DATE/TIME: Monday, November 28th, 2005 / 03:15 PM

With the holiday shopping and travel season underway, the Schenectady Police Department has some crime prevention tips for the public that, if implemented, will hopefully reduce the number of burglaries and car larcenies that are committed this time of year.

Burglary Prevention

Security measures should be taken to make homes “unwelcoming” to burglars. These include:

* Locking doors and windows
* Burglar alarms

Alarms are an effective way to dissuade potential intruders. Most studies indicate that burglars will avoid homes with alarms. Even if a burglar circumvents an alarm, its presence may cause them to be hasty; burglars steal less property from house with alarms.

Even inexpensive, portable alarms have been effectively used for crime prevention.

* Sturdy doors with dead bolt locks
* Window locks in addition to latches
* Sliding glass door channel locks
* Increasing visibility of the house by trimming bushes
* Using motion-sensing exterior lighting
* Not placing packages/gifts where they can be seen from outside

Most burglars avoid encountering residents and thus look for indicators of occupancy. These include:

* Leaving interior and exterior lights on / using timers
* Closed curtains
* Noise (by leaving on a television or radio)
* Cars in the driveway
* Having a neighbor pick-up mail/newspapers when away

Being observant of activity in your neighborhood and watching other houses is very important in preventing and fighting crime. Suspicious activity should be immediately reported to the police.

Car Larceny Prevention Common sense measures include:

* Locking car doors
* Not leaving valuables in view (gifts, purses, cell phones, etc.). They should be kept out of sight and stored in the trunk, under seats or in other storage areas