Protect your home from theft

Protect your home from theft

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Austin may be one of America's safest cities when it comes to violent crime but that's not the case when it comes to property theft and home burglaries.

According to the FBI, Austin is the 2nd safest city in the U.S. when it comes to violent crime but when it comes to property crimes, Austin falls way down the list to 26.

Chief Art Acevedo says he plans to focus more on property crimes last year there were 43,472 offenses in Austin.

"A third of our burglaries, there is no forced entry because people don't lock their doors. They don't close their garage doors, if you're going to go to the store, if you're going to go across the street to a neighbor. Too many property crimes are based on a quick opportunity," Acevedo said.

It's tough for police to catch burglars in the act. Meaning your best option is to not make your home an easy target.

There is a burglary in the United States every 15 second. There were over two million in the United States in 2012. This amounted to $4.7 billion in property loss.

Austin saw a 3 percent increase in home burglaries or about 200 more from 2011 to 2012. Tim Krebs with Protect America Home Security says most people aren't aware there's a few simple things that can be done around your home to keep burglars away.

"Make it look like you're home even when you're not. So leave your lights on a time, maybe leave the TV on. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed around your house," Krebs said. "Also we would say, keep your garage door closed. We recommend that you not leave your garage door open for any more than five minutes because a garage is a favorite entry point for a burglar."

In additional to the emotional cost of a home break in, on average, a burglary in Austin costs a homeowner $2,000 in losses and expenses, much more than the cost of a standard home security system.

"Security systems now days are affordable. They can fit into almost any budget. So this is something you're not going to have to get a technician to come and install in your home. This is something you can do yourself," Krebs said.

With new technology, Protect America offers the convenience of a mobile phone app, which allows customers to monitor their home from anywhere in the world at any time.

"Let's say you're at work and somebody decides they're going to break into your home, it will send you a text message immediately when there's an alarm," Krebs said.

Some peace of mind for those living in this ever changing city, many still think of as a small town. Another fact for you, most home burglaries actually occur during the day not at night.

A standard home security system by Protect America will cost you around $35 a month.

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