Noting an increase in burglaries, Evanston police are warning residents that unlocked doors and windows represent an invitation to steal.
A vast majority of incidents, they report, had unlocked doors or points of entry at the time of occurrence.
Some of the most commonly stolen items are backpacks, gym bags, briefcases, cash/coins, wallets, purses, portable GPS navigation systems, cell phones, laptop computers, flat screen televisions, and jewelry.
They offered this check list to help keep your home secure:
[ ] Use the locks you have on all doors and windows.
[ ] On doors, use dead bolt locks with a one-inch “throw.” Install solid core wood doors that cannot be spread apart with a pry bar.
[ ] Keep shrubs low enough that they do not block points of entry or conceal a potential attacker.
[ ] Prominently display burglar alarm signs and decals.
[ ] Keep lights on at the front, back, and by the garage and put lights on timers inside the home when you’re away.
[ ] Never leave your garage unlocked, especially if it provides access to the rest of the house, and lock away your tools and ladders.
[ ] Basement windows should be secured to prevent them from being forced open.
[ ] Never leave a spare key in a hiding place outside the home, as burglars know all the hiding places. Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbor.
Officers assigned to the Community Strategies Bureau are available at no cost to residents and businesses in Evanston to conduct security surveys. Just call them at (847) 866-5019 or by calling 3-1-1.