St. Bernard residents hear advice on locks, alarm systems and other anti-crime strategies in Refuse to be a Victim lecture by the Sheriff’s Office

Posted: December 16th, 2014 | Filed under: News Releases

Capt. Charles Borchers demonstrates items he recommends in the Refuse to be a Victim lecture given by the Sheriff's Office.

Capt. Charles Borchers demonstrates items he recommends in the Refuse to be a Victim lecture given by the Sheriff’s Office.

Ever think about what to do if someone comes to your door saying they have a package to be signed for – but there isn’t a delivery truck outside?

Or if a stranger at your door asks to use a phone?

Those were some of the things Capt. Charles Borchers discussed with about 30 parish residents recently in a lecture given by the Sheriff’s Office called Refuse to be a Victim. He also gave advice on locks, alarm systems and all manner of crime prevention strategies for your home, business and when you are out of parish on vacation or for business.

First, if there is no delivery truck in sight, it is a good idea to tell a person asking for a signature for a package delivery to put their clip board down outside your door and step back, Borchers said. Then you take the clip board inside to sign it and put it back outside for them to pick up, he said.

It might seem rude but it would be the only cautious thing to do, he said, because opening your door to a stranger is taking a risk, especially if you don’t see a delivery truck outside

“No one has to come inside your house if you don’t know them,’’ Borchers said. Also, he said, if a stranger wants to use the phone, “Tell them you will call someone for them from inside your home,’’ rather than letting them inside if there is no obvious accident that has just taken place outside.

Borchers, head of Community Relations and long-time crime prevention director for the Sheriff’s Office, can be reached at (504) 278-7628 if you want to start a Neighborhood Watch group in your area or ask about any other free programs offered by the Sheriff’s Office.

Borchers, assisted by Dep. Sheriff Eric Eilers, demonstrated what type locks, lighting timers and discussed alarm systems residents and business owners should use as well as going over various situations.

Sheriff James Pohlmann has made the Refuse to be a Victim course available for parish residents since 2011, with the lecture given one or more times per year. Thousands of people have taken the course by law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Borchers stresses in the lecture that, “You have to have a mental plan of action’’ at home or when traveling to be on alert for potential criminals.

Use strong locks and peep holes on home doors, Borchers said. Light-timers, alarm systems, video surveillance systems and motion lights are all good crime prevention strategies, he said.

Anything that makes a would-be burglar’s job harder increases your chances they will move on to another target. What don’t burglars like, Borchers asked. “They don’t like noise, lights or to be slowed down.’’

Motion detectors, especially ones that give off a noise, lights outside and dogs are all things that help scare away someone who might considering burglarizing a home or business, he said.

Borchers recommends double cylinder deadbolt locks with large screws put well into a large, solid frame so a door can’t be easily kicked open. The old style chains on residential doors were a good idea that many people have gotten away from, he said.

Bushes and plants in front of windows are good, Borchers said, as well as cheap alarm peel and stick devices for back and side windows, such as in the kitchen and laundry rooms, which statistics show are likely places burglars try to break in.

Every once in a while it is a good idea to stand outside your house or business and look closely at things burglars may think about when sizing up a place to strike, Borchers said.