When it comes to protecting your home and your family, don’t make it easy on a thief. If someone is going to rob you, make him or her work for it.  Although nothing is fail safe, there are some measures that you and your family can take to make a thief less likely to pick your house to rob when they are scoping out a neighborhood.

Your Home

  • Lock your doors and windows. And don’t forget about the garage and tool shed if you have one. Who says thieves don’t steal lawn mowers and leaf blowers? Front doors not being locked and garage doors being left open are the two biggest reasons people get .
  • Trim bushes around windows. If a thief enters through a window, this looks more conspicuous. Overgrown trees and shrubs give them a place to conceal themselves.
  • Don’t announce you are leaving for vacation via social media. If you do, you are sending out an open invitation that says, “Hey, nobody is home and won’t be for a while, so come in and make yourself at home. By the way, take some valuables as a parting gift!”
  • Have your neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper. Nothing says nobody is home better than a week’s worth of newspapers strewn all over the steps. Again, this isn’t that mind-boggling information. Just be sure to ask the neighbor who isn’t known for being the forgetful one on the cul-de-sac.

You can go one step further and have your mail stopped and newspaper stopped while you are on vacation.

  • Maintain your landscaping. You might have a certain way of keeping your lawn perfectly manicured, and no one does as good of a job at it but you. However, it wouldn’t hurt to ask a trusted teenage kid down the street to give it a mow during the week or two that you are gone. How much damage could he or she do, right?
  • Make sure porches — front and back — are well lit. A dimly lit entrance, or no light at all, is asking for trouble. We are all guilty of putting off changing the light bulb until guests come to visit, and we flip the light switch on and off acting like it just burned out. It might be a pain in the butt, but how hard is it to change a light bulb, really?

Thieves are opportunists. If they are driving through a neighborhood, they are going to stay away from those homes that are well lit and/or have a security sign in the yard.

  • Get a security system. Even if you do all of the above, there’s no guarantee that a thief won’t break into your house. But having a security system installed by a professional can alert you to someone snooping around, whether you are home or away.

Having a security system installed and monitored by a professional company is just one step in your line of defense against being robbed.

  • Protect your car. Much of the same common-sense tactics that you employ for your home translate to your car, whether it’s parked in your garage, driveway or anywhere around town.
  • Lock your doors, and roll up your windows
  • Don’t leave items of value sitting on the front seat, put them in the trunk or stash them out of sight in a storage compartment
  • Don’t leave your keys in the car
  • Don’t leave your car running even if you are just running into the store for a