Neighborhood Watch

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM - The goal is to educate members of a community about crime, criminal patterns, and what to do if you are a victim, or a witness to a crime.  Find more information in the General Documents.

Westbury Neighborhood Watch Checklist

A working alarm system is always a good measure. Getting one isn't very hard and usually not expensive. These alarms can be a great deterrent for burglars. Make sure, however, that it is professionally installed. Spend the extra money on the wireless systems.  A wired system can be cut from the outside and be useless once someone gets in the home.  Place a lock on the door to the alarm circuit board.  Even with a wireless system, a burglar could have time to disable the alarm before it goes to the monitoring station.

Locking doors and windows are a good measure. Unlocked doors and windows are invitations for someone to rob your house. If a lock doesn't work, get it fixed pronto.

Destroy boxes. As strange as it may seem, people may want to rob you for what is on a box at the end of your driveway. If you have a box that shows a plasma screen TV or something else very expensive, you want to get rid of it.

Leave lights on if you're leaving. If a house looks vacant and unprepared, that house may be a victim of a robbery. Leaving lights on is a safe measure for any house.

Close your garage. Leaving it open, even during the day puts your car and its contents at risk from strangers passing your house. We often have hundreds of dollars of stuff in our garage such as tools, bikes, camping gear, sports equipment, etc. that could "walk away" if the garage is left open. Be especially vigilant about closing it at night. If you see your neighbor’s garage open after bed time, call them to let them know. They will appreciate the call and likely return the favor if you inadvertently leave your garage open.

If you have glass on or next to your outside doors use a double dead bolt, so they can't reach in though broken glass and unbolt the door. Keep a key for the deadbolt inside the house near the door at all times so you can escape easily in case of a fire.

Eliminate tall shrubs near doors and windows that may allow thieves to be concealed from watchful neighbors as they attempt to break into your home.

Be certain to secure the door into your home from your garage. Once in your garage, thieves have many opportunities to break into your house using your own tools from the garage. And unfortunately once in your garage often the door leading into your home is unlocked. So lock it, with a dead bolt, and keep it locked when you are gone or asleep.

Secure upper story windows, and especially doors to decks or balconies. These can often be reached by athletic youth or experienced thieves seeking easy access into your home.

Add exterior lighting to your home so that visitors are in plain sight of your neighbors when approaching your home. Leave them on when you are gone, or put them on motion sensors, and/or light sensors so they are on at dusk and/or when someone approaches your house.

If you have to park your car outside keep it clear of ALL valuables and locked. You may want to invest in a car alarm as well.

Don't keep a key to your house, hidden outside your house. Most thoughtful thieves will find a hidden key if they have time to search. If you have to keep a key outside of your home keep it at a neighbor’s house.

If you have a keypad garage door opener installed outside your home, be smart about the code. Don't use a number that could be looked up by a determined thief. Avoid birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, or sequenced or repetitive numbers. Don't share this code with anyone but your immediate family.

Trust your neighbors. If you're going to be gone for a while alert your neighbors.   Neighbors can help protect your house.

Call 911.  If anything feels or looks out of the ordinary to you DON’T call a neighbor, post it to Facebook or sit around and wait.  Stop everything you are doing and call 911!  Explain to them exactly what you have seen and let the police handle the situation.  The police care about our safety and that of the neighborhood. 

Make copies.  Have a copy of your receipts, serial numbers and proof of ownership of any of your high value items. It will make your insurance process easier.

Back up all your personal data on your computers. If you have a mac, use time machine and it will constantly back up all your data automatically. If you have a PC, back up all the stuff you know would miss if that computer would go away such as pictures, documents and personal info. If you have a mac, download the find my ipod app, it will work for all your mac products.

Password protect all your computers, phones, iPad, iPods, iPhones and all that. Also, don't let firefox or google chrome auto save all your passwords to your websites that you visit.

Register your alarm with Cobb County (Cobb County False Alarm Website).  This will prevent fines for false alarms.


Crime Trends

The Entering of autos continue to be one of the most preventable crimes that continue to occur. The cure for this problem is simple, when parking your vehicle, remove all valuables and lock the doors. You may think placing that laptop behind the seat and placing a coat on top will keep the thieves away, you are wrong. You say to yourself I will only be in the store a few moments, well the thief only needs thirty seconds. 
Cobb County Police ask citizens to be extra vigilant when parking their vehicles.

We suggest: 

• Parking in a well-lighted place.
• Locking all doors.
• Rolling up windows.
• Removing valuables from your vehicle.
• Locking valuables in the trunk.
• Calling police if suspicious people are seen walking near vehicles, looking in windows and trying to open doors.

Citizens should record serial numbers, the make and model of electronic equipment so police can match property to victims and victims to property. 

Understanding the Burglar

There are generally three different types of burglars: the professional, the semi-professional and the amateur. Although the average homeowner will probably not have to face a professional thief who focuses on extremely valuable items, you need to be aware of semi-professional and amateur burglars.

Residential burglars are often male teenagers who live near your home. They are opportunists who look for easy targets. If the risk of detection is too high, the average burglar will not attempt to enter your home.
Burglars know that the key to success is planning. The semi-professional burglar may scout a neighborhood for up to a week, while the amateur burglar will spend only a few hours "casing" a residence. After determining his target, the average burglar spends just a few minutes burglarizing it.
Whether you leave your home for five minutes or five weeks, recognize that it's vulnerable whenever it's unoccupied. While youcannot be home all of thetime, you can devise a home security program that works for you around the clock.

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