevention

Forty percent of burglaries in the 8th Police District are unforced.

It was one of many frank, surprising statements District Capt. Deborah Kelly shared with residents at last night’s Upper Holmesburg Civic Association meeting. Kelly hosts burglary seminars every month, but brought an abbreviated version os the seminar to last night’s meeting.

Burglary, she said, is the third-most common serious crime in the U.S., behind and DUI offenses. Kelly highlighted some of the risks that can make your home burglary-prone and gave tips for prevention.

  • Corner properties are higher risk because criminals can easily stop and survey the property without looking suspicious.
  • Big trees, high fences and large shrubs can block your property from street view, making it easier for a burglar to go undetected.
  • Lights, security systems, noise and dogs are all deterrents because they make the house look occupied.

When asked if too much security would make a home a target, causing thieves to think the house is worth breaking into, Kelly said her hope for the presentation was to make people aware of the potential risks and assess their homes. She asked people to “target harden” by determining what areas of their homes could benefit from more attention or security.

Kelly and other 8th District officers share more facts and tips at the monthly burglary seminars, which are free, but require registration, like the one held this past Tuesday. You can track other 8th District meetings on NEast Philly’s calendar, and the district calendar.

She ended her presentation on a positive note, sharing a story about testifying to the damage a repeat burglar was causing in the district. Unlike other cases, in which the burglars police work so hard to arrest get out of jail in a matter of months, this particular man was sentenced to seven to 30 years in jail. Kelly said reducing crime with the help of judges and district attorneys can work “if we chip away at it one at a time.”

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