LASD Palmdale Station: Home Burglary Prevention Tips

LASD Palmdale Station - Palmdale, California - January 13, 2014

Residential burglaries are a common problem not only in our community, but nation-wide.

Many of us feel secure in our neighborhoods and think, “It won’t happen to me. I live on a nice street and my neighbors are great.” But rather than just assuming that it won’t happen, why not do whatever you can to prevent a burglary? Hopefully the following suggestions and information will enlighten you as to how thieves view the world and prevent your home from being the target of a burglary.

• Don’t leave your garage door open. This advertises your belongings to anyone passing by. A thief may have quick access at the time the door is open, but also now has an inventory of things to take later when you are not home.

• Don’t position your television, computer, or game console within view of an open window.

• If you need to discard boxes or packaging from expensive gifts or purchases, please don’t leave them sticking out of your garbage can. It advertises to others the nice, new things you may have inside your home. Cut the boxes into pieces that will fit inside of your garbage cans and spread the pieces out over several weeks if necessary.

• Keep an eye out for potential burglars in your neighborhood. Here are a couple of the common tactics used in our community.

     • The burglars knock on front doors in an area. If no one answers, they enter the rear yard and break into the house. They may also knock on the doors of adjacent homes to make sure there are no witnesses to them entering the house they chose.

     • Burglars sometimes conduct door to door solicitations to obtain information on which homes to burglarize. These are the common scams:

          • The burglar (or someone working for the burglar) knocks on your door and attempts to sell you a product. They give you a long story about how they are raising money for school or for some type of educational trip. Most times the solicitors only have the display product with them. If you want to buy the product, they offer to return at a later time (specified by them). Many residents do not recognize this tactic and tell the solicitor that they will not be home at the time specified. Guess what time the thief will come back to burglarize your home?

               • Although schools do have fundraisers, they discourage door to door sales.

               • Anyone selling a product within Palmdale must have a solicitors’ license. Ask to see it!

          • Burglars pose as employees of an alarm company. They knock on your door and say they need to check your alarm system. If you have displayed an alarm sign or decal, guess what company they say they work for? These thieves are trying to find out if you have an alarm so they can burglarize your home later. A real alarm company will only respond to your request for service. They do not drive around and merely check peoples’ alarms.

• If you see any suspicious activity, please call the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station (661) 272-2400.

Here are a few additional burglary prevention tips from the City of Palmdale – Public Safety Office:

  • Never leave doors or windows unlocked when leaving home. Including second floor windows.
  • Secure all obvious points of entry to your home. Pretend you are the burglar and plan how you would break into your own house. Install secondary locking devices (such as anti-lift devices, through-the-door pins, or track screws).
  • Create the illusion that you are home using timers on lights, radios, and televisions.
  • Use a timer or photocell to automatically turn on lights at dusk. Leave porch lights on throughout the night, even when you are home.
  • Keep shrubbery near doors and windows trimmed. Don’t provide the burglars with a hiding place or climbing platform.
  • Avoid displaying valuable items such as TVs and computers near windows with open drapes or shades.
  • Use highly visible alarms signs, “Beware of Dog” signs, or Neighborhood Watch decals.
  • Don’t leave your garage door transmitter in your vehicle, or at least keep it out of view (the visor is not a good place). Also keep the door locked leading from the garage into the house. If the burglar gets into your car you don’t want to give him/her easy access to your garage and then your house.
  • Keep extra keys out of sight and in a safe place. Never hide a key outside, most hiding places are obvious to burglars.
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch group to protect your neighborhood. Contact the City of Palmdale’s Public Safety Office at (661)267-5170 or at
If you plan to be away from your home for a vacation, you can always contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station and request a “Vacation Patrol Check” of your home. Let us know what dates you will be gone, a contact number, and if anyone has your permission to be at the house (to water the plants, feed the animals, etc.). Once logged, your home will be periodically checked by our Volunteers on Patrol. The volunteers immediately report any suspicious activity to deputies for further investigation.

To a thief, the world is full of opportunities. Don’t be one of those “opportunities.”

Deputy Eric Caplinger

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