During the early morning hours of Christmas Eve, Alton Clark of Piedmont awoke to find his house being burglarized. Several items were taken from the Clark house.
Piedmont Police Chief Richard Sanders said that his department has suspects in the case but no arrests have been made.
Clark, a retired Highway Patrolman, was home alone when the crime occurred. The crime occurred at 3:45 a.m.
“I woke up with two guys in my home stealing from me,” Clark posted on social media. “When I opened my eyes, there was a guy sitting at the end of my bed staring at me. My first thought was ‘this is a dream’ until the second guy walked out of my hall and out the back door. I have never been so scared in my life. They took my Henry rifle, two computers, my cell phone and a spotting scope, plus my diginty. They could very well have beat me or even killed me, but thank God they didn’t.”
Chief Sanders urges anyone who has any information related to this crime to contact his office.
Reports of burglaries and thefts in Piedmont have decreased in recent months, Sanders told the newspaper. However, he urges people to remember to take home safety seriously.
A home burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States, according to Nationwide Insurance. On average, a home burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600. About 30% of all burglaries are classified as “unlawful entry,” meaning the burglar was able to gain entry without using force – often through an unlocked door or window.
The internet is full of tips on ways to make a a residence safer and to deter thieves. Among those are:
• Install an Alarm System—You can purchase a DIY security system that is relatively cheap. A monitored home security system through an alarm company really is another option for protection.
• Close Your Curtains—Experienced burglars like to “case” a home before they ever break in, so they can determine whether your goods are worth the risk. One of the easiest things you can do to make your home burglar-unfriendly is to install curtains or blinds (go cordless if you have young children) – and then use them. If a thief can’t see in, s/he will likely move on to the next potential victim.
•Deadbolt Your Doors—Did you know that 34% of intruders enter through the front door and another 22% enter through the backdoor? That’s a startling statistic. If your home does not have a deadbolt, install one. And, of course, use your deadbolt at all times – even when you’re home.
• Secure Sliding Doors—If you have sliding doors in your home, place a wooden rod (a cheap curtain dowel will suffice) in the track frame.
• Proper outside lighting–Thieves may choose to bypass a well-lit home.
• Keep Garage And Shed Doors Closed And Locked—Make sure the garage door does not get left open, especially when you’re not home. If the garage doors have windows, put the garage door release cord away from those windows.
• Don’t Leave Spare Keys In Obvious Locations—Don’t leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants or any other obvious outdoor location. Thieves will generally find them. Find an inconspicuous place to hide the keys, or give a set to a neighbor you can trust.