community watch from bill metcalf

During the holiday season, let’s not make thieves feel like they are part of our community.   Many of you will be traveling or out of the house for extended shopping sprees.

To help ensure that you do not become a victim, here are some hints from the Town of Cary Police Department:

  • Make sure that all doors, windows, and skylights are secured and check locks regularly to ensure they remain in good working order. While no lock is burglar proof, the more difficult it is to gain entry, the longer it will take, which increases the chances of burglars’ getting caught. 
  • Use variable light timers and motion-sensitive lights to activate lighting in and around your home. 
  • If utilizing an alarm system, make sure to have clearly visible signage stating the premises is protected by an alarm and set video systems to record day and nighttime activity. 
  • Ensure valuables are not visible from the street, especially high-end electronics. 

When traveling or out shopping:

  • Do not announce travel plans on social media.
  • Get a neighbor to pick up mail, paper, packages, and put out and take in trash can while you are gone.
  • When shopping, park in a well-lit parking lot.
  • Put your purchases in the trunk .. don’t leave items on your back seat.
  • Save the purchase of that big ticket item for your last stop. For instance, do not buy that big screen TV at BestBuy, put it in your car, and then drive over to Dick's.
  • Stay vigilant with fraud prevention -- don't carry a lot of cash, save receipts, and review credit card activity.
  • When you get home, don’t leave your purchases in your car.
  • Most importantly, if your car is parked in your driveway, keep it locked.

Lastly, the Town of Cary Police Department offers a free residential security assessment program. A police officer will come out to your home and review the physical security of your home (doors, locks, windows, lights, landscaping, alarm systems, etc.) as well as discuss some mental approaches to home safety (what to do with solicitors, how to handle leaving your home for vacation, and options available to you if you’re home and someone breaks in). This free assessment only requires that an adult be present in the home during the assessment to take notes and ask questions. Most assessments take about an hour to an hour and a half and can accommodate most schedules during the week.

Feedback from Lochmere residents who have taken advantage of this program is that it is very worthwhile. It identified physical weaknesses in and around their homes that they were not aware of. Call (919) 469-4324 to schedule an appointment. 

Your Community Watch Team cannot stress enough that now (all year long) be aware of your surroundings and, if you see something suspicious, report it immediately to 911 if it is urgent or 919-469-4012 if it is not an emergency situation.