(From the Wrentham Police Department's Facebook page)
House Breaks on the Rise Again!
Warning: House breaks are on the rise again, in Wrentham and everywhere else. The rise is associated largely with epidemic drug abuse, specifically pill and heroin addicts. Obviously, the addicts need money to buy drugs so they break into homes, steal property, fence it and get their fix.
Wrentham police officers will continue to be vigilant with their efforts through traffic enforcement; neighborhood patrols and investigation.
The rest of you should consider the following as you go about your daily routines:
Be Aware: If you see someone in or out of a vehicle and it strikes you as suspicious, follow your instinct and call 911. Don’t hesitate because you think it may turn out to be nothing. Try to keep the suspicious person or vehicle in sight until police respond; try to get a plate number off the car; a good description of the suspect; the vehicle, etc.
Hide Valuables: DO NOT keep valuables in your master bedroom. When the bad guys commit house breaks, they knock on the door and ring the bell first to make sure no one is home. If you are home, make yourself known. You don’t have to open the door, but go to a window and yell out that you’re busy and can’t come to the door. This will make bad guys go away. If you pretend you’re not home, they’re coming in with you inside. They’ll kick in a door and go directly to the master bedroom. They’ll grab your pillowcase and stuff it with your jewelry and anything else of value. Next, they’ll head for the bathrooms because they want your pain killer medications so don’t hide anything in the bathroom and keep your pills somewhere else.
They want to get in and out quickly, so they often don’t go through other rooms after they hit the master bedroom and bathrooms, therefore; if you hide your valuables in other parts of the house, you’ll likely cut your loss. Be creative with hiding places.
Alarms: Whether or not you install a monitored alarm is up to you. More importantly, install an alarm that accomplishes two things. The alarm inside your home should shriek so loud that it unnerves the intruder. So loud, that the bad guy should need to cover his ears. The outside alarm should be mounted as high on your house as possible and be as loud as possible. The alarm horns should be directed toward neighboring homes and the street to attract attention. This will interrupt the intruders and alert others to the problem at your house. Give trusted neighbors your alarm code. Provide your contact information to WPD.
Cars: If you’re going out in one car, DO NOT leave the other car in the garage. Doing so, gives the appearance you’re not home. Leave the spare car in the driveway and if you have a long driveway, park it closer to the street. This will prevent the bad guys from pulling up into your driveway and out of view. If you don’t have two cars and are leaving for an extended period of time, ask a neighbor who has more than one car to park it at the end of your driveway.
Neighborhood Watch: Form neighborhood watch groups. Share your cell phone numbers; descriptions of your cars; vacation plans; alarm codes; with trusted neighbors. This way, if one of you observe something out of place, you can call your neighbor. This may extend to one neighbor taking in another’s trash barrels, Fed Ex or UPS deliveries, newspapers, etc. All of these items left out are clues to the bad guys that no one is home. Protect yourselves!
(Wrentham Lieutenant William R. McGrathPatrol & Investigations Supervisor.)