BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – This time of year, like many, Brentwood officer Samuel Bady is spreading holiday cheer, but he’s also making sure neighbors know things aren’t always as merry as they seem.
“It is a wonderful time of the year, but we will see certain crimes increase as the holiday season goes on,” said Officer Bady.
News 2 rode along with him and his partner Officer Mark Wood to see what potential burglars are looking for.
“There a lot of people who see this and they think to themselves, ‘They have to have some really nice packages showing up to their homes,’” said Officer Bady as he drove through some of the nice neighborhoods in Brentwood.
There were plenty of packages left in plain view. “They are nothing but bait for porch pirates,” he said.
“Porch pirates” is a term for people who snatch packages from people’s front porches.
There was something else that caught the officer’s attention.
“In my opinion, I can see the Christmas tree right there visibly in that big window right there,” said Officer Bady.
He said that likely means here will be presents underneath, which could attract prospective thieves.
“They can break the glass reach in and get something or they can go and forcibly enter through the door,” said Officer Bady.
His partner offered some tips to make sure your home is less of a target, starting with making sure your door is secure.
“You want to have at least three inch screws going into the door frame. That way they will go into the studs of the wall make it more difficult,” said Officer Wood.
He said the same goes for windows, and he also recommends having a security latch on your door.
“If you have a security latch, you would have metal from here to here, and you would likely have 4 to 6 screws and usually you can get those at any hardware store for around 10 dollars,” he explained.
“That’s going to strengthen this door from being kicked,” he continued.
Officer Wood said as it pertains to the windows near the door, “It is possible someone breaks out the glass, they reach around, and they flip the latch.”
He recommends security glazing so it would be harder to break the glass.
Officer Wood also said it’s important to pay attention to the landscape around the windows.
“Keeping it cut low enough so someone can’t hide there and work on that window,” he said. “You may put what we call hostile landscaping around that window anything with thorns is good just to keep people from getting in there.”
“I’ve never experienced a crime in my house since I’ve lived in Tennessee,” said Brentwood homeowner Amber Mohr, a wife and mother of three.
She said she’s taking the officers’ advice seriously, especially when it comes to “porch pirates.”
“Very often I have those packages shipped to my office instead of my house, so that helps,” said Mohr.
The officers said that is a good idea. Mohr happened to have a package at her doorstep when News 2 was there. She said that was a gift from an aunt.
“Instead of it being placed right here, I would actually request that the driver place the package behind a bush, like so,” said Officer Bady.
The officers said with those tips you are more likely to have a happy holiday.