Preventing Residential Burglaries

Finding a Target
Every week residential burglaries occur in Fountain Valley. Although we occasionally obtain some “street intelligence” about why a particular neighborhood or specific house was burglarized, and we study these crimes constantly, the fact is that we simply are not sure how or why most burglars target their victims.

Some burglars probably drive through our neighborhoods looking for easy targets, while others may have acquaintances that currently or previously lived in Fountain Valley and are therefore familiar with the neighborhood or the residence.

Residential burglars typically drive around our city during the daytime when most people are at work, looking for nice homes in a quiet area.

A common method of reconnaissance, or “casing,” used by suspects in residential burglaries is lengthy door knocking and doorbell ringing in an attempt to determine if anyone is home. This method has been used on several occasions in many jurisdictions and is known to precede a burglary. When the door is answered by a resident, the suspect will claim to be lost, solicit some type of service or product, or ask for someone that does not live there. If this happens to you, call the Fountain Valley Police Department immediately at 714-593-4483 to report a suspicious person.

If you do not want to answer the door, you can always tell the person from behind the closed door that you cannot open it right now, or make a sufficient amount of noise inside to alert the person to your presence.

Calling for Help
Should someone attempt to break into your home, call 911 immediately and flee the residence via an exit that is the farthest away from where the suspect is breaking in. Cell phones can be carried with you as you leave. Remember to program your cell phones with the Fountain Valley Police Department phone number 714-593-4483. Calling 911 from your cell phone will go directly to our Dispatch Center; however, you will need to give the dispatcher your address. If you are unable to speak, the dispatcher will be able to triangulate your location through GPS mapping software. Keep in mind this will cause a delay in response.

Point of Entry
We do know that many residential burglaries occur in open garages where people are home but are either in the house or in the backyard. It is not uncommon for the homeowner to be working in the home or backyard and thieves go through the garage or an unlocked front door to steal valuables. Residents should lock their front doors, even when they are home, and close their garage doors when not present in their front yard.

Finally, we know that in most residential burglaries, the point of entry is the side or rear of the residence, out of sight of any passers-by. Often, a burglar breaks in at a rear sliding glass door, kitchen or bedroom window. Many times these portals are left unlocked. Where the windows are locked, many burglars carry tools and will pry open sliding windows or even large sliding doors. The only way to stop these determined burglars is to use some type of pin locking device that prevents the burglar from removing the sliding door or window from its track.

Where Burglars Go
Once inside, almost all burglars go straight to the master bedroom or other areas where residents will likely store jewelry or cash. If there is no alarm system, burglars will feel they have plenty of time; and the rest of the house will be ransacked. Few televisions or DVD players are taken, but after jewelry and cash, laptops, cameras, cell phones, and credit cards are a common loss.

We strongly recommend that residents find hiding places for any type of valuable keepsakes that cannot be replaced, such as wedding rings or other family heirlooms. You may want to keep such items at the bank in a safety deposit box. Laundry rooms, bookcases, attics, refrigerators/freezers and even garages can be used to make it more difficult to find your priceless valuables.

Suspicious Activity
If something appears suspicious, immediately contact the Fountain Valley Police Department at 714-593-4483, or dial 911 to report a crime in progress.