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Always use caution when answering the door to strangers.
While we do not recommend answering the door to someone you do not know, it is equally important to alert the would-be burglar to the presence of someone in the home. We have had several incidents where residents have ignored knocks at the door, only to come face to face with a burglar that has entered their residence. In each of those cases, the resident heard a knock, but did not answer the door, only to be confronted by a stranger, either in their home, or attempting to gain entry.
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The Tustin Police Department is warning residents about a trend involving residential burglaries, and steps that residents can take to protect themselves.
While television and movies portray most residential burglaries as taking place at night, surprisingly, the majority take place during the day and on weekdays, when many residents are away from their homes and at work. Thieves often target residential neighborhoods where they believe no one is home.
One common method for the commission of these crimes is what has been coined the “knock-knock bandit." This sort of burglar will actually approach the residence, knocking on the front door to determine if anyone is home. If someone answers the door, they may say they are looking for someone who does not actually live at the residence, or try to convince the resident they are selling a product. If there is no answer, the burglar often walks to the rear yard and makes entry through a side door or window.
There are a number of things you can do that will alert someone to your presence, without subjecting yourself to risk, including:
These are just a few ideas that you can use to send a message to would-be burglars that the home is occupied. Even a small dog can be a deterrent to a criminal.
You may also call the Tustin Police Department at 714-573-3225 to report door-to-door solicitors that cannot show proof of a Tustin City Business License.
Get to know your neighbors and look out for each other. With our busy schedules, this is often easier said than done; however, make time to get to know each other. Learn the types of cars your neighbors drive and recognize vehicles or persons that seem out of place in your neighborhood.
Consider joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood. If you would like to schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting in your area, or would like additional information please contact the: