Residents take caution as burglaries strike close to home

  • More safety measures

  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home.Photograph or video valuable objects, ...

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  • More safety measures

    Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home.Photograph or video valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.Engrave valuables with a driver's license number using an engraver.Make your home appear occupied at all times - never leave notes on your door saying you will be away. Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places - burglars know where to look for hidden keys.Arrange for lawn work to be kept up if you will be gone for an extended period. Adequate exterior lighting and well trimmed trees and shrubs will limit the hiding places for would-be intruders.Source: Victoria Police Department

When Taylor John McChesney was dropped off at home after school Thursday, he immediately noticed something was not right.

"Dad, our TV is gone," the 13-year-old called and told his father, Pat McChesney.

McChesney instructed his son to step outside the house and hurried back home in the 200 block of Magdalena Drive.

In addition to the big-screen television, an Xbox and two laptop computers had been taken. Also missing were 15 high-dollar games Taylor John had purchased.

"It was the first exposure of the realities of life for my son, to have something he had personally saved for and bought burglarized from his home," Pat McChesney said.

Residents react as burglary hits close to home.

Lt. Mike Hernandez, of the Victoria Police Department, said the most important thing a person can do when they discover a burglary or suspect suspicious behavior is to call the police.

"You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood," Hernandez said. "And remember, you can always remain anonymous."

In the weeks leading up to the burglary, McChesney said he remembered a girl selling cleaning products door to door.

"Use caution on who you let into your residence," Hernandez said. "They might be seeing what you have and then enter your house when you leave."

Use blinds to make your home difficult to see into from windows and stand so strangers cannot see behind you if you answer the door when they knock, Hernandez said. Also, all lawn equipment and bicycles should be kept out of sight and locked up.

Residents should always lock all outside doors, garages and windows before they leave the house or go to bed, Hernandez said.

"Install deadbolt locks on all your doors and make sure all door hinges are on the inside." Hernandez said. "Sliding glass doors are vulnerable, but there are special locks available for better security."

In the weeks leading up to the burglary, McChesney also recalled seeing a young man coming into his front yard from his backyard through his fence.

"I exchanged a few choice words with him before I ordered him to leave the property," McChesney said. "He was just in my yard. I hadn't caught him with anything, or physically in the backyard."

McChesney followed up by calling the police, who advised him to put a lock on his gate to deter unwelcome guests.

But Thursday the intruders were not stopped by the lock.

The burglars entered the backyard, broke his back window and stole property from his home.

Police were not able to release information Friday concerning any possible trend of burglary investigations in the area of McChesney's home.

Meanwhile, McChesney replaced the glass in his back window, but has called a security company for a bid on a security system to heighten the protection of his home.

"An alarm system is excellent for home security," Hernandez said. "It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation."