Homeowners urged to use environmental tools to keep burglars away

INDIANAPOLIS - The Marion County Prosecutor's Office is arming homeowners with a few simple tools to keep would-be burglars at bay.

Kelly Griese is a new homeowner and said she came home Monday to something unimaginable.

"I saw part of the door frame lying on the kitchen floor," she said.

Sometime between noon and 3 p.m., burglars broke into her Indianapolis home. Despite setting off the alarm, the burglars got away with electronics. A glitch between the alarm system and the company that monitors her home resulted in police never being notified.

Griese said the burglars broke a section of her fence and kicked open a rear door. They even parked in a neighbor's driveway.

Police said that hiding places like shrubs and bushes around a home can be attractive to intruders.

Prosecutors said homeowners can prevent take action with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Daphne Whitmire is a certified practitioner of CPTED and said there are simple changes homeowners can make to be safer.

"We think about lighting, landscaping, maintenance, management and viewing what's on your property," Whitmire said.

For example, overgrown bushes could provide cover for a burglar as opposed to low-cut bushes that can't.  It's also important to have alarm systems linked to motion detectors, good locks and solid doors.

"You can take those additional steps and layer your home with those techniques so that it's more difficult for them to get into your home," Whitmire said.

The average burglary is carried out in four to 7 minutes, but the financial and emotional damage can last a lot longer.
 

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