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Theft: Tips to help keep it from happening

By Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 354,000 robberies occurred across the United States in 2012.

To keep thefts to a minimum and protect Service members and families of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, members of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron are informing JBLE of preventive measures against theft.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Dibenedetto, 633rd SFS crime prevention program manager, is in charge of this effort.

"We are taking a proactive approach to theft," said Dibenedetto, a native of Ludlow, Mass. "We have [recent] reports of cars being broken into and we don't want this to become a trend."

Vehicles are an easy target and the most popular item to be broken into because of easy access.

"One of the biggest things we've seen are people leaving electronics, cash, wallets, common access cards and restricted area badges, out in the open," Dibenedetto said. "It gives thieves the idea of breaking in to take the item. If it's hidden, the temptation isn't as strong because they don't know if it will be worth their time."

To prevent someone from breaking into your home or car, Dibenedetto offers some of the following tips:

Car

· Lock car doors when leaving for any length of time even on base
· Don't leave valuable items out in the open
· Place valuables in the glove compartment, trunk or in a bag on the floor of the back seat
· Keep windows up

Home

· Always lock doors when leaving and after returning
· Get a wooden dowel or piece of metal to place in sliding door tracks
· Use the peep hole to see who is at the door before opening it
· Close window blinds
· Make sure all windows are locked
· Leave on exterior lights or install motion sensor lights

Even with the best attempts at keeping belongings safe, the best deterrent is being vigilant and reporting anything or anyone who seems out of place.

"If you see a car making multiple passes around a block or home, individuals hanging out in a specific area or someone making multiple trips around a car, it should be reported," said Dibenedetto. "Basically, if it looks 'off' and you're not sure, report it, don't assume someone else will."

If becoming a statistic is not on your list of things to do this year, remember to keep valuables out of plain sight, lock doors and windows and report any suspicious activity to Security Forces.

To report suspicious activity on base, contact the Langley Security Forces at 764-5091 or Fort Eustis Military Police at 878-4555. For off base housing, contact your local Police Departments, or Sheriff's Office. In case of an emergency call 911.