BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- As vacation season continues, Bronxville Chief of Police Christopher Satriale offers a variety of tips to make your home appear occupied and decrease the chance for break-ins.
- Leave lights on when you leave. And, if you are going to be away for any length of time, connect lamps to automatic timers to go on during the day as well as at night.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flower pots, mailboxes, or other secret hiding places. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked and store lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles out of plain sight.
- Arrange for your mail and newspapers to be stopped and have the lawn mowed. Also arrange to have a neighbor pick up the PennySaver papers left on the driveway, which are an indication of absence.
- Remember to change locks immediately if keys are lost or stolen, and always change the locks when you move into a new home.
- To make your home's exterior more secure, always activate your alarm system and provide adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is also recommended for backyards. Trim trees and shrubs to avoid creating a hiding place or screen for intruders. Finally, make sure door hinges are on the inside.
- If you do return home and find an unexplained open or broken window or door, do not enter your home: the perpetrator could still be inside. Go to a neighbor's home to use a phone or use a cell phone, away from the house. Do not touch anything or attempt to clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
Finally, be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police immediately. While you are waiting, write down any license plate numbers or descriptions of suspicious persons.