Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News
Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 | 1:23 p.m.
After a spike in home burglaries in the Silverado area, Las Vegas Metro police officers recently took time to help teach residents how to safeguard their homes.
A number of Community Oriented Policing officers and volunteers, along with the area's crime prevention specialist, spent Thursday afternoon passing out a packet of home security information to residents coming and going from the Smith's and Albertsons grocery stores on the opposite corners of Silverado Ranch Boulevard and Maryland Parkway.
Metro's South Central Area Command Crime Prevention Specialist Pamela Terry said the burglary spike was seen two weeks ago.
Terry explained that any number significantly higher than what is usually reported is considered a spike.
"We might go along and have one or two, then one week, we'll have six," she said. "The numbers are usually very low out here. If we see four or five, it's like 'Whoa.'"
According to Metro's Crime View Community Web site, in which crimes are broken down by type and location, there were 32 burglaries in the 89123 zip code between Jan. 18 and Feb. 5.
Terry said the spike could not be considered a trend because the following week, zero burglaries were reported.
"My thing is, I want people to be thinking security all the time ... not just because there have been a lot of burglaries," she said.
Community Oriented Policing Officer Paul Page was among the group of people passing out the literature.
"If we can protect one person from becoming a victim, it's worthwhile," he said.
Metro volunteer Linda Ulrich said one of the great pieces of home security advice she's been given is to use her car alarm to ward off potential burglars.
Keep the clicker for a vehicle with an alarm on a night stand and if threatened, hit the button to make some noise and try to ward off a potential intruder, she said.
Among the other advice listed in the packet was to make sure doors and windows are locked, secure sliding glass doors with a broomstick or wooden dowel, and don't hide keys outside a home.
Additionally residents can prune back shrubbery that hides doors or windows, put lights and radios on timers to create the illusion someone is home and make sure doors fit tightly in their frames.
Silverado resident Cathy Robson said she appreciated Metro's efforts.
"It's kind of nice, especially nowadays," she said. "This could be useful."
For additional crime prevention tips visit the National Crime Prevention Council's Web site at www.ncpc.org.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.