DATE/TIME: Friday, December 15th, 2006 / 03:45 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 at this time of the year.

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

• Locking doors and windows (40% of burglarized homes are unlocked)

• Burglar alarms
- Studies indicate that most 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 can be 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
• Lighting the exterior of the house well / motion-sensing lighting
• Keeping curtains and shades closed
• Leaving interior lights, a T.V. and/or a radio and using timers
• Parking vehicles 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

More crime prevention information can be found at

Citizens are encouraged to join Neighborhood Watch. There are several new groups forming in Schenectady and information can be obtained by calling 377-4137.