Top mistakes that could turn your home into a target for thieves

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While the number of burglaries reported to Columbus police have declined since 2008, authorities are urging caution to homeowners who may be at risk without even knowing it.

Amruta of New Albany is a mother of two. She said her home felt safe until it underwent an audit.

“I was really unaware of all these things, and for me, when I say it’s my children, my family… safety comes first," she said.

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Detective Carl Covey, who has worked burglary investigations for the Columbus Division of Police for the past 24 years, mentioned several factors that can make a home a target:

  • Open blinds or curtains in windows can give burglars a clear view of what valuables your home has. Covey recommends keeping them closed and even inserting dowel rods into window tracks to keep them from getting forced open.
  • Doors in garages leading to the exterior of the home can be a weak spot that many homeowners miss.
  • An announcement of a vacation or trip on social media. Covey says that information saying you won't be home could be seen by anyone.


Create a home inventory list

In the event your home still becomes a target, Covey said creating and keeping a home inventory list can help when it comes to insurance claims or recovering pawned items.

“There are serial numbers on laptops, cell phones, TV’s. When you get one, write it down on paper somewhere, not on your laptop, but where you can (find) it in the cloud. If it gets pawned or recovered, we can recover it for you. Without it, it’s too hard to get it back to you," Covey said.

By law, pawn shops are required to enter specific model and serial numbers of items into a nationwide computer database before they're accepted, Covey said. This measure is meant to ensure stolen property is not being received and resold.

To learn more about creating a home inventory checklist, click here. To download an app version, click here.