The Three Ls – Locks, Lights, Lists
Locks: Many burglaries are accomplished without force. Thieves enter through unlocked doors, windows, or open garage doors. Locked deadbolts on steel security doors are one of the best deterrents. Lock all of your car doors, including when you are in the car. Leave nothing in plain sight in your vehicle that might tempt a thief to smash and grab.
Lights: Make sure your home looks lived in with a couple of lights on timers inside. Exterior lights, front and back with timers set to come on before it gets dark and to stay on all night discourage criminals from lurking around.
Lists: Know your neighbors, and who belongs in your neighborhood. Have their phone numbers handy, so if you notice something that doesn’t look right, you can call. Let your neighbors know if you are going to be gone for any length of time, even overnight, and where you can be reached in case of need. Make a list of your valuables, recording any serial numbers. Photograph your belongings, especially jewelry and artwork. Also, stand in the center of each room and photograph in all four directions. Surprisingly, it is easy to forget about something you have become used to. These records can be instrumental in recovering stolen property if the worst happens.