When you hear an alarm in your neighborhood

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An outdoor alarm bell
Michelle Thompson via Compfight

A car alarm goes off, what do you do? If it’s not your car, do you sit inside and ignore it? Same goes for house alarms.

When we hear a car alarm or house alarm go off, it’s very important that we don’t just peek out our doors, but actually step out of our homes onto the sidewalks and look up and down the street where we can be seen. If it’s night time, take a big flashlight.

We too easily dismiss an alarm because they sometimes go off by accident. Thieves see this too, and if they think that alarms are ignored by neighbors, they may be able to get away with a smash and grab. When thieves see people stepping out of their houses and LOOKING to see what is going on even with false alarms, they are more likely to look elsewhere.

These are old principles of the neighborhood watch- the neighborhood is watching and it’s a show of neighborhood solidarity. Most of the time we’re going to be coming out of our homes to see a neighbor or visitor who set off his car alarm by accident. But the thieves (who according to statistics are most likely young males who live nearby) will see that we looked. The worst thing for a burglar is being recognized, and if your neighborhood is working hard to keep an eye out with every alarm going off, thieves will go elsewhere.

Another thing to review after a car break in is any surveillance video neighbors may have. Often times, car thieves walk down the street- discreetly pulling on door latches or looking in cars. This can help you identify who may have broken into your car.

Motion sensor lights can also help alert you to people approaching your house or car. The last thing a thief wants to do is trigger some kind of indicator that they’re out there and looking.

Neighbors working together can have a huge impact on reducing crime. See our post about using Facebook for setting up a private social media neighborhood security group.

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