141 W Elm
Wichita, KS 67203
For those individuals who have been the unfortunate victims of burglary, they
would probably agree that the knowledge that a stranger had rummaged through
their belongings and their home is unsettling to say the least. For victims of
burglary, not only is the fact that someone has violated their privacy an issue,
but it is also a major inconvenience for them to contact their insurance
companies, to replace their stolen goods, and to replace or repair damaged
property. There are a number of crime prevention techniques that citizens can
utilize to help protect their property and vehicles from being burglarized. Some
of the following are listed below.
Burglary is a major crime issue in the United States. In 2012, the FBI
reports that there were 2,103,787 burglaries nationwide. This is a decrease by 3.7% compared to the 2011 national statistics1. It is very common for burglars to focus their
criminal activities to a particular area of the county before moving on to the
next area. Burglars most often “case” these areas prior to committing the actual
burglary and are looking for specific things at potential target residences or
properties. Burglars are often looking for circumstances such as: open garage
doors, open sheds or outbuildings, houses that have very little visibility from
the roadway, and unlocked vehicles or farm equipment. These are a just a few of
the possible examples because each burglar has his or her own set of
circumstances that they are looking for.
Here are some tips that are recommended for helping to safeguard your property
Leave your garage door and outbuilding doors closed at all times. This
includes even when you’re at home.
Always chain up your bicycles, scooters, and lawn mowers.
Do whatever you can to increase the visibility to your property such as
increasing lighting and cutting back overgrown trees or bushes.
Install 1” case hardened steel deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.1
Whenever possible, try to leave a vehicle parked in the driveway even when
there is no one home. Remember to leave no valuables in the car and lock the
Get to know your neighbors well so that you can help each other by calling
911 if a suspicious character is on either your or their property.
Consider installing an alarm system. Some insurance companies will offer up
to a 20% discount on your home owner’s policy if you have an alarm system in
Call 911 if you see suspicious characters in your neighborhood. This is
especially true if you live in a rural area of the county. Burglars are most
often caught by citizens calling 911 for a suspicious character. There are ways
to tell the difference between solicitors and burglars.
generally go to every house on the street and will look for houses that appear
Burglars will skip several houses or look for houses that appear to be
Solicitors want to contact as many people as possible,.
Burglars and thieves generally
want to avoid people.
Keep valuables, guns, and important documents locked up in a safe inside your
house in order to make it much more difficult for a burglar to remove these
items from your home.
The above are just a few of the crime prevention techniques that home owners may
want to consider. It is highly recommended that home owners in Sedgwick County
also read the articles on the website entitled “CPTED” and “Neighborhood Watch
programs.” The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Community Liaison Unit offers
home and business owners the opportunity to have a deputy come out to their
homes and/or businesses and provide advice on things that could be done to make
homes and businesses safer and less prone to burglaries and thefts.
It was previously mentioned that citizens and business owners are also
encouraged to contact 911 in the event that they see a suspicious character
around their home or workplace. This is important, especially in very rural
areas, because often these suspicious characters have no justifiable reason to
be there and may be conducting criminal activities. At the very least, when
contact with these individuals is made, deputies can at least document the
situation so if burglaries or thefts, etc. increase in the area, the suspicious
characters can possibly be considered as suspects. Whenever possible, citizens
should try to attempt to obtain vehicle descriptions, vehicle tag information,
direction of travel, and suspect information such as clothing descriptions and
detailed descriptions of the suspects themselves. Citizens should NOT put
themselves in harm’s way in order to obtain this information. It is not
recommended that citizens try to contact these individuals themselves.
It is also recommended that home and business owners consider filling out a
Property Inventory Sheet which would allow them to catalog all of the pertinent
identifying information on their valuable items. Having serial numbers, VINs,
and other identifying information in an accessible place is extremely helpful to
law enforcement officers in the event that a burglary or theft does occur.
Insurance companies often request a copy of property inventory sheets as well.
In conclusion, while burglaries will probably never be completely eradicated,
there are things that can be done to decrease a home owner’s chance of becoming
a victim. In the event that a burglary or theft does occur at your residence,
there are also things that you can do to help law enforcement officers
accurately document the situation and investigate the crime itself. The Sedgwick
County Sheriff’s Office encourages you to contact us if you have any questions
about what you can do to protect your property or yourself. We’d be happy to
We, at the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s
Office, are dedicated to helping citizens combat crime in their
neighborhoods. But we need your help! By utilizing
crime prevention techniques around your home, work place, and
vehicles, you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim!
If you have any questions about what you could do to help
protect yourself and your property, please call either your
Community Liaison Unit at (316) 660-3920 or your Community
Policing Unit at (316) 660-0750.
information provided in this document is not intended to be
legal advice, but is merely intended to convey general
information commonly encountered when dealing with the Subjects
discussed herein. Because laws can change very rapidly, we
cannot guarantee that any
Information on this document (or references contained therein) is current
or accurate. Additionally, laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and
are subject to interpretation of courts located in each county. Legal advice
must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and the information
provided herein may not be an appropriate fit for your particular situation. The
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, its employees, agents, or others will not be
liable or responsible for any claim, loss, injury, liability, or damages related
to use of this document or any reference provided herein.
Property Inventory Pamphlet
Property Inventory Sheet (pdf)
Property Inventory Sheet (Excel)
Property Inventory Sheet Example
Written by: Deputy C. Fischer
Reviewed by: J. Page D1642
The Mission of
Sedgwick County is to provide quality public services to our community
so everyone can pursue freedom and prosperity in a safe, secure, and
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and Notice of Privacy Practices Regarding Medical Information.