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neighborhood watch

Public Safety Alert from the County Police

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WARM WEATHER ALERT!!!

What is meant by
“Suspicious”

SUSPICIOUS can be any person, act, event or situation that appears questionable. Anytime someone or something “just doesn’t seem right to YOU”, that’s when YOU should call the POLICE
NON-EMERGENCY
301-279-8000

*Any stranger entering your neighbor’s unoccupied house could be a burglar
*Anyone peeking into parked vehicles may be considered stealing the vehicle, valuables inside or both.
*The sound of breaking glass or any loud explosive noise could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism
CALL 301-279-8000

Prevent Theft From Vehicles
“If they Can SEE IT”
They Can STEAL IT!”

1. Lock your doors and close the windows.
2. Remove valuables from vehicle or lock them in the trunk where they are out of sight.
3. Do not leave electronic devices or accessories visible.
4. Do not leave money in your vehicle.
5. Park in your garage (if you have one.)

Steps to take if your vehicle has been broken into

1. Try not to touch the vehicle (Fingerprints may have been left by the perpetrator.)
2. Try to recall all items which were stolen.
3. Call Police 301-279-8000
4. If a Police Officer will be dispatched to your location, please wait for his or her arrival.

Neighborhood Watch Meeting Minutes

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Minutes from October 30, 2014 Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood Watch Meeting

Click here for PDF version of the information below

Speaker: Montgomery County Community Police Officer Oliver Janney
• 14 years with Montgomery County police, 1 ½ years as community officer for Bethesda region (includes RCH). Before that DC police and secret service.

Statistics from our area shows that the number one problem in our area is theft from automobiles:
• 79% of the victim vehicles are unlocked
• Most theft takes place between 11pm and 3am
• Bethesda has most car break-ins
• If you leave your car unlocked, don’t leave anything of value in it

Burglaries
• Usually occur in daytime while folks at work
• Watch out for vehicles with ladders/no markings
• What is typically stolen: jewelry, silverware
• If someone is doing work on your home, make sure s/he is bonded and licensed
• Officer Janney will do home security surveys to help you identify security vulnerabilities
• One meeting attendee shared a story about 83 year old friend who had break in, officers wouldn’t finger print. Officer Janney advised attendees that they should call him if officers seem inexperienced. He pointed out that with the next graduating class in the police academy, two-thirds of the police force will have less than 5 years on job.

Things we can do to protect ourselves
• Lighting is key. Get lots of bright outside lights. This is a problem in RCH.
• Home alarm system may help, but make sure to use it if you have one.
• If making payments online, use prepaid debit cards; not credit cards
• While at gas stations, lock your car doors. Some criminals steal purses from the front seat when you are not paying attention.
• Outside cameras may help you catch someone egging house, etc. They cost about $799 at Costco.

Pay attention—watch out for magazine solicitors (often former offenders) and suspicious vehicles.

If you see anything suspicious, call the police department’s non-emergency phone line at 301-279-8000
• Leave your full name – will get a faster response (5 minutes)
• If you make an anonymous call the response will be slower (20 minutes)
• The non-emergency operator sits near the 911 operator
• Don’t call 311, that’s for county issues like bulk trash

Mr. Janney was asked to drive his police car through neighborhood in order to increase the police presence in RCH. He agreed to do so from time to time on his way to and from work.

RCH Neighborhood Watch volunteers agreed to take action by handing out fliers to neighbors about basic safety tips.

RCH Mtg with Community Police Officer on 10/30 @ 7:30 pm

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Dear RCH Residents:

Concerned about the recent rash of car break-ins? Worried about the burglaries in our neighborhood?

If so, we invite you to discuss your concerns with Community Service Officer, Oliver Janney, at a meeting of the RCH Neighborhood Watch on Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 pm. The meeting will take place at the home of Paul Tiao and Varuni Dayaratna, who live at 9806 Hillridge Drive.
Together with Officer Janney, we will review recent crime statistics, discuss prevention measures, and strategize on ways we as a community can work together to address the recent increase in crime in our community.

Please RSVP to paultiao@aol.com.

Thank you very much.
Sincerely,

Eden Durbin & Paul Tiao
Neighborhood Watch Co-Chairs

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Tips for Securing Your Car & Garage

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Happy Holidays! Here are a few tips for securing your car and garage:

Garages:

  • Keep garage doors closed. Automatic garage doors offer extra security, but continue to use a physical lock on your garage door if you can. Keep controllers inside locked cars when parked in your garage.
  • If you park outside of your garage, remember to bring the controller into the house with you so that it cannot be removed from the car and used to open the garage.
  • Lock the door from your garage to the house. Secure that door with a dead bolt.

Cars:

  • When you park your car, lock the doors and remove all valuables, including GPS devices. If possible, park your car in your garage or driveway.
  • When you are away on an extended trip, ask your neighbor to park in your driveway periodically.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association and Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best wishes to you in 2013!

Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re Doors & Windows

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Here are some safety tips regarding your doors and windows:

– Use solid, not hollow, core doors for exteriorentrances. Doors should fit snugly inthe frame with the hinges on the inside. For doors with single bolt locks, use at least a one-inch dead bolt.

– Put a dowel in the track of our sliding glass door toimpede opening.

– Do not leave your house key in a hiding place near thehouse. Most hiding places are obvious toburglars. When you leave your house donot leave a note explaining why you are not there. Avoid leaving doors or windows unlocked when youare not at home.

