By Senior Officer Larry Jacobs

Burglaries are a problem in all of metro Atlanta. Residential burglaries are more frequent during the day, when folks are working. Business burglaries tend to occur during the evening hours when businesses are closed. No residence or business is 100 percent safe from a burglary, but there are some tips I can provide you that can help to deter this crime.

These are what I have found to be some of the most important ones: Lock your doors and windows, which seems very basic, but is usually the first thing a burglar checks. Outdoor lighting, motion or dusk-to-dawn, is a great deterrent. Alarms, or at least alarm signs, are another layer of protection, as well a dog or a dog-warning sign. Trim bushes and trees, so not only you will be able to see out, but the burglar (or worse criminal) has less places to hide around your residence or business.

I found this excerpt from a Readers Digest article to be a very effective reminder on how a burglar thinks and works. Read over them now and then to remind yourself that you always need to be aware of your surroundings and who you should trust. I am available to conduct a free security evaluation of your residence or business. Please e-mail me so we can set up an appointment.

Here are 13 things a burglar won’t tell you.

  1. “Of course, I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters or delivering your new refrigerator.”
  2. “Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.”
  3. “Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … and taste means there are nice things inside.”
  4. “Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway.”
  5. “If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.”
  6. “If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set.”
  7. “A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom — and your jewelry.”
  8. “It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door —understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.”
  9. “I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters.”
  10. “Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer?”
  11. “Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.”
  12. “You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.”
  13. “A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.”

Senior Officer Larry Jacobs works in the crime prevention division of the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached at