Blockwatch Beat: Winter weather tips

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A change of weather means a change of the type of criminal activity that we experience. Gone is the stolen lawnmower, replaced by the stolen snow blower. To keep yourself and your property safe during the cold months, the Blockwatch Beat has some great tips.

1. The most important thing to remember is that criminals do not stop being criminals just because it is cold outside. You may not want to be out, but the criminals are still “patrolling” for a likely opportunity. We have had many crimes committed on some of the coldest nights of the year.

2. Do not start your car and leave it to warm up! Cars are stolen throughout the winter season due to this practice.

3. Remember to continue to take items from your car and put them inside and to lock your car.

4. Keep your home locked at all times.

5. A simple courtesy is to keep your walks shoveled and de-iced, especially the steps of your home. Your mailman has to walk that everyday and it is a kindness to keep it cleared for him/her. If you cannot get out to do it, call your blockwatch captain or coordinator for help. One of the wonderful benefits of a blockwatch is the neighborhood family it creates. We are here to help you!

6. I am sure that many of you heard about the terrible crime in Marysville where the thieves entered a home through the garage and perpetrated a horrible crime upon the residents. Please keep your garage doors shut and always check when you are leaving! An extra 60 seconds can save you from being a victim of a crime.

7. Most of the crime committed here is a type of crime that can be referred to as “a crime of opportunity.” This means that the thieves aren’t usually planning something, they just “patrol” the area, looking for the opportunity. Call 645-4545 when you see someone suspicious. Don’t let yourself be a victim!

8. It is getting dark early so make sure that your area is secure when you come home. Don’t get out of your car until you scan the street. Make sure that your entrances to your home are well-lit, either by leaving on a porch light or having a motion detecting light installed. Be aware of your surroundings as you enter your home and immediately turn around and lock the door when the last person is in the house.

9. With Christmas coming up, please make sure that presents cannot be seen from the street! When you drop items off at recycling or put them out for the trash, take off address labels. Break down boxes and turn them inside out so that the criminals looking through the trash aren’t given a free ride as to what you received for Christmas.

10. Please remember that with the early darkness, if you leave your drapes open during the day and come home to them open, every light you turn on puts you on display outside. Anyone passing by can see what your possessions are and what you are doing. Thieves are doing their version of “Christmas shopping” now from stealing lawn ornaments to stealing your gifts.

11. With that in mind, this is the most important tip of all. Please reach out to others during this season. So many folks don’t have enough food, let alone a gift for their children. The gift of your time is just as important as the gift of your money. There are many ways to reach out, from working at a local soup kitchen to taking a name off of a giving tree at your church. You may not feel wealthy, but wealth is relative. A home with food in the cupboards and clean clothes is wealthy to many. Please share your bounty with others. If you don’t know where to reach out call Lisa Grazier for more information. We have a wonderful, caring community and when good people act on that, others will be blessed. Thank you!

Lisa Grazier is the coordinator of the Camp Chase Blockwatch.

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