How to make your home unattractive to thieves

SEATTLE – There’s a growing problem across our region.  Law enforcement agencies are tying the spike in property crimes to the homeless crisis and opioid epidemic.  Burglaries in Seattle went up nearly 200 cases from 2016 to 2017.

During the day and night, thieves target houses across our area.

“We couldn’t see out. And you didn’t have a clear view from the street,” said West Seattle homeowner John.

crime prevention by environmental design

John and his wife took out trees and cut back shrubs around their walkway, windows, and doors.

“It makes me feel safer knowing I can see my front door when I get out of my car,” said John.

It’s a crime prevention method through environmental design.

“Anything below two feet is great. Anything above six feet is wonderful,” said Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.

So keep greenery from blocking a clear view.

“In the case of my mom, she’s mowed everything down. She wants everyone to have a wide open view,” said John.

In some cases, fencing actually gives burglars privacy.

“Not necessarily chain-linked fencing but boards that are more spaced out or horizontal versus vertical fencing. Allowing to see in between those slats,” said Danner.

And seeing is important, so light up your home.

“Most criminals don’t want to do bad things where they can be seen or identified so I often say the more light the better,” said Danner.

Danner knows some homeowners prefer these motion-detector lights that can startle a burglar or alert everyone someone is coming.

“Just having lighting on all time is great, especially at night,” said Danner,

And if you’re a victim, report it.  Officers may be able to start emphasis patrols.

“We try to saturate an area if we see an area is heavily affected by criminal activity,” said Seattle Police Captain Pierre Davis.

You can get a free security assessment for crime prevention at your home or business.

Check out the Seattle Police Department's Home Security and Burglary Prevention page below:

Home Security and Burglary Prevention