Officer Rachel Roberts was joined by colleagues from the Lewisville PD and incoming club president Dennis Song following her presentation at last week's Rotary meeting.
Officer Rachel Roberts, Neighborhood Resource Officer with the Lewisville PD, last week gave a helpful presentation on Crime Prevention and improving the safety of our local community.
“There are crimes and there are opportunities for crimes,” noted Officer Roberts, explaining that citizens can help mitigate opportunities for bad actors to do bad things. Prevention involves anticipating a potential opportunity and taking proactive steps to reduce the risk, she said. For example, if you’re going on vacation, you can ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and keep an eye on your house, confirm all windows and doors are locked, and set timers to turn lights on and off, to make it appear that someone is home.
“If you have a tight-knit community and you’re the nosey neighbor, it deters crime in your area,” Officer Roberts noted. Knowing your neighbors, being aware of who comes and goes from your street, and using an online forum (like a private Facebook group or the Nextdoor app) to share information also can help you and your neighbors stay safe. “A little less privacy is good for crime prevention,” Officer Roberts said.
Other tips include keeping shrubs no taller than 3’ and tree limbs no lower than 7’, so burglars can’t hide; adding a fence around your yard; and securing your garage door. Although it’s best to have a solid wood or wrought iron front door, for those with a glass pane, the glass should be at least 40” away from locks. Deadbolts on doors should be longer than a 1” throw, and two door locks are better than one, added Officer Roberts. In addition, having lighting around the exterior of the home and porch lights that turn on automatically when someone approaches the front door are good deterrents.
Cars are another prime target for crime. The Lewisville Police Department received 748 reports of burglaries of a vehicle last year, and 307 reports of stolen vehicles. More often than not, the owner has left the vehicle unlocked and/or left valuables in plain sight, making it an easier target for criminals. However, theft of catalytic converters also is on the rise in the area. To reduce the risk of having a catalytic converter stolen, you can have a garage etch the VIN number on the converter or have a guard installed underneath the vehicle, suggested Officer Roberts.
For more tips on how to prevent crime in our community, visit the Lewisville PD Crime Prevention and Safety Tips page on the City of Lewisville website.