Preventing residential burglaries

Law enforcement leaders from all three local agencies spoke on commercial and residntial burglaries at last week’s Gilmer Chamber luncheon. Here are some residential burglary prevention tips they shared with the Times-Courier.


Chief Edward Lacey, Ellijay Police

﹣ Avoid mentioning travel plans online, and don’t share photos on social media during your travels; wait until returning home.  

﹣ Arrange for the post office to hold your mail and discontinue paper delivery until returning home from travels.  

﹣ Use deadbolt locks on all access doors. Deadbolt locks are only effective if fastened to stud walls with a minimum of 3” screws.  

﹣ Sliding doors can have additional security by placing a curtain rod or piece of wood in the door track.  

﹣ Use a home security system and consider using a safe for guns and valuables. Safes should be fastened to a floor or wall to prevent carrying them off. 

﹣ Keep the exterior of the home well lit. Use of motion-activated flood lights should be considered.  

﹣ Timing devices used inside the home to turn on a light, radio and/or television will give the impression of someone being home.  

﹣ Have a trusted neighbors or relative visit and watch your home while you’re away.  

﹣ Keep garage doors closed and locked.  

﹣ Don’t tempt thieves — use closed curtains on basement and garage windows. 

﹣ Carry away boxes which may announce the presence of a new television, etc., and keep valuables and lawn equipment out of sight. 

﹣ Never hide extra keys outside. Keys under a rock or flowerpot are easily found. 

﹣ No home can be made totally burglar proof, so keep a detailed inventory of valuables to include make, model and serial number so in case of burglary the list can be used by police and insurance companies to help recover these items.  


Chief Larry Callahan, East Ellijay Police

﹣ The main thing is keeping stuff out of sight, in particular from the road. Most burglars are just looking for an easy target.

﹣ If you are going to be away from home for awhile, we suggest putting lights on timers.

﹣ We also do a home watch program where the resident lets us know they will be gone and we will conduct house checks.


Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office

﹣ Invest in solid doors and good quality locks on doors and windows. This includes on all sliding glass doors as well. Make it not only difficult but also time- consuming for a burglar to gain entry.

﹣ Whenever you go outside, lock the door and take the key with you, even if you are just stepping next door or out mowing the back yard.

﹣ Don’t put valuables where they can be seen from the window, especially items that can be easily carried.

﹣ Be sure your garage door can be secured. Do not leave it open when you are away; an empty garage broadcasts your absence.

﹣ When you aren’t home, use a timer set to turn interior lights on and off at varying intervals as though your home was still occupied.

﹣ Don’t keep large amounts of cash or really valuable jewelry around the house.

﹣ If someone comes to your door asking to use the telephone, make the call yourself. Don’t invite them in.

﹣ Don’t hide a spare key under the door mat or under a flowerpot. Thieves know all the good hiding places.

﹣ Plant thorny bushes under all windows. Trim back any trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be thieves.

﹣ Invest in a good security system along with motion sensor lights installed out of reach.

﹣ Don’t leave ladders outside. Keep any tools that could be used to break in your home safely locked away in a garage or shed.

﹣ Get a barking dog or “beware of dog” signs. If you own a dog and go out of town, have someone come in and care for your dog in your home.

﹣ Always double-check doors at night and lock all windows.

﹣ Engrave all valuables such as stereos, microwaves, video cameras, with your driver’s license number. Videotape the contents of your home. Keep the video and the list of all valuables in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box.

Times Courier

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1076
Ellijay, GA. 30540

Phone: 706-635-4313
Fax: 706-635-7006