Due to the recent rash of Burglaries, Attempted Burglaries, and Suspicious Circumstances in the Town of Atherton, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to help prevent criminal activity:
1) Lock your home, including all the doors and windows. This not only applies to your main house, but also any garages, pool houses, auxiliary structures, etc.
2) Set your alarm system. Make sure your alarm system is functioning properly. If you have any concerns about its function, contact an alarm company to have it serviced.
3) Notify the Atherton Police Department when you are going away for vacation, either by telephone or Internet. We will obtain some basic information from you and drive by your house while you are gone.
4) Lock your vehicles, even if they are in your driveway or behind your gate. This includes making sure all of the windows are rolled up. The only things which should be visible inside of your vehicle are the seats and floor mats. Purses, electronics, charging cables, backpacks, toys, etc. should all be removed prior to leaving your vehicle unattended.
5) Use exterior lights at your house during hours of darkness. Burglars many times will not go where they can easily be seen. Motion lights can also be used to surprise anyone who may be walking around your property during hours of darkness.
6) If you are going away, keep some lights on inside of your home and/or use timers to turn lights on and off at certain times of the day and night.
7) Use "unfriendly" plants and shrubbery around the exterior of your home to make it more difficult for burglars to gain access to your home. A nursery can assist you in choosing "unfriendly" plants.
8) Dogs are a great way to prevent burglaries at your home. Many burglars do not want to deal with dogs, especially those which bark at the sight of an unwanted person.
9) Invest in an outdoor camera system for your home, especially one which records activity. Camera systems allow you to see who is at your home by looking at the monitor. Camera systems can also prevent burglaries, especially if the exterior cameras are visible. In addition, camera systems which record images can help the Atherton Police Department with criminal investigations.
In addition to the above, the Atherton Police Department can keep information on yourself and your residence on file in case of an emergency. Information such as gate codes, responsible parties, alarm codes, contact phone numbers and animal information can all be supplied to the Atherton Police Department for use in an emergency. The Atherton Police Department will also keep a key on file for your house in case of an emergency, or if you accidentally lock yourself out. If you have already provided your information to the Atherton Police Department, please make sure to keep it updated.
And last, become familiar with your neighbors. Exchange names, phone numbers, gate codes, etc. When you are going away, let your neighbors know. Your neighbors can be an extra set of eyes for your property while you are gone. Additionally, getting to know your neighbors will build relationships that can make everyone feel safe and secure within their neighborhoods.
As always, if you see something that does not seem right, contact the Atherton Police Department at 650-688-6500, or dial 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.