Crime Prevention? It Starts with You.

Hilltop continues to have one of the lowest crime rates of any of the neighborhoods in Denver, and our intention is to keep it that way. How? The Three Ls – Locks, Lights, Lists are a starting place.

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.

Thefts from vehicles remain the most commonly reported crime in our district and across the city.  Since home burglaries have occurred following vehicle break-ins at another location, such as a parking garage, never have anything in your vehicle that shows your home address. Registration and insurance cards should be in the possession of the operator of the vehicle.

The top six items taken from vehices are:

  1. GPS Units
  2. Purses
  3. Drivers’ licenses
  4. Cell phones
  5. iPod/MP3 players
  6. Credit cards

To help prevent Thefts From Motor Vehicles:

  • Always lock all doors and close windows.
  • Never leave anything of value in plain sight.
  • Never leave anything that looks like it might contain something of value in sight.
  • Park in well lit, busy areas when possible.
  • Close and lock garage doors and side gates.

Marilyn Shaw, Hilltop Crime Captain; DPD Dist. 3 Citizens Advisory Board

The following is an updated reminder for neighbors on how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime:

Please review the Traffic & Safety section on Denver Hilltop, The Association web page.  There is a lot of information there on how to avoid being a victim of burglary.  However, many residents don’t take the steps that would prevent a lot of crime:  lights on timers both inside and out, etc.  There should be at least three lights on inside, all visible from the outside. However, at least two should be in rooms that can’t be seen into from outside.  Do not have things of value in locations where they can be seen.  The lights inside should go off during the night when the inhabitants would normally be sleeping, but those outside should come on before it’s completely dark and stay on until sunup.  Residents will need to change the on-off times as the seasons progress.

Have deadbolt locks on all outer doors – no snap-lock locks.  You’ll only lock yourself out sooner or later.  Leaving a radio on makes it sound like someone is there.  Sliding doors can be “pinned”.  That involves drilling a hole in which a sturdy nail can be inserted so the door won’t slide further.  An alternative is to cut a wooden dowel to insert in the track so the door will slide only a very short distance.  The same can be done with double hung windows.  One can find advice online as to how this should be done

If the doorbell is rung answer it.  If you always have your security doors dead-bolted you can do so safely.  You do not want the perp or a perp’s friend to go to the back and break in, thinking there is no one home.  (That has happened.)

Please take a look at this section on our web page and encourage your neighbors to do so, too.  Tell them that they can call the DPD Dist. 2 or 3 Community Resource Officer and ask that an officer come to their home to give advice on improving security.  They can even just call 311 and end up with the info they need to connect with the right department.

The criminals working our neighborhood often work in groups of three:  One stays with the car, one rings the doorbell and if there is no answer, the third goes to the back and breaks in.

A security patrol is not necessarily the answer.  When a section of Crestmoor hired a security guard a few years ago, the criminals watched his car as he patrolled, then went into the area he had just covered and broke into homes he had already checked.  Hilltop with no security guard had a much lower crime rate than Crestmoor that year, even though we had no guard.

I’d be glad to discus this with anyone who wishes to do so.  Incidentally, there is a link on our web page on the Traffic & Safety section that enables you to check maps showing locations where crime is occurring and comparing our neighborhood with the other 75 (more or less)  neighborhoods in Denver.

Good luck to all!

Marilyn Shaw, Hilltop Crime Captain – DPD Dist. 3 Citizens’ Advisory Board..
510 Dexter St., Denver, CO 80220 – 303-377-1278

PS  If you are stopping at several places and want to leave your packages in the trunk of your car or in behind the front seats covered up as well as possible, do that before you go to your next stop, don’t wait until you get there.  You don’t want the criminals to see where you hid things.

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The following videos are courtesy of the Denver Police Department:

Please take a couple minutes to watch our “Tips from a Thief.” We sit down with a known former thief who is now sharing tips on how to protect yourself from theft.

TIPS FROM A THIEF PT. 1, catch it here: https://youtu.be/YSlbzxJoDq0

TIPS FROM A THIEF PT. 2. Cut and paste this link to your browser to view the video; https://www.facebook.com/denverpolice/vi…