Hilton-Parma community group sponsors Light Up Lock Up Parma Night

By on October 31, 2016

A Facebook group is working to create awareness among Village of Hilton and Town of Parma residents to use common sense to protect their cars and homes from break ins. The Hilton-Parma Crime and Virtual Neighborhood Watch Facebook group has designated Sunday, October 30 as the day to ask residents to Light Up and Lock Up.

“We want all residents to be proactive and to light up their residences and lock up their homes and vehicles,” said Debbie Jones, who along with Colleen Welch-Christ created the page about nine months ago. There are currently 1,875 members in the closed group.

Corporal John Helfer, public information officer for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, said that the number of break-ins in the Hilton-Parma area isn’t more than normal, but that doesn’t mean residents shouldn’t be vigilant.

“First and foremost, lock your vehicle. I can’t emphasize that enough,” he said. “Second, don’t leave your valuables in your car. If someone doesn’t see something of value and your car is locked, they are much less likely to go out of their way to break in. They are looking for the path of least resistance.”

Helfer also stressed that when shopping, for example, locking valuables in your trunk before you reach your destination, away from the eyes of a criminal who may be watching. And when locking one’s GPS in the glove compartment, to make sure the cord and mount are out of sight as well.

As for securing one’s home, Helfer said that anything to deter a burglar, such as lighting and trimming tall shrubs are worth the effort. A few of the tips posted on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office website include:

•Illuminating the yard. Outdoor lighting is an effective deterrent to burglars. Energy-efficient low-voltage outdoor lights can eliminate the dark spots where a burglar could hide, and a light with a motion sensor is great way to scare off a potential thief.

•Trimming trees and shrubs growing close to the house. To enter your house without making a lot of noise, a burglar needs time to work. Tall bushes and hanging branches can provide shelter while the burglar cases the house or tries to pry open a door or window.

•Closing and locking all doors when leaving home for even short periods. More than a quarter of all burglary is without forced entry. Make sure you check the doors of the attached garage and breezeway in addition to all windows, including basement windows.

Jones said that she’s hoping that, above all, neighbors will keep an eye out for each other and call 911 if they see anything suspicious. “Call 911 – don’t take it upon yourself to deal with the situation,” she said.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has a crime prevention officer available to assess the safety of residents’ property and make suggestions. Hilton-Parma residents can call the C-Zone Substation at 753-4470 for more information. More safety tips are also available from the Burglary Prevention Council at www.burglaryprevention.org/.