Source: Sherman Publications

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Protect yourself from robberies

by Lance Farrell

October 03, 2012

Oakland County Sheriff's Department Lt. Dan Toth wants to make your home and business difficult targets for would-be bad guys.

A recent spate of Orion Twp. home invasions, has led him to share some tips for making your home less inviting to intruders.

Most property crimes such as home invasion and larcenies are "crimes of opportunity," Toth said, where the perpetrator will, like a wolf stalking a herd, seek a target with the least amount of resistance.

While there has been no "increase in (overall numbers of) commercial breaking and enterings over the last year, residential home invasions have been up substantially" Toth said.

There have also been three recent arrests that Lt. Toth said have aided police efforts.

"We have made three very successful arrests for home invasion, and with these three arrests alone, we've been able clear up or connect the arrest to about 20 different home invasions," said Toth.

He's pleased to get the arrests, but asks citizens to continue to help out when they can.

"We're always urging our citizens to call in any suspicious activities that they may see. If you see possible criminal activity to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the Sherriff's department main dispatch number at (248) 858-4950. Callers will remain anonymous.

According to Toth, one phone call from a resident led to the arrest of four individuals connected to a rash of Orion Twp. auto larcenies. It is clear that enlisting citizens as "eyes and ears has a huge impact on what's going on out there," he said.

So even if you think your tip might lead to nothing, "let the officers decide. If it's suspicious to a resident, it's probably suspicious to the officers too. Let the officers get to the scene and evaluate what is actually going on."

Toth also had some security tips for commercial businesses.

The best insurance against break-ins is to prepare in advance by purchasing elements like good lighting, sturdy doors, good locks and deadbolts, video cameras and alarms.

"We have made a lot of really good cases with video systems," Toth said. "Individuals will just not go after these commercial businesses that have video cameras. They will target easy targets."

This is good advice for all citizens who wish to avoid becoming a crime statistic.

Take precautions, prepare for the worst eventuality, and make yourself a "hard target."