Police Department


Crime Prevention - Burglary

Burglary is a crime that can be prevented, if the homeowner takes an aggressive approach. By looking at the tips below, a homeowner can reduce the probability of becoming a victim of burglary.

Ensure that all the lights are working around the perimeter of the home. Use energy efficient bulbs and install motion sensor lighting on the rear of the property.

  • Light fixtures should use transparent vandal resistant covers and all light fixtures should be placed high enough to prevent unwanted persons from having access to them.
  • Lights should be near the porch, garage and any other areas where people will stand.
  • Carports should be illuminated during all hours of the night.
  • When the homeowner is not at home, use lights set on digital timers so that the times vary. Other appliances, such as stereos can also be added to digital timers. Adjust these so that it appears that someone is home. For example, the light and TV are on in the living room. A short time later, the lights and the stereo in the bedroom turn on, and moments later the living room electronics turn off.


  • Choose landscaping that is thorny under windows, but be sure that mature height does not impair natural surveillance.
  • Landscaping near windows should remain below the window sill.
  • Shrubbery and bushes should be trimmed below four (4) feet when near sidewalks and driveways.
  • Trees should be trimmed so that the lowest branches are not below six (6) feet.
  • Avoid placing landscaping rocks near doors and windows. These provide a means for breaking windows and glass doors.
  • Landscaping should be used along sidewalks and any other areas where you would want to channel a person throughout the property, or to keep them out. Remember the height recommendations.
  • House numbers should be added to the front of the home. For those homes that have a rear alley, it is recommended that you add house numbers to the rear as well.

Doors and Windows

  • Doors are usually the first choice of burglars. All exterior doors should be supplemented with a double cylinder deadbolt lock with a 1 inch throw. Replace the locks that do not have a free rotating bevel beauty ring.
  • If "lock bumping" is a concern, then replace all exterior locks with newer "anti-bump" locks.
  • Exterior doors should have a solid core (2 3/4 thick is preferred) with hinge pins located on the interior. If the hinge pins are outside (outward swing door), replace the hinge with a security style hinge.
  • Exterior doors without glass should have a viewer installed at various heights to allow all the residents to look before opening the door.
  • Teach all residents to check before opening the door. Keep the doors locked.
  • Supplement the inside locks with a chain style, or something similar to the "door club".
  • Replace the strike plate with a security style strike plate. Use 3 inch screws whenever possible. This allows the screw to dig into the framing of the home, not just the soft wood door frame.
  • Sliding doors should be supplemented with locks, which if not supplied with the door, can be purchased at local hardware stores. A simple solution still in use is the rod applied to the track of the sliding door.
  • A rod cut to length can also be used for windows.
  • Check your wall console for the garage door to see if it has a lock which makes the car remote inoperable. If so, lock this overnight and anytime your are away from home for extended periods of time.
  • Side or rear maintenance doors on the garage should have a double cylinder deadbolt lock with a 1 inch throw.

Other Considerations

  • Do not leave your name and the dates when you will be gone on your answering machine.
  • Avoid leaving your garage door remote in the car whenever possible. Also, avoid leaving the garage door open as much as possible so that people cannot see what you have available for them to steal. Sometimes this occurs while the homeowner is inside the residence unaware that someone has stolen items from the garage. In addition, the garage door should be closed overnight.
  • Install an alarm if possible, and supplement with signage to indicate that an alarm is present.
  • Ask a close friend or neighbor to watch your home when you are away for extended periods.
  • Maintain your home. Both well maintained homes and those that are not well maintained have items of value inside them. However, homes that are not well maintained tell a criminal that your are less likely to care about your home, and what happens to it. Therefore, you are less likely to prosecute too.
  • Join or start a Neighborhood Watch program.
  • Place heavy items such as lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc. in front of any service entry doors (side entry garage door).
  • Remove any garbage cans that would provide a "natural ladder" onto the roof of your home. Also, trees that are too close to the home may provide a way for an intruder to gain access to your roof or second floor windows.

The Kendallville Police Department would like to remind you to take precautions to protect your home. Also, download the Home Security Checklist and use it as a guide as you check your home for safety measures.