Many people know that crime happens around them, but most do not take necessary precautions to keep themselves from being a victim until it is too late.
Senior finance major Andrew Pulliam and senior biology major Travis Jones took steps to make their home safer, but only after their house was burglarized last June. The two live on West Biddison Street located close to Bluebonnet Circle Park.
Pulliam had left a key under a mat on the front porch. It was only there a few hours, but that was all it took for someone to burglarize their home.
Jones said the burglars stole two laptops, a stereo system, glasses, a watch, a small dish of change and even disposable razors from the home. It appeared that the burglar attempted to take the television, but could not remove it from the wall.
“Although we had a lot taken, it would have definitely made matters much worse if the TV had been gone,” Pulliam said.
After the incident, the Fort Worth Police Department came to the home to take down the police report. While there, the police informed Jones and Pulliam that their door could be kicked in even when they locked the bolt and handle.
Jones wasted no time in taking preventative measures, because he believed another burglary might be attempted to steal the television that was left behind. Jones immediately bought a quarter inch thick steel bar that fits into brackets located on both sides of the door.
Jones said he walked up to a man at Lowe’s and said, “Hey, I’m expecting someone to break into my house tonight, what can you do for me?”
The man responded by showing Jones the steel bar.
“[Jones] actually put them up on all three doors in the house so that it really gives you a peace of mind that your simple conventional locks can’t give after a burglary,” Pulliam said.
The two also purchased an alarm system to try to prevent future incidents, Pulliam said.
According to Fort Worth Police Department crime statistics between January and December 2009, 102 crimes occurred in the area immediately located around the university.
Thirty-one of the 102 crimes were burglary of residence.
The Fort Worth Police Department West Division did not return multiple calls and messages for requests of a video interview.
TCU Chief of Police Steve McGee said to not give someone a reason to burglarize your house. Make sure windows and doors lock well and that there is no overgrown shrubbery for someone to hide in. He said some other deterrents students could use is to get an alarm, an alarm sticker, an alarm sign, or get dogs.
Burglars often live within a mile to two miles of a house they would burglarize, McGee said.
“They know peoples’ habits,” McGee said. “They’ve walked by or driven by and they know when people come and go.”