Thieves who struck several multi-family housing communities in Farmington Hills over the past week were stopped at some doors, because residents did one thing.
"Always have a deadbolt," Farmington Hills Police Commander Matt Koehn said Wednesday.
Even the residents couldn't get into their apartments after the deadbolt locks were jammed by attempts to pry them open, police reports noted. Another way to strengthen security in an apartment is to use bars on patio doors and windows, so they can't be forced open, Koehn said.
The problem with multi-family housing is that if no one is home in a particular building, thieves are free to try entering several units, Koehn said. He added that officers work with apartment building managers to solve and prevent crime.
Koehn's advice about using locks extends beyond residential property; he said vehicle owners should also remember to lock their doors, no matter where they are. More than half a dozen residents reported vehicle break-ins over the past week.
"My car that is parked in the police department parking lot right now is locked," he said.
While the locks may not stop thieves from smashing a window to get inside, the noise could at least draw attention, Koehn said. Navigation systems appear to be a popular target, he added, but all valuables and packages should be taken out of parked vehicles, removing the reasons someone might try to break in.
Koehn also urges residents to immediately call police if they notice anything suspicious. "We've got a lot of resources working on this," he said.
To report a crime in progress or to summon immediate assistance, call 911. Otherwise, call the command desk, 248-871-2610.