Safety Tips Offered In Virtual Town Hall

Tips on staying safe in the wake of an uptick statewide of car thefts and home burglaries were given during a virtual town hall meeting February 15.

The town hall was hosted by Mayor Phil Kramer and Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather.

During the roughly 50-minute session, Maeweather reviewed a number of steps residents can take to keep their properties safe.

Maeweather said that statewide statistics show that car thieves are targeting higher-end models, such as BMWs, Range Rovers and Mercede-Benzes, although there have been thefts of lower-end cars as well.

She said the best defense against car thefts is to keep cars in garages, if possible.

If not, Maeweather said, make sure the cars are locked and that nothing of value is left in them. It also helps to keep the cars in well-lit areas, she said.

“Under the cover of darkness, they can operate best,” she said. “We’ve seen multiple videos, when the motion lights come on, they go away.”

“If you don’t have lighting on the exterior, there’s things that you can do,” Maeweather said. “You have to make your area look alive and look like someone’s there.”

Maeweather said the bulk of the burglaries are not being committed by township residents.

“People from the outside come in and they see what we have and they want to take it,” she said.

Two trends that law enforcement has noticed, Maeweather said, is that the home burglars do not want confrontations with homeowners, and that no home burglaries have occurred in homes with dogs,

“The Animal Shelter has many dogs who need a home, who need love,” Kramer said.

Other steps homeowners can take to protect their properties is to notify police and pause mail delivery when they go on vacation, and ask a neighbor to check porches for packages.

She said the police can also be requested to check porches for package while homeowners are away.

“If you’re not sure of what to do, if you need help with making your home safe, call us, we can send a detective there to do a (safety) assessment,” she said.

The biggest thing residents can do, Maeweather said, is to call police when they see suspicious activity.

“If you see something, say something, immediately,” she said. “Do not feel like it’s too minor and you’re bothering law enforcement, that the police have better things to do.”

FTPD Capt. Sean Hebbon was also scheduled to participate, but had technical issues.

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