New Yorkers Changing Locks, Adding Security Systems To Their Homes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After a string of break-ins, a growing number of Forest Hills, Queens, residents are taking measures to protect their homes.

As CBS 2’s Tamara Leitner reported, break-ins in the 112th precinct — which includes Forest Hills and Rego Park — are up 28.7 percent this year compared to 2012.

Seamus Oduhda’s Forest Hills home was broken into six weeks ago. He said he still does not know how the burglar got inside.

“If we knew, we would be ready for them,” he said.

Residents are concerned.

“Locally, there have been break-ins to the houses, many more than normal,” said Sal Bullaro.

Raule Tsoy, of Abco Master Lock and Key in Forest Hills, said he has noticed customers upgrading the locks on their homes recently.

“A lot of people are coming in and changing their locks because of a lot of things happening in the neighborhood, a lot of burglaries,” Tsoy said.

Mitchell Myer, owner of True Value Security Systems, said his business has also seen an uptick.

“The last two years, I’ve noticed a 50-percent increase in security systems I’ve installed in Forest Hills,” he said.

Security experts recommended posting a security sign in front of your home or having a dog.

“They even have alarms now that have barking dog noises,” said David Boehm, chief operating officer of Security USA.

If you can only afford just one security device, opt for an alarm over surveillance cameras, experts said.

Boehm recommend also checking with your alarm companies about what services they provide. For example, if burglars cut your phone line, will the company notify you about the broken transmission?

Security experts also recommended that if you go out of town and park your car at a garage to ask if the business performs background checks on its employees. Your car’s presence there could tip off criminals that your home is an easy target, they say.

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