Wheat Ridge Police Department Offers Tips

Tips for Preventing Theft from Cars and Homes

When out enjoying Wheat Ridge parks and open space or shopping at the local market, make sure parked cars aren’t a prime target for thieves. They often will break windows or punch locks to gain access to items left in plain view.
Roll up windows and lock car doors even when in the driveway or just quickly running in somewhere.

Park vehicles in well-lit, high-traffic areas and away from larger vehicles or shrubs.
Thieves can target cars parked in isolated areas in order to “work” without drawing attention.

Do not keep any items,  including a purse or wallet, cell phone, computer bag or gift bags in plain view as these clearly visible items can catch the eye of a thief. Be sure to stow and secure all items prior to leaving the car. Also, be sure to remove any portable accessories, such as GPS units and stereo faceplates, when leaving the car.

Stay alert and watchful of the surroundings when walking to the car. Look for suspicious behavior of those nearby. Keep an eye out for what’s going on and not on the cell phone.

Don’t’ overfill arms with bags or packages. Keep a hand free for keys which can be used in self defense if necessary.

Lock the car once inside, especially if needing to make a call or check messages before heading home.

Always lock car when getting gas. Purses or wallets left out on the seat can be an easy target for thieves as can the car itself if the keys are left inside while the driver is pumping gas.

Keep doors and windows locked, especially when going to bed or leaving the house.

Cut shrubs back around windows and doors so neighbors would be able to view anyone trying to access the house when no one is there. Ask Wheat Ridge PD for an Environmental Assessment to check lighting and other ways to make a home safer. .

Use timers for randomly placed lighting so it appears someone is home especially during vacations. Set timers for outdoor lighting instead of leaving porch lights on for days or weeks.

Cancel the newspaper delivery and have the post office or a neighbor collect the mail.

Don’t post information to Facebook or other social media sites about vacation plans. This makes it too easy for thieves to know when the house is empty. Post those photos after arriving back home.

Stay Safe When a Solicitor Knocks on the Door

For those who happen to be home during the day, solicitors can be an irritant but occasionally there are situations that should raise an alarm for anyone who answers that knock at the door.

Whenever a utility company sends a representative out to neighborhoods to check equipment, cables, wiring or a meter, the representative should be in a uniform of some sort, be driving a branded vehicle and have a badge or business card that includes the company logo and contact information. Homeowners or residents who receive a request from a representative to enter a home or backyard should always ask for identification first. Additionally, if there are any concerns about safety or the appropriateness of the request, the representative should be courteous and willing to provide company contact information in order to confirm the validity of the visit or service being conducted.

There have been recent cases of individuals posing as service people or sales representatives in order to gain access to homes, and then robbing and/or assaulting the resident. To avoid being the victim of a robbery or worse, the Wheat Ridge Police Department offers the following safety tips:

  •  Post a “No Solicitors” sign on your door. This may not keep them all from knocking but it may reduce the number who do
  • Always keeps doors locked during the day as well as at night
  • If teens or seniors are home alone, reinforce that they should never open the door to strangers.
  • Call 911 if there is any concern someone is trying to break in after knocking or ringing the doorbell
  • If a sales or utility company rep asks for access to the backyard or entry to the house or apartment, BEFORE letting them in, contact the company to ensure the legitimacy of the request. Until you make contact with the company, ask the person to wait outside.
  • Before allowing anyone access to the property, always ask for official identification like a badge or business card that includes the company logo, the person’s name, and company contact information
  • Report any suspicious behavior or activity in the neighborhood to local law enforcement. Watch for people wandering into backyards, strange vehicles parked in driveways or on the street without official logos, and vans or trucks in driveways when neighbors aren’t at home.
  • Notify neighbors if planning home renovations or if inspectors are scheduled to visit that may require access to the backyard, or measuring of features like the driveway or perimeter fencing.

Crime Prevention Tips

Planning a vacation this Spring Break? Don’t post it to Facebook! Wait until arriving back home before posting that great selfie of the family departing from the airport for that tropical vacation. Even with privacy settings to minimize the risk, it is still possible for someone to see a post about a house that will be empty for a week and then target that home for a burglary.

Many crimes are crimes of opportunity. That means giving the thief an easy opportunity to steal. Those opportunities can include leaving car doors unlocked in driveways or a purse on the front seat of the car while the driver “runs” inside for just a moment. Don’t be a victim!

Other spring tips for preventing crime:

  • Remember to close and lock doors and windows at night after leaving them open during warmer days.
  • Check credentials, references and the BBB before enlisting repair companies to avoid roofing and other repair scams
  • Secure sliding glass doors with sturdy locks and by placing a broomstick or steel rod in the track
  • Position outdoor lights carefully. Put them out of reach so bulbs can’t be easily broken or unscrewed. Aim lights at garage and shed doors, entryways and ground level windows.
  • Consider motion sensor floodlights and photoelectric lights that automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.
  • Plant thorny bushes under windows – they can help keep intruders away.
  • Be an alert neighbor and watch for anything out of the ordinary. Report suspicious behavior or activity to police. Make a call, don’t just post to social media and expect police will see it.
  • If leaving for an extended period, notify trusted neighbors that the house will be empty and for how long. Ask they report any suspicious activity to local police.
  • Make the home look lived in. Have a friend or neighbor pick up the mail and newspapers and put interior lights on timers.
  • Request a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Survey (CPTED) by calling Wheat Ridge Police at 303-235-2951 or 303-235-2910

For more information on crime prevention or to establish a Neighborhood Watch program, contact Wheat Ridge Police at 303-235-2910 or 303-235-2951.

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