“Close your garage door, lock up your house, don’t leave you computer in the car overnight,” said Brentwood Police Lt. Tom Hansen. “Sometimes (thieves) walk down the street at night with a flashlight, looking into cars. If there isn’t something easy to grab, they’ll move on to the next car.”
In addition to protecting property better, one of the most important ways residents can fight crime is to stay vigilant and report to the police anything unusual or suspicious.
“Most of all, we need the community to be aware that they aren’t bothering us when they call,” Hansen said. “We want people to call. We might get lucky once in a while and spot someone suspicious coming out of a backyard, but a lot of times it’s tips from neighbors. We need those 53,000 sets of (residents’) eyeballs to help us.”
Hansen said to be wary of people posing as solicitors – potential thieves who knock on your door simply to see if you’re home. Legitimate businesses must have a City of Brentwood business license, Hanson said, and police can issue citations to violators – as well as record identities that could be useful investigating a crime that’s discovered later.
After a drop in property crime in 2009, the number in 2010 returned to the five-year historical average of about 1,150, or 2.2 crimes per 1,000 population. The 2012 Police Benchmarks Report, which tracks the performance of the department in key categories, will be delivered to the City Council in the next few weeks.
“Our goal is to make it so Brentwood is not a target for criminals,” Hansen said. “If the community works together, they can help make the numbers go down.”