By Michael Romain
December 1, 2018
The Maywood Police Department recently announced the establishment of a citizen’s property inventory.
The system allows residents to “take inventory of their valuables (i.e., snow blowers, lawnmowers, electronics, jewelry, etc.), photograph them and have this record maintained at the police department,” according to a statement released Nov. 30.
Residents can register their valuables at no cost through the Leads Online website (reportit.leadsonline.com).
During a regular meeting on Nov. 24, Maywood Police Officers Lizet Ochoa and Christopher Mullaney — members of the department’s Burglary Prevention Unit — explained that the new system makes it easier for police to track stolen items.
The database, the officers explained, allows the police to narrow down the time the item was stolen and where the burglar intends to resell it—whether at a pawn shop or on Facebook.
“If someone wants to pawn or resell the item, law enforcement can get the number and track who is selling it and where,” said Mullaney.
Ochoa said that once residents have registered their valuables in the online inventory, they’ll be able to process a report if any of those items are stolen.
“In the case that [residents] are a victim of a burglary, the Maywood Police Department would have a complete inventory of the items taken, serial number and photographs which would assist in the recovery of the property and the apprehension of the criminals,” according to the department’s statement.
Ochoa said that officers will assist elderly, disabled and other residents who may need help registering their valuables into the system or who may not have access to a computer and/or the internet.
Mullaney and Ochoa also presented some tips on how residents can avoid getting burglarized. They said that 65 percent of burglaries are residential and 62 percent of those happen between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to national statistics. Statistics for Maywood, Mullaney added, aligns with the national data.
Homes without security systems, he said, are three to four times more likely to get burglarized.
Among tips for preventing burglary:
Get secondary blocking devices for windows and doors, which make it more difficult for burglars to gain entry.
Get motion sensors/lights for your home, garage and/or alleyways.
Get timed lights for inside and outside of the home. Timed lighting gives the impression that someone is home during early evening hours.
Get an alarm system. Many are inexpensive and wireless. Alarm systems may possibly decrease the amount you pay for homeowners and renters insurance.
Get a security door bar (charley bar) at a local hardware store. They range between $15 and $35.
Make sure that you have metal door frames and secure sliding doors and windows with blocking devices.
Make sure you have a safe lockbox for valuables like jewelry and cash.
Always ask to see credentials for ID before allowing entry to your home.
Close curtains/blinds to avoid visual of your house layout.
Change access codes periodically and replace worn out keypad entry devices.
Secure ladders, tools and other outside objects in the garage or shed.
Do not store spare keys under a rock, mat, etc.; instead, leave them with a trusted family member, friend or neighbor.
Make sure your home address is visible for first responders.
If on vacation:
Inform a trusted neighbor.
Leave a car parked in the driveway in front of your house.
Get timed lighting to make your home appear occupied.
Arrange for mail pickup, snow removal or lawn care service.
Advise police of your vacation timeframe.
Be a good neighbor:
If you know they’re away from home, keep an eye out.
If you see something or someone alarming, do NOT hesitate to call police.