– Avoid displaying valuable items near windows with opendrapes or shades.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best,

Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re Landscaping

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Here are some home security tips relating to your landscaping:

– Tall bushes or shrubs that hide your doors or windows from street view make it easier for burglars to break in without being observed. They also provide hiding places for tools and stolen property. Keep your bushes trimmed so that they don’t provide cover for potential burglars.

– Mow your lawn, rake your leaves, and generally keep your yard neat. That will send the message that your house is occupied.

(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best,

Eden & Paul
RCH-NW Coordinators

Your Neighborhood Watch Team Presents: Helpful Home Security Tips re indoor/outdoor Lighting

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Here are a few helpful home security tips relating to your outdoor and indoor lighting:

– Good outside lighting can be a deterrent to burglars. Light those areas that are accessible to potential burglars and visible to your neighbors, such as doors, windows and eaves. Any spotlights that you install should shine on those areas, not out into the yard.

– Install photoelectric timers on your outside lights so that they will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun. Do not leave porch lights on during the day –to burglars it is a sure sign that no-one is home. Motion sensor lights are also effective.

– Remember to leave an interior light on to send the message that your house is occupied. Use timer lights when you are away.
(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

– Install photoelectric timers on your outside lights sothat they will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun. Do not leave porch lights on during the day –to burglars it is a sure sign that no-one is home. Motion sensor lights are also effective.

– Remember to leave an interior light on to send the message that your house is occupied. Use timer lights when you are away.
(Source: National Sheriff’s Association & Montgomery County Community Police Officer Denise Gill)

Best regards,

Eden and Paul

RCH-NW Coordinators

Neighborhood Watch Update

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The RCH Neighborhood Watch recently had a very productive meeting with Community Police Officer Denise Gill. Officer Gill was enthusiastic about our Watch, shared recent crime statistics with us, and gave us helpful tips on crime prevention. Here is a quick summary of the statistics and tips:

Statistics: Crimes in RCH Reported to the Police Between April 2011 and April 2012

– 23 thefts from vehicles

– 4 vehicle thefts

– 2 residential burglaries

– 2 thefts (copper)

– 3 narcotics offenses

– 1 sex offense

Crime Prevention Tips

Most thefts from vehicles result in part from people leaving valuables (electronic gadgets, cash, wallets) in unlocked cars parked on the street. She reminded us to lock our doors and not leave valuables in our cars.

Door-to-door salespersons (magazines, tree trimming, etc) are required to have a license from the County Department of Permitting Services, and must wear an operator’s permit in a visible location on their person. Residents, especially seniors, should be wary of such salespersons since their activities often lead to burglaries. Officer Gill recommended that residents call the police to check out such salespersons, and that seniors refrain from opening their door.

As distinct from door-to-door salespersons, canvassers who are knocking on doors for a political cause are not required to have a license. Officer Gill suggested that it would be safest to contribute to such causes over the phone or through the mail rather than at the door. For local kids who are raising money for sports teams or extracurricular activities, generally residents should expect an email about their door-knocking activities in advance.

If you are a victim of crime or observe what you believe to be suspicious activity, call the police right away. That gives the police a chance to check things out and take steps to stop crime in progress or catch criminals. It is ok with the police if you turn out to be wrong, and if you figure that out yourself then you can call off the police before they arrive. Call 911 if it’s an emergency and 301-279-8000 if it’s not. After you call the police, alert your neighbors through the Neighborhood Watch.

– Eden Durbin & Paul Tiao
– NW Coordinators

Neighborhood Watch Meeting with Officer Gill Thursday May 10 7-8:30 p.m.

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Dear Rock Creek Hills Neighbors:

Please RSVP to edendurbin@verizon.net if you plan to attend.

We invite all neighbors to the next the Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood
Watch meeting on Thursday, May 10th at 7 – 8:30 pm at Eden Durbin’s
house (3307 Wake Drive). Community Police Officer Denise Gill will
join us to talk about recent crime trends and provide helpful tips on
the best methods for preventing crime in our neighborhood. We feel it
is very important that we develop a good relationship with Officer
Gill, since that should lead to greater responsiveness on the part of
the county police when public safety issues arise.

In addition, neighborhood watch captains will discuss how to join the
outreach efforts to other neighbors in order to solidify connections
in our neighborhood to better prevent crime and increase communication
during weather emergencies, including power outages. We invite all
Rock Creek Hills all in the neighborhood to join us. Please RSVP to
Eden Durbin at edendurbin@verizon.net.

Sincerely,

Eden Durbin and Paul Tiao
Rock Creek Hills Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch Meeting on January 31, 2011 @ 8 pm

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The RCH Neighborhood Watch is organizing its third training on Tuesday,
January 31st at 8 pm. It will take place at 9806 Hillridge Drive (Paul’s
home).

The Watch has made substantial progress during the last half-year training
and activating street captains during the last few months, but we still need
a lot of help. As you may recall, street captains are asked to reach out to
ten households on their street to encourage residents to participate in the
Watch by signing up for the RCH list-serve, notifying the community about
criminal or suspicious activity, and reporting it to the police. If you are
interested in getting trained to be a captain or just learning more about the
Watch, please join us on the 31st.

Thank you,

Paul Tiao (paultiao@aol.com) & Eden Durbin
Co-Coordinators, RCH Neighborhood Watch