More break-ins reported, here’s how to keep your home safe

by susan on November 30, 2010

Southborough Police confirm there were two more home break-ins this month that appear to be related to the ongoing string of burglaries in town.

The latest two break-ins were on Bantry and Tara Roads. In both cases, nothing was taken from the home. “They didn’t find what they were looking for,” Sergeant Sean James said.

James said police have stepped up neighborhood patrols in response to the string of break-ins. “We’re out there in force,” he said.

So what can you do to help secure your home? My Southborough reader Chris Robbins said Parkerville Road residents have formed a neighborhood crime watch and he encourages other neighborhoods to do the same.

A recent memo on neighborhood and home crime prevention from the Southborough Police Department says there are practical things individual homeowners can do to protect their property. According to the report, “most residential burglars devote little if any time to the advance planning of any specific break-in. Their crimes, for the most part, are crimes of opportunity. They pick what appears to be an easy mark.”

For some good — and easy to implement — tips on keeping your home safe, read the full memo, but here are some highlights.

  • Trim hedges and trees near your home to minimize hiding places.
  • Place large-gauge gravel on the ground near windows. The noise caused when an intruder walks on it can be a deterrent.
  • Make sure your street number is visible from the road to help emergency responders.
  • Install good exterior lighting, especially in the back of your house. Lights on motion sensors are particularly effective.
  • Leave a light or two – and even the radio – on when you’re not home.
  • Install a home security system. Not cheap or easy to implement, but effective.

For those of you who like a bit of whimsy in your crime prevention routine, one My Southborough reader suggests placing a leash and a dog bowl — a big dog bowl — on your back step.

Tell me, has the rash of home break-ins made you nervous? Have you made changes to the way you secure your home? Share in the comments.

1 Chris November 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Any sense for time of day the majority of these break-ins are occurring? Evening? Daytime?

I’m usually pretty good about locking up…I’ll even lock my front door if I’m out in the back yard working, for example. I have taken to leaving my TV on more, if noone is home. We always use timers, even if we go away for the day and don’t come back until late in the evening.

This rash of break-ins spurred me to get a safety deposit box, which I had been putting off for a long time. I keep things (jewelry, passports, documents, etc) locked up in a fireproof box at home, but duh…the box could easily be taken and then opened w/ the right tools. So now I’m keeping the contents in the bank, along w/ disk drive backups of my critical files.

(Ed. note: Chris Robbins asked me to point out that this comment is from a different Chris.)

2 Mark Ford November 30, 2010 at 3:23 PM

To build on Chris’s comments…the burglaries seem to be related–I wonder how? Are there particular things the burglars are looking for, or are ignoring? Do the police have any info for us regarding number of thiefs, access/egress methods, etc?

It’s too bad these questions haven’t been proactively addressed elsewhere, and that blogtivism has to help fill in a gap.

3 Kelly November 30, 2010 at 3:28 PM

What exactly are they looking for? Electronics, clothes, jewelry? Also – like Chris – what time are these breakins happening? Are they going in through windows? When people are home or away? This is disheartening.

4 susan November 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I believe the break-ins are primarily occurring in the evening hours when the homeowners aren’t there. Not sure about the mode of entry.

I asked Sgt. James about the sorts of things the burglar(s) are after, but he declined to comment except to say they were “things of value.”

There was a community meeting with the Southborough Police a few weeks ago (http://www.mysouthborough.com/2010/11/16/neighborhood-crime-watch-meeting-on-wednesday/), and it’s possible that some of these questions were answered there. Perhaps someone who went to the meeting will chime in?

5 Kelly Roney November 30, 2010 at 8:59 PM

If they were stealing things of no value, I know a basement that could use a good decluttering!

6 nancy December 1, 2010 at 3:57 PM

ha! good one kelly.

7 Chris Robbins December 8, 2010 at 12:19 AM

A New Break-in on Flagg Road was recently reported by the Southborough Police Department. If you would like more information please contact them. Area residents are advised to report any suspicious behavior that may help in solving this crime.

Crime prevention efforts taking place on Parkerville Road (North of Route 9).
As a result of a break-in on our street which was reported earlier, approximately 26 residents recently met with Officers Mattioli and Landry at the Town Library and received an exceptional briefing on actions we can all take to prevent crime to our homes and families. If anyone would like a copy of the hand-out on How Best to Prevent Crime, please visit the police station or request one to be emailed. The number one request made at the briefing by the officers is for all of us to immediately report anything that appears suspicious. I had three alarm companies visit and provide recommendations and quotes for an alarm system. There was a wait from 2 weeks to two months for one to be installed. As an interim and less expensive measure, we purchased window and door alarms from Lowes which we installed ourselves. The officers did indicate that the criminals appear to be focusing on stealing valuables such as jewelry and cash.

Our neighborhood crime watch group also established a neighborhood email network which most of us have all signed up to receive. We are using this network to let each other know when we see anything to be concerned about and to make requests to watch each other’s homes when we leave for an extended period of time. Residents can also contact the police to advise them when you will be away. As a courtesy, they will check your home.

The regretful reality of this experience is that I met neighbors I have never met until the break-in occured. I have realized that if we want crime to go away, we cannot do this alone. We need each other to create an enviorment without fear, and one where our neighbors look out for each other, our kids, homes and our families.

The Millibury State Police Station was also contacted. Commander Lt. Anderson indicated they were aware of the break-ins and agreeed to provide additional patrols on Route 9 and streets adjacent to the resevoir / watershed areas where cars have been parked.

If you are interested in starting a Crime Watch or Neighborhood group, please please contact the Southborough Police or feel free to contact Chris Robbins about Parkerville’s crime prevention efforts at Cell phone # 508-735-6100.

8 Chris Robbins December 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Based on the police department’s dispatcher yesterday there have been no additional break-ins recently.
This is good news for all of us and partially reflects our vigilence and taking preventative steps to secure our valuables and homes.

The police have asked us to immediately report any situation or person that appears suspicios.They have also suggested we ask our neighbors to watch your home while you are away for an extended period orless.Please also notify the police when you leave for a trip
and they will be glad to check your home.
Keeping your valuables, home and families safe!
Chris Robbins

Previous post:

Next post: