How to Protect Yourself From a Thief

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A skilled thief can clean you out in a matter of minutes.

No one enjoys being the victim of a crime, and nobody likes having their money or possessions stolen. Not only are you deprived of items you worked hard to obtain due to the criminal behavior of another, you're also likely to experience feelings of anger, violation, helplessness and fear. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself, your money and your belongings from a thief.

Things You'll Need

  • Home alarm system
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Safe
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Instructions

    • 1

      Form or join a local Neighborhood Watch program. Through membership in this type of organization, you can take special steps to observe unusual or suspicious activity in your immediate area and report it to the police when appropriate. You'll also receive the same consideration from other members.

    • 2

      Avoid placing boxes from new purchases at the curb. When you do this, you alert passers-by that you have a new, and possibly expensive, item in your home. That can be all the incentive a thief needs to gain entry to your home and help himself. Cut all boxes up with a box cutter and place them in trash bags in your garbage can.

    • 3

      Monitor the company you and your family members keep. Don't invite questionable people or strangers into your home. Don't allow your children to have friends over without adult supervision.

    • 4

      Invest in a home alarm system. Choose one that sends a notification via email or text message in the event your alarm is triggered. Look for options that connect directly to a call center that notifies the police in the event of an activated alarm.

    • 5

      Practice common sense security measures at home. Install adequate lighting outside your home and around your property. Trim bushes and shrubs to reduce opportunities for thieves to hide. Never hide a key outside your home -- to do so is to invite a burglar inside. Keep your garage door closed unless you are entering or leaving through it.

    • 6

      Keep your doors locked at all times. Locking them while you're in the house may seem unnecessary, but more than one person has been surprised by a burglar who has let herself in while the owner was at home.

    • 7

      Invest in a safe for your home and use it. Place important papers, jewelry, guns and other valuable in it and lock it. Memorize the combination and change it periodically. If you must write it down, store it in an out-of-the-way place far from the safe.

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References

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