Avon Lake police assist residents with burglary prevention strategies

Avon Lake

By Michele Murphy

Dozens of neighbors on Bay Hill Drive in Avon Lake gathered last week to hear members of the Avon Lake Police Department present strategies to reduce the chances of their homes being burglarized.

Police Chief Duane Streator, Det. Justin Ludwig and patrol officer Tom Anadiotis offered safety tips to 36 neighbors, then broke them into smaller groups to walk around homes looking for vulnerabilities and discussing ideas to reduce those weak spots.

Some of the key takeaways included:

•Make sure companies you hire to do work are reputable and bonded.

•If you see a car, van, truck or person who does not seem to belong on the street, call police. Chief Streator emphasized the department would rather be called about a concern than after an incident occurs. “Please, bother us,” he told the crowd. Officers explained someone could be casing a house or neighborhood. One neighbor told a story about a burglary in progress in a nearby suburb that was thwarted when neighbors reported a van in a driveway.

•Keep outside lights in the front and back of the house on at night.

•When away from home in the evening, keep interior lights on. Police also suggested leaving a TV or radio on when you are out. “Do things that make it seem like you are home,” said one.

•Lock cars that are kept in driveways overnight.

•Lock doors and first floor windows at night or when you are not home. An audience member remarked a closed window that is not locked is an invitation for trouble. “My dad used to say, ‘If you are not going to lock a window, don’t (bother to) close it.’”

Det. Ludwig suggested adding longer screws in deadbolt areas of doorjambs to make it more difficult to kick in a door. Police also suggested adding kick plates.

They urged residents to inventory and take photos of valuables and store a paper document in a safe place. “You don’t want to put an inventory and photos on a laptop that could be stolen,” said one.

Officer Anadiotis suggested during the walkaround that followed the presentation that homeowners regularly change their garage codes. He re-emphasized something said during the presentation about closing garage doors at night or when away from home, but also suggested keeping the door closed during the day even if you are home. He said that during one night patrol, police found 70 garage doors open throughout Avon Lake.

Chief Streator explained during an interview the following day that Avon Lake police initiated its
burglary prevention patrol in an effort to educate community members and to keep them safer.

He urged homeowner associations or community groups that might be interested in a similar presentation to contact the department. He also said the department welcomes the opportunity to talk with residents about any issues that are concerning to them. Call 440-933-4567 to make arrangements.

Contact Michele Murphy at news@2presspapers.com

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