It is a phenomenon police see every summer when school gets out; teens with newfound freedom testing boundaries and breaking laws. Some refer to it as “criminal mischief” because it is often not particularly harmful, but can be frustrating for property owners and even dangerous for teens.
Vandalism, larcenies and trespassing are some of the most common occurrences and it commonly takes place in neighborhoods because kids are roaming; looking for some entertainment. Neighborhood associations with common properties such as pools and clubhouses find the need to protect property and keep teens safe with measures such as security systems and surveillance cameras. Pools can be magnets for kids to swim unsupervised but that is a huge liability that community associations want to avoid.
What can homeowners do to prevent crime?
- Keep car doors locked to prevent theft of money and other valuables
- Lock garage doors and windows, especially if you keep a stocked refrigerator
- Be alert to noises, look out for neighbors and report unusual activity
- Participate in neighborhood watch programs that unite the community in preventing crime
- Report all crimes to police, even if it seems minor because it may help prevent more serious crimes in the future
- Be a tough target and show mischief-makers you take home security seriously
- Install and post signage that video security is in use. Professionally installed video cameras record and store video that are more effective at capturing useful images that are most likely to enable trespassers to be identified. It is stored digitally and can be viewed remotely at any time for your convenience.
- Promote Neighborhood Watch
- Foster a relationship with local law enforcement to share information that can help prevent crime and apprehend suspects.