Crime Prevention is defined as "the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it". The formula for a crime to take place is Desire + Ability + Opportunity = Crime.
If you take away any one of those key factors, the criminal element will be nonexistent! The job of the Crime Prevention Program is to educate citizens and business owners of this Township in different forms of Crime Prevention.
Tips for Parents About Your Child’s Internet Use
Detectives Michael Buchmann and Scott Pezick share valuable information about child predators, how they target victims, signs your child may be a victim and how to talk to your child about their internet use in this 30-minute interview that aired on WCHE 1520 AM.
Home and Neighborhood
- Vehicle break-ins or “car hopping” is a common crime in residential communities. Do not leave valuables, cash, or firearms in your vehicles. Be sure to lock your car doors.
- Another popular crime is “garage hopping”. Close your garage doors whether you are home or out for the day/evening.
- Typically, your intuition is correct when you see something suspicious in your neighbor. Report all suspicious activity to the police. Delayed reporting greatly reduces our ability to identify individuals and solve crimes.
- Use exterior porch lights, motion sensor lights on your home. A would-be thief is less likely to target you home if areas are illuminated properly.
- Avoid opening your door to strangers. It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved. If a company is soliciting, they should have an ID badge issued by the police department.
Telephone scams are becoming commonplace in our society. Frequently, offenders will contact you using cloned or unknown numbers claiming to be your financial instruction, a law enforcement or other government agency and will try to obtain your personal identifying information. Many times, they will threaten you with arrest or other punitive action. Remember the following:
- Be wary of people seeking your personal information (social security numbers, birth dates, account numbers, banking information).
- If it seems odd or too good to be true, it probably is.
- When in doubt, contact your lender or the agency identified on your own using a number YOU obtain on your own to verify the call is real.
- Most lenders and companies will NOT ask you for your full social security, birth date or account number over the phone, ESPECIALLY when they called you.
- No legitimate company will ask for payment in the form of Google Play cards, Apple iTunes cards, Green Dot money cards or other like payments.
- Report suspected scams to the police.
Computer and Internet Scams
Computer and internet scams are another frequently reported scam in our community. Offenders may contact you seeking financial gain using the following methods:
- Through a “for sale” or other advertisement posted using one of the many popular websites such as Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay to name a few.
- By searching resume postings.
- Through a breach in your computer’s firewall or internet protection services.
- Keep your computer protected using a reliable virus and firewall prevention software. Many times, your cable service provider provides one free of charge.
- If it seems odd or too good to be true, it probably is. It is unlikely that a true buyer will send you more money than requested for an item you have listed for sale. These are scams.
- Vet your buyers. If you plan to meet your buyer for an exchange, use a public place such as a police station to make the transaction.
- No legitimate person will ask for payment in the form of Google Play cards, Apple iTunes cards, Green Dot money cards or other like payments.
- Report suspected scams to the police.
Out and About
- When using the many beautiful parks or trails for that morning jog, bike ride or walk, use the buddy system. Plan these activities with friends.
- If going out alone, let someone know your destination and when you will be expected back.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged in the event you need to call 9-1-1 or have an emergency.
- Situational awareness is key. Be aware of your surroundings.Pay attention to who is around you, what they are doing and what activities are going on.
- When walking to your car after work, after shopping, or after a late-night class, have your keys in hand and check the interior of the car before getting in.
- Park in a well-lighted area.
- Try to carry only the amount of cash you will need or use one credit card to make your purchases for that day.
- Do not leave your bag hanging over the back of your chair or unattended. Pick pocketing has made a comeback. Thieves will remove your wallet, take out the credit cards and put the wallet back before you even know it happened. Before you know it, thousands of dollars in merchandise has been purchased using your credit card.
- Play the “What If Game” with your family. “If this happens, we will do this.” Have a designated meeting place when attending a large or crowded event if you are separated.
- Discuss “Stranger Danger” with your children. What will they do if approached by a stranger? What will you do?
- If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside an open business. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.