Representatives from the South Brunswick Police Department met with residents Monday at the Princeton Walk Recreation Village to discuss ways they can protect themselves from burglars, scams, and other dangers.
Residents were able to ask questions and voice their concerns on a variety of topics at the forum. Earlier in the month, a home was burglarized in the development.
Princeton Walk Board Member Kevin Corcoran had the idea for the event. He felt it was important for residents to be able to protect themselves and their neighbors, so he reached out to the police department for help.
Chief Raymond Hayducka said the department is happy to hold such forums, and said the key to long term success in addressing quality of life and crime issues is community partnerships.
The forum was led by Captain James Ryan and Sergeant Gene Rickle, who both provided attendees with tips on how they can protect their families and their property. The officers emphasized the importance of residents reporting suspicious individuals and vehicles, and said residents should never feel as if they’re “burdening” the police department by calling.
Rickle reiterated the importance of making a home appear occupied to deter potential burglars, who usually strike during the daytime while homeowners are often at work.
Other tips Rickle offered to prevent burglaries:
– Secure all doors.
– Invest in a sturdy padlock and put a broom handle in your rear sliding door.
– Put a light or radio on to give the appearance that someone is home.
– Store valuables in difficult-to-find places where burglars won’t look.
– If you have an alarm system, use it.
– If you’re away on vacation, take precautions to ensure your home doesn’t appear empty (no newspapers or mail accumulating, overgrown shrubbery, etc.)
Gene Eagle, a Princeton Walk resident for the last 15 years, agreed that residents are often the first line of defense in reporting suspicious activity.
“I always look out for my neighbors, and I kind of pride myself on knowing what’s going on around me,” Eagle said. “But these tips go a long way toward knowing what to look for even more.”
Residents were also warned about scammers who try to solicit by going door-to-door.
Rickle offered several tips to prevent becoming the victim of a scam:
– Like the advice given to children, be wary of strangers.
– Don’t let strangers in the house, even if they’re adamant about needing to come in.
– Speak to strangers through a closed front door.
– If you feel alarmed, do not hesitate to call the police.
For more information, visit the South Brunswick Police Department website.