With rise in East Falls area robberies, police suggest protecting your home

The Philadelphia Police’s 39th District hosted a neighborhood meeting Monday night to discuss safety and security due to a recent string of robberies in the district, which includes part of East Falls. About 15 people gathered at the district’s office to learn about prevention options, and voiced their concerns to Officer Joseph Lukaitis.

“Everybody gets complacent when it comes to security,” Lukaitis said. “It’s easy to do.”

Police told a handful of residents that incident totals for a number of crimes were up in September, including residential burglaries, thefts from autos, armed robberies and aggravated assaults. 

Lukaitis, the crime prevention officer, recommended several methods of security when it came to protecting the home. Safety measures discussed range from the simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly.

The most common preventative methods included pins and locks that protect the home from being accessed through the window. Another simple form of security Lukaitis recommended was purchasing the right lock for a given door.

“For a glass door, a lock that requires a key on both sides is beneficial because the robber is unable to break the glass and unlock the door from the inside,” Lukaitis said.

For solid wood doors, he recommended the standard knob-bolt doorknob combination. Peepholes can provide extra security to the home.

“If robbers are unable to find any other access point, they may try to use the front door,” Lukaitis said.

More expensive security options discussed included alarm systems and cameras. Lukaitis demonstrated the system by monitoring his own home over the Internet.

“When robbers enter your home and have the extra annoyance of hearing the alarm, they are more likely to give up and leave,” he said.

The presentation stressed the importance of layering different safety methods for the most secure home.

“When it comes to the security of your home, it is important to ensure you do not put all your eggs in one basket,” Lukaitis said.

Alyssa Andrews is a Temple University student. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

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