Mike's Takeaways on Betton Hills Home Crime Prevention

Officer Eric Hansen from the TPD Community Relations Unit presented on common home crime prevention tips, Betton Hills crime statistics on May 11, 2017.  Here are my takeaways from the presentation.  In some places I've inserted my own perspective along with Officer Hansen's.

Top Crime Prevention Tips:

  • The best crime deterrent is getting to know your neighbors and getting them to call you and/or the police if they see something out of the ordinary at your house or car. 
  • If you see someone acting in a suspicious manner, call the police.  Better to be safe than sorry.  The non-emergency number to call is:  606-5800.  Program that number into your cell phone.  You can request that the responding officer call you or to come by your house to report on his/her response to your call.  You don’t need to intervene, but if you can get a license plate number, that’s great.
  • Be alert, but not overzealous.  We have many people unfamiliar with Betton HIlls that come here to visit or do work at someone's house.  It's natural they may be driving slowly, checking for street names or house numbers. 
  • Dogs, even small yappers, are a great crime deterrent.  Their barking attracts attention.  Thieves don’t like attention.  Cats weren't evaluated.
  • Auto burglaries are the most common home crime.  They tend to happen at night.  Make it a habit to take your valuables out of your car and lock it at night.  Having a light shining on your car at night can help prevent a break-in.  However, most break-ins occur in the early morning hours when people are asleep.  Auto burglaries tend to go up as school lets out for the summer.
  • Carports are an easy target.  Try to keep valuable items such as tools, yard equipment, bikes, etc. off the carport or locked to something secure.
  • Lights on around the border of your house may deter crime.  However, the vast majority of home break-ins occur during the day when no one is home.
  • In-home security systems can be effective, especially with video and a loud in-home and outside noise/announcement function.  Many thieves know to wear masks, though, and that they have about 10 minutes from break-in to police showing up.  Thieves target their searches to get what they can in that timeframe.  Good neighbors can really help in this situation by getting information about the people who entered the house and/or car type, license number, etc.
  • Get a safe deposit box at a bank or have a secure safe for jewelry, valuable coins, important papers, etc.  Keep silverware in non-traditional places to thwart the 10 minute search and grab strategy.
  • You can arrange for a free residential security survey by a police officer.  Contact Officer Melissa Rios at:  Melissa.Rios@talgov.com.
  • See the TPD brochure of Vacation Safety Tips for Protecting Your Home.

Betton Hills Crime Statistics

Betton Hills is a low crime neighborhood, subject to periodic upswings particularly in car break-ins.  More rarely, there is a home break-in or something stolen from a carport, typically during the day when no one is home.

To check on recent crime activity in Betton Hills, visit the TPD’s online crime statistics website:  http://www.talgov.com/gis/tops.

Here are the directions for using the online crime statistics website.