Fact Sheet: Preventing Crime in Your Home

Older adults in their homes are less likely to be victimized by crimes of violence than they are to be defrauded over the telephone or at the door. Older people have been found to be more susceptible to crimes that can devastate them economically--fraud, medical quackery, and con games, as well as commercial fraud by telemarketers. The following are some simple steps you can take to prevent being defrauded and to make your home more secure.

Theft and Fraud

A thief doesn't have to break into your home to take your money. They can do it if you welcome them either at the door or over the telephone. Take precautions:

At the Door

On the Phone

You lock doors and windows against burglars, so why allow any potential thief into your home via the telephone?

Home Security

Always keep doors and windows locked when at home or away. Make sure that locks, windows, and doors are strong and cannot easily be broken. The best locks are double cylinder deadbolt or securely mounted deadbolts with a one-inch throw or rimlocks. Spring locks or any type with a button are easy for a burglar to force.



Exterior Safety

Home Burglaries

If you are home in bed at night and hear someone breaking in, LVMPD advises that you grab a cell or cordless phone that you keep charged up in your room by your bed, take it with you to the bathroom, lock yourself in the bathroom, and dial 911. If you attempt to use a weapon, it could be grabbed from you and used on you.

To assist you in recovering stolen items, mark valuable property by engraving an identification number on it. Make a list of expensive items like jewelry and silver. Take pictures of these items and store them in a safe place such as a bank safe deposit box.


Before leaving home for an extended time, ask a friend or neighbor to watch your home and collect mail and newspapers. You can always have the post office hold mail and the newspaper temporarily not delivered. Cut the lawn prior to leaving and/ or have the lawn mowed by someone you trust while you are gone.

If You Live Alone

Use the buddy system with a friend or neighbor and check on each other once a day. Often when an isolated person is a victim of crime, no one knows about it for days.

Put your home "off limits" to Burglars!

Help keep your neighborhood safer by participating in or creating a Neighborhood Watch Program. Contact the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit in your community.