Crime Prevention Tips from DPD

Date posted: January 23, 2014

Here are some crime prevention tips from a handout at last night’s LPNA meeting.

Crime Prevention Tips
from the Denver Police Department


  • Remove temptation. Keep valuables out of the view of car or house windows. Close your curtains at night and when you are out.
  • Make yourself the least easy target. Look through a burglar’s eyes. Whose house looks easier to break into without getting caught?
  • Light up your place. Motion-activated lights outdoors. Lights, TV/radio on timers inside.
  • Trim back vegetation, report graffiti (311), and pick up trash. Reduce the places to hide and make it look like someone is paying attention to what goes on at this location.
  • Participate in a Neighborhood Watch program, and be “eyes and ears” on the neighborhood by reporting suspicious activity. Stats show that just having earned a “Neighborhood Watch” sign on a block creates a drop in crime in the area.
  • Encourage your neighbors to do the same. The more you can collectively create a wall of deterrent, the more likely it is that thieves will forego your block altogether.

Add These Numbers to Your Speed Dial


  • For crimes in progress: 911
  • Non-emergency line (to request police to check out suspicious activity): 720-913-2000
  • Direct line to our police district (for general questions about safety and what’s going on in the neighborhood): 720-913-0400


Door Locks

  • Keep your house locked when you are away as well as when you are home, and use deadbolt locks to secure your home. Specs for which deadbolts to buy and how to install them for the best security:
  • Install a security (metal grate) door that allows you talk to strangers and pass things through without allowing entry. Verify who is at the door prior to opening it.

Window Locks

  • Many burglars make entry into residence through open windows so make sure that they are always closed and locked even when you are home.
  • Pin your windows or add an auxiliary lock to your double hung windows to allow you to secure your window when you open it (5 inches or less) for ventilation. Newer windows have higher quality locks while older, double hung windows are easily jimmied or pried open. Strategies for securing double hung windows:


  • Fences: Privacy vs. chain link. Burglars prey on privacy. Fences that allow activity to be seen in your yard are preferable to “privacy” fences.
  • Trees and shrubbery: Should be trimmed 6 inches below windows and at least 3 feet away from doors. Shrubbery such as rose bushes or other thorny varieties serve as a good deterrent to window peepers. Place plants and barriers near windows to deter someone from standing and looking inside your residence.
  • Landscape rock: Large landscape rock (golf ball size or larger) can be used to damage your property. Small landscape rock (smaller than golf ball size) is both decorative and, if someone walks on them, will be easily heard.
  • Security service sign: Add a security company sign on your lawn (even if you don’t pay for the service). Check eBay for signs to buy.

Lighting and Electronic Timers

  • Use electric timers inside your home to turn on lights, T.V., or radios during your absence. Good lights to leave on are bedroom and/or bathroom lights. A radio playing a talk station gives the appearance that a conversation is going on and someone is home.
  • At night or if away, lower window shades, keep lights on in at least 2 locations
  • Motion detector lights are very effective in deterring crime. They also light up your driveway or entry doors when you are leaving or coming home.
  • Dusk to dawn lighting is a strong deterrent against criminal activity, and it constantly lights up your entry doors and possible obstacles that would otherwise be unseen.
  • Landscape lighting is low voltage lighting that can highlight your property line, light up your sidewalk, and also light up the exterior of your windows.

Visible House Numbers


Visible house numbers on both the front and the alley can save police officers, firefighters, and paramedics valuable time. Police officers and firefighters will often respond in the alley, as access is sometimes better.


Going Out of Town or on Vacation

  • Do not leave messages indicating that you are out of town on your mailbox, phone, social media accounts (e.g., Facebook), or answering machine.
  • Suspend paper and mail deliveries when going out of town; or have a friend or neighbor pick up newspapers, mail, and flyers from your yard or door.
  • Call your District Police Station (720-913-0400) to place your house on vacation watch so that officers can keep an eye on your house during your absence.

