From the Desk of Towns County Sheriff Christopher M. Clinton


Property thefts are crimes that can be very personal and affect us on a human level. This is especially true when the theft comes in the form of burglary. When someone enters a person’s home and goes through their personal belongings it can cause the victim to become very insecure inside their own home.

The following are some things that you can do to help make your home safer. They are offered as ideas and not an exhaustive list. The scope of this article is too limited to attempt to be all inclusive, but these ideas, if implemented, will certainly help.

• You should always keep doors and windows closed and locked while you’re away. If you do not have one, install a deadbolt lock on all exterior doors. Deadbolt locks should have a one inch throw and a reinforced strike plate, which should be held in place with three inch screws.

• If you have a garage with an automatic garage door, the door should be locked along with any exterior door. Burglars often carry electronic garage door openers and will ride through neighborhoods pressing the button and waiting for a garage door with the same frequency to open.

• It is always a good idea when you are away to create the illusion that someone is home. You can buy timers at most hardware stores that will turn on lights, radios, and televisions at preset times. This will make your home appear to be occupied. These timers are typically cheap to buy and can help ward off potential thieves.

• It is always a good idea to keep the area around your home well lighted. The last thing a burglar wants is to be seen committing the crime.

• If you are going to be away for several days it is always a good idea to have a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor to collect your mail for you while you are gone. Nothing says you are away to a burglar like a stuffed mail box and several days of uncollected newspapers. Also, consider taking advantage of the extra patrol service at your sheriff’s office. Just contact us and let us know when you plan to be out of town and we will place your home or business on our extra patrol list until you return.

• Sometimes people leave messages on their phone that they are away on a trip. You should never do this. It is like placing and advertisement to a thief that your home is available for a burglary.

• Always keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances or walkways. Large hedges may be appealing to look at. Burglars find them very attractive as well because they provide them a safe passage to your doors and windows.

• Probably one of the best ways to protect your home is to be a part of a Neighborhood Watch. Burglars know that alert neighborhoods are dangerous places to commit a crime. They would much rather go to another area where they are less likely to be caught.

The Sheriff’s Office in Towns County offers free advice and training to help individuals and neighborhoods protect themselves from crime. If you would like more information please contact us at 706-896-4444.

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