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Ask a cop: Home alone … good or bad?

Q: I am a stay-at-home mom who is always playing outside with my 2-year-old son. Our driveway is gated, and our yard is fenced in, but our alley gets a lot of use. My question is, is my home a target for thieves because they know I am there, probably alone, or a deterrent because I am home? What are some precautions I can take?

A: Your home is probably less of a target because you are there. Most property crimes are crimes of opportunity. As an example, while doing yard work you run inside your home to answer the phone or get something to drink. You imagine you’ll only be inside for a couple of minutes. That is plenty of time for a thief to steal your lawnmower, edger, trimmer or any other item of value that was left outside.

One of the issues for our department is that of open and/or unlocked garage doors. For instance, you leave to run a short errand, and forget to secure the garage door as you leave. The thief has plenty of opportunity to steal your belongings.

We are working on a campaign with the Boy Scouts of America to help remind folks that securing the garage door is an important crime-prevention tool. I know many homes in the established neighborhoods are likely to have a detached garage or shed. Sometimes, we forget to secure those structures in the same ways we would our home.

As a parent I am sure you try to look at things the way a 2-year-old would and ask yourself: What can he get into that would be harmful? Try to look at your property the way a thief would. Where is there easy access? What items are left unsecured? Always look for ways to make it more difficult for the bad guys.

I realize the amount of attention that is devoted to a child. Please also remember to be aware of your surroundings whether at home or out and about. Your Interactive Community Police Unit (either the Northeast or North Central Substation, depending on where in our neighborhood you live) will be happy to provide specific crime prevention tips upon request. Please feel free to contact them.

Q: Why doesn’t the DPD do more to control the excessive speeding, tailgating and people driving though stop signs without stopping? All the major thoroughfares and many smaller streets of East Dallas (and Dallas as a whole) are filled with speeders and tailgaters. I never see cops doing speed patrol in East Dallas.

A: We are as frustrated by traffic violations as you are. We do try to focus on the areas with the most problems. We also have to balance traffic enforcement on major thoroughfares with putting more officers in neighborhoods to protect our citizens.

Of course, frustration over traffic issues can lead to cases of road rage, which is also a danger, so the balance we decide upon is constantly being reviewed. We have three separate Traffic Units that are assigned to different areas of town.  These units deploy both motorcycle officers and radar-equipped squad cars throughout the city based on speeding complaints and accident data.

If you have a specific location that is a problem or would like details about our traffic enforcement in East Dallas, please contact Sgt. Katani at 214-670-5816 or e-mail him at fred.katani@dpd.dallascityhall.com


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By |2011-04-12T13:29:43-05:00June 1st, 2005|All Magazine Articles, Crime Reports, True Crime|0 Comments

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