Vehicle Safety and Security

  • Keep your vehicle locked while you drive and when parked (even front of your house).
  • Avoid stopping to aid disabled motorists. Request assistance for them by calling the police on your cellular phone or stop and inform a nearby service station.
  • If a suspect approaches you, and demands your vehicle, give them the car, whether they are armed or not. If you have children in the vehicle inform the suspect of this and that you will remove the children and they can take the vehicle after you do this.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, park in a well-lighted area, place the hood up and activate the emergency flashers and stay in the locked vehicle and call for assistance. Try to avoid stopping at isolated or poorly lit areas. Be sure of the intent of parties offering assistance. If you feel threatened, sound your horn until the person leaves or help arrives. Do not accept rides from strangers and do not pick up hitchhikers. If you are on foot and a vehicle approaches you and you feel threatened run the opposite direction from the vehicle and scream for help. If someone tries to force you in-to a car, fight and resist. Do not get in the vehicle unless it is unavoidable. 
  • Keep your car in good running condition, and gas your vehicle during daylight hours.
  • Keep your house key and vehicle key separate.
  • Park your vehicle in areas that are highly visible and well lit and avoid parking in isolated areas with little or no foot or auto traffic.
  • Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle when parked in your driveway or on the street.
  • Don’t leave anything of value in the vehicle; take them with you or lock in the trunk. This is especially true for a purse, IPod, GPS, computer case, or money. Do not leave items in plain view or children unattended, for any reason, not even for a few moments to pay for gas or to go in-to a store to quickly purchase an item.
  • When entering parking structures and home garages, check behind you to determine if someone steps under the door as it is closing. Be especially alert in un-staffed parking lots and enclosed parking garages.
  • When going to and from your vehicle, carry your car keys in your hand and these can be utilized to stop an attack. Always check the back seat before entering the vehicle.
  • Approach your parked vehicle from the passenger side. This gives you the opportunity to observe under your vehicle while walking.
  • Before entering your vehicle, look inside of your vehicle front and back area for suspicious circumstances.
  • Always keep a copy of your vehicle registration, license number and VIN on you.
  • Do not warm up your vehicle in the morning without you being in it.
  • Never hide a second set of keys inside your vehicle.



Personal Safety

Outside the Home

  • When you are conducting your daily activities, walk briskly and with confidence. Keep your head upright, scan your surroundings, and be aware of persons and areas near you.
  • Avoid taking shortcuts and try to remain where there are other people around you and help can be summoned if the need arises. If you believe you are in danger, look for open businesses or nearby residences that can be accessed to obtain assistance.
  • Carry your cellular telephone with you at all times and have it available to call 911.
  • Your purse is a likely target for an attacker. Try to avoid carrying a handbag if possible. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you are carrying a purse and someone grabs it, let it go. Do not fight over property. This applies to your vehicle as well.

At Home

  • When approaching your residence or workplace, have the entry keys in your hand ready to unlock the door. Check around the entrance as you approach.
  • After entering your residence, lock the door, and keep your doors and windows locked.
  • Never let an unknown, unidentified person inside of your residence for any reason! Ask to see photo credentials of any workers that come to your residence to do repairs.
  • Beware of unsolicited workers are at your residence. Call for police if necessary.
  • Before retiring for the evening, check doors and windows to verify they are closed and keep your portable phone near you.
  • When doing outside chores, keep all entry doors locked.
  • Consider installing an alarm system or plan an exit strategy in case the need arises.
  • If someone enters when you are at home, scream loudly and immediately call 911. If the person does not leave the residence, run out immediately, and seek help from nearby neighbors. Take your phone with you and call for police assistance.
  • Get involved with Neighborhood Watch. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and call the police if you observe suspicious activity at residences that surround you.


  • If you are attacked and decide to resist there is no halfway and you must fight with a purpose. Attempt to disable your attacker and run to safety, right away.
  • Scream as loud as you can to attract attention.
  • Strike fast, aim for vital spots.
  • Gouge eyes with thumbs: scratch with fingernails.
  • Jab knees into groin area.
  • Fight, fight, fight!
  • If you are attacked from the rear, dig heels into instep, kick at shins, strike attackers face with the back of your head.
To discuss this and other topics with your neighbors, join