FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2012
Contact: Liz Mills, Director of Media Relations and Communications, 571-251-5568 (mobile)
LCSO Offers Burglary Prevention and Victim Information to Residents
Loudoun County, VA – As the summer approaches and temperatures rise, so do the number of burglaries in Loudoun County and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office wants you to know how to prevent these crimes and what to do if you are a victim.
As part of the agency’s burglary prevention outreach, Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman and Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney Jim Plowman developed a video of what residents can do to help prevent them from becoming a victim, and what you should do if your home or business is burglarized. The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/loudounsheriff.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit reminds residents to make sure doors and windows are locked, always secure your garage door, keep your house lit from the outside (use timers), and have a trusted neighbor watch your home when you are out of town.
The Crime Prevention Unit also encourages residents to document and record your properties’ make, model and serial numbers through Operation Inventory, a prevention based program intended to help curb the ongoing thefts taking place in Loudoun County. Thieves often depend on citizens not to have key information about their belongings. Information such as serial numbers, model numbers, make and model information are key pieces of information that law enforcement uses to recover and identify stolen property. These key pieces of information help law enforcement quickly identify stolen property and aid in the prosecution of the offenders. The form can be downloaded at www.loudoun.gov/operationinventory.
In an effort to further combat residential burglaries and better prepare citizens for the time of year burglaries are most likely to happen, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit will be holding Burglary Prevention classes at three locations around the county:
? June 19th at 7PM Cascades Library – Meeting Room A
? June 20th at 7PM Purcellville Library – Robey Meeting Room
? June 21st at 7PM Ashburn Library- Story Time Room
These classes will discuss burglary and home security related topics to include burglary psychology and methodology, statistics, locks and alarms, natural surveillance, safes, lighting, landscape choices, and the Crime Triangle. Each class will be approximately 1.5 hours long with an included 30 minute question and answer segment.
As part of the agency’s efforts to prevent crimes in the community, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit also offers free home security surveys. To schedule a security survey of your home or business, please contact either Deputy First Class Nathaniel Payne at [email protected] or Deputy First Class James Spurlock at [email protected]
Unfortunately not all burglaries are preventable. “Always be safe,” said Sheriff Chapman. If you return home and find it has been burglarized, immediately call 911 and leave the home and find a safe place,” Chapman added.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Property Crimes Unit wants residents to know that there are several key steps you should take if you believe your home has been burglarized:
? If you return home to find that your home has been burglarized, residents are encouraged to wait outside the home, possibly in a locked car or at a neighbor’s home, until deputies arrive.
? For your safety residents are advised to never search the home yourself. There is always a chance someone could still be in the home.
? Detectives urge residents to never touch anything inside the home before deputies arrive. By touching items you could tamper with possible forensic evidence and limit the chances of a successful conclusion in the case.
By taking these steps you increase the chances of having your stolen items returned as well as increase the possibility the thieves will be caught. Residents are also encouraged to report any suspicious activity, persons or vehicles immediately by calling the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-1021.