Neighborhood Safety Tips

Call 911 for crimes in progress.
Call (619) 531-2000 for non-emergency crimes or suspicious activities.

  • 1 Lock all side gates
  • 2 Install LED lights around the house, either from dusk to dawn, or motion detectors
  • 3 Post a “Beware of Dog” sign on the side gate (even if you don’t have a dog)
  • 4 Post a “No Solicitors” sign near the front doorbell
  • 5 Install a burglar alarm
  • 6 Install cameras
  • 7 Set lights on timers for inside your home
  • 8 Do not leave any valuables visible in your car, including electronic cords
A group of people standing in front of each other.

Do You Think There Was A Break In?

  • Call 911 if you are at home and think someone might be breaking in.
  • Do not go in or call out if you return home and suspect someone has broken into your home or a strange vehicle is parked in the driveway. Go to a neighbor’s home and call the police.
  • Keep valuable papers, stocks, bonds, expensive jewelry, coin collections, etc., in a bank, a safe deposit box, or a safe at home that is hidden and bolted to the floor.
A group of people standing around each other.

Daily Procedures

  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are just leaving for a few minutes. Use pins or dowels in window and patio door tracks.
  • Lock gates and make sure the garage door is closed.
  • Don’t leave notes on your door when you are away from home.
  • Leave a spare key with a neighbor, not under a mat, plant, or rock.


  • Do not open the door to people you don’t know. Talk through the door and let them know you are not interested; if you didn’t invite them, they are solicitors. Legitimate people will have a card from the SDPD and display it on the front of their clothing. They are allowed to solicit between 9:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M.
  • Post a “No Soliciting” sign to prevent them from bothering you in any way.
  • Never let a stranger enter your home to use the telephone. Offer to make the call yourself in an emergency.
A group of people standing on top of a hill.

Protect Your Home While Away

  • Don’t give your name, phone number, or whereabouts on your answering machine message. Never say you aren’t home. Just ask the caller to leave a message.
  • Don’t leave your garage door opener where it is easily accessible; take it in the house with you with your keys. Keep your vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and any other papers with your home address on them where a criminal won’t find them.
  • Don’t give maids, babysitters, or others working in your home access to your home keys or alarm codes.
  • Have a neighbor pick up papers or flyers or deliveries quickly.
  • Set up an appointment with RSVP to check on your home while away.
  • Be sure a neighbor knows how to turn off your main water and gas valves.
A group of people sitting in the grass.

Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You

  • I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
  • If the glass is part of your front entrance, install the alarm control panel where it can’t be seen.
  • Don’t forget to lock your doors and turn on your alarm when you go out.
  • Be aware of contractors or service people working nearby; they could be checking out your home also.
  • Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer, beside the table, medicine cabinet?
  • A loud TV or radio can be an excellent deterrent; put it on a timer.
  • Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes I dress like a lawn guy. I try not to look like a burglar.
  • The three things I hate the most are lights, loud dogs, and nosy neighbors.
  • I love looking in your windows for signs that you’re not home and seeing what kind of TV or gaming system you might have. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night before you close the blinds just to pick my targets.

Crimes of Opportunity- A Reminder

According to Wikipedia, "a crime of opportunity" is a crime committed without planning when the perpetrator sees that he/she has the chance to commit the act at that moment and seizes it. In other words, given the opportunity, a crime can be committed with little or no premeditation.
The following is a partial list of crimes and how to prevent them.

Auto break-in/thefts

  • 1 Lock the car in the driveway or street if not in a garage.
  • 2 Leave nothing of value visible in the car, including backpacks, hanging wires, laptop cases, gym bags, clothes, packages, or mail with personal information.
  • 3 Lock the car even if leaving the area for a short time.
  • 4 Be observant when placing items such as valuables in your trunk; it's best to go home and unload them instead of driving around with them.

Home break-ins

  • 1 Keep all doors and windows locked; if you have an alarm system, use it.
  • 2 Lock all side gates. Consider posting a "Beware of Dog" sign even if you don't have one.
  • 3 Keep spare keys out of reach of doors and windows.
  • 4 Install dusk to dawn or motion detector outside lighting and timers inside.
  • 5 Do not open doors to strangers; talk through the door, and install a peephole if necessary. Add deadbolt locks to doors.
  • 6 Lock the doors from the house to the garage.
  • 7 Remove the garage door opener from the car to prevent possible entry into the house.
  • 8 Change the home address in GPS to a commercial location close to home. In case the car is stolen, they won't know where you live.
  • 9 Never leave bikes, strollers, lawnmowers, tools, and sporting equipment unattended around your home.
  • 10 Keep the garage door closed unless working in or around the area.
  • 11 Ask the neighbor to take in flyers/papers/packages if you’re not going to be home.
  • 12 Don't post "back at 2:00" on the front door
  • 13 Avoid personal information on internet sites, including Facebook. Don't post when you will be on vacation.


  • 1 Never give your Social Security number, Medicare number, birth date, bank account number, or pin number to anyone who asks for it online or on the phone.
  • 2 Never send money to someone you don't know who claims to be traveling without money.
  • 3 Use caller ID; pick up only if you know who it is. Listen to the message if left.
  • 4 If someone calls and says they are from Social Security, it's a scam. They don't call to contact; they write. Report to the officer of the Inspector General at (800) 269-0271 (S.S. fraud line)

How scammers get your information:

  1. Frequently enter contests
  2. Mail-in warranty cards
  3. Filling out surveys
  4. Personal updates on Facebook
  5. Obituaries
  6. Clipping mail to outside mailbox
  7. Public records


Never leave your purse in the shopping cart or hanging on the chair or on an unattended desk at work.
Use an ATM inside. Block screen when putting in a pin number.
Don't count money in public.
Meet your neighbors, so you know who a stranger is.
If you witness a crime in progress, such as a burglary, call 911 and report it. Non-emergencies call (619) 531-2000, push the *star key to bypass the phone tree and connect with a dispatcher, be sure to ask for a "case number".
Participate in Neighborhood Watch; be part of the solution. Contact me at [email protected] to find out if you have a street captain and become part of the crime prevention team in partnership with our police. Help protect your family, property, and neighborhood.