Theft Prevention and Safety Tips
- Never leave personal belongings unattended: unguarded articles invite the thief. This includes articles left in automobiles, whether the car is locked or not. Always remove articles from view- the trunk is the best place to leave them if they must stay in the car.
- Wallets, pocketbooks, etc., are prime targets for the “hit and run” thief; they should stay with you all the time. Often people leave such items unguarded while leaving their rooms and offices for a moment or two (to visit a friend, go to a washroom, answer a phone, etc.), and upon their return find their valuables missing.
- Lock your doors when you are leaving your room, office, or lab. Most of the thefts from such areas occur when the areas are unlocked. Doors and windows have locks, use them. If they are not in proper working order, report it without delay.
- Take advantage of “Operation Identification”, an effort on the part of many police agencies to convince people to mark their valuables in some distinctive, obvious fashion. To this end we have available at our headquarters electric graving tools, which are easy to use, and with which one can mark metal, plastic, glass, and wooden objects with initials, designs, or numbers (such as your driver’s license number). After marking your valuables, make a list of what was marked and record the initials, numbers, etc., used for this marking. Criminals do not like their chance of being detected, and makes “fencing” such items considerably more difficult.
- The theft of automobiles is a major problem throughout the nation. You can take some simple steps to protect yourself from auto thieves:
- Always lock your car when parked.
- Install and use a hidden electrical switch, which cuts off your electrical circuitry, making it impossible to start the engine.
- Remove the coil wire and store it in a safe place when parking your car for an extended period of time. This has the same effect as the hidden switch, and adds an extra layer of protection. The engine cannot be started until the coil wire is replaced.
- Always park in well lighted areas.
- Consider installation of an automatic alarm system. There are many varieties of anti-theft devices available on the market today. While many seem to set themselves up as the ultimate in security, you should bear in mind that no system is “fool proof”. If you are in doubt, feel free to call the University police during the normal business hours or simply stop by. We’ll be glad to discuss with you the pro’s and con’s of any system, device, or method of making your automobile more secure.
- Bicycle theft has become a booming business for thieves, especially since the advent of the 10-speed models. Bicycles can be easily marked with Operation Identification engraving tools. After you’ve engraved your bike, make a record of the design or number you used, and keep this record, bill of sale, and a complete written description of the bike (including the manufacturer’s serial number) in a safe place. Beyond this, we urge you to safeguard your bicycle by using one of several heavy duty locking mechanisms that are currently on the market.
- At times people return to their rooms, offices, etc., and find some stranger inside. The stranger usually has a “cover” story, such as: looking for employment, or trying to find some person. Regardless of the story provided, take close notice of the intruder’s appearance, age, height, weight, and clothing, and notify the university police as soon as safety allows. Do not forcefully confront intruders or pursue them when they flee. Such action involves a high degree of risk, and has in the past resulted in assaults upon members of the community. It is far more advisable to be able to provide a good description of an intruder and the direction of flight- then notify the university police who will respond immediately.
One method that has proven quite successful in the past is to simply say to a person whom you suspect as being an intruder, “May I help you?” If the person is an intruder, the chances are quite high that a “cover” story will be told, after which the person will leave the area.
While you’re listening to the story, you can get a good look at the person and be able to provide an accurate description for the university police. Help protect yourself and your classmates an d report all suspicious activity to the university police. You might make the difference as to whether or not a fellow resident or classmate is robbed or assaulted.
- Along the same lines, whenever you notice juveniles or other strangers wandering about, or entering residence halls, offices, labs, etc., notify the university police immediately. Officers will quickly respond. Remember that if you live in a residence hall, it serves as your home while you’re here. No one can keep it secure better that you.
- The rate of reported assaults in the Danbury area climbs steadily. In order to reduce the risk of victimization, follow these simple rules:
- Try to avoid carrying large sums of cash on your person. Checking accounts, credit cards and traveler’s checks are much safer when you must deal in large sums. Obviously everyone carries some cash; but anticipate what you’ll need, and refrain from carrying more. Also, refrain from keeping large amounts of cash in your room. On the occasions when this may happen, keep this confidential. Flashing your cash invites theft. For the protection of the community, door-to-door soliciting is prohibited. All too often in the past soliciting has led directly to vandalism, larceny, and other similar problems. When you become aware of such activity, please report it immediately to the police department.
- Book theft is a serious problem. Protect your books by marking all books with your name and social security number in a specific place. Keep books with you; do not leave them in public places, on coat racks, or lockers. Report books thefts immediately. Often, recovery may be made at the resale counter.