Advice on Avoiding Home Break-Ins from Police Veteran

Preventing home burglary is something I advocated having worked as a police officer for over 13 years, I’ve seen the results of countless home burglaries. In Austin alone, burglaries cost residents $1.3 million per year in lost property. Taking a little time to safeguard your home could save you money and the headache that comes with replacing your belongings. Burglars tend to take advantage of easy targets – Don’t make it easy for them!

Tip 1. Shut it and lock it! Keep garage doors closed and locked.

Opportunistic burglars check to see if your garage door is open more than you think. Open doors and windows are a favorite entry point! Lock your house up. Make sure the windows are shut and locked. Ensure that your doors are closed and secured with a deadbolt.

Tip 2. Use Proper Exterior Lighting.

Burglars love the dark. They love shadows and places to hide where homeowners and neighbors cannot see them. It might sound obvious, but the less places for a burglar to hide, the better. Double cone lights on the corner of a house will illuminate windows and create less shadow for concealment.

Tip 2. Secure Sliding Doors and Windows.

Burglars can try to force sliding doors open! Tip: Cut a broom handle to the length of the bottom track so that the door can’t be forced. Make sure window locks are robust by drilling one hole through both casings and the sliding window and insert a nail or pin. This can make the difference in a thief gaining entry to your home.

Tip 3. Mark your property!

Use an engraver to make a small mark on your valuables. Or have the engraver etch your driver’s licence number. That way if your valuables are stolen and recovered at a later date the police department can locate you and return your stuff.   Make a property identification list. It helps police to identify and return property if stolen.

Tip 3. Purchase a Burglar Alarm

A home alarm systemcan be a very effective burglary deterrent and fit into many people’s needs. Remember to test your system monthly by contacting your alarm company to make sure your system is being monitored. We all know someone who has been burglarized. It’s violating and traumatizing. However, don’t be paranoid. Be proactive! Homeowners who are proactive about burglary defense are in the best position to avoid them. Take some time to make your home a difficult target


Senior Police Officer Veneza Bremner has been with the Austin Police Department since October 19, 1999 when she began the training program at the Austin Police Training Academy. Officer Bremner is a Master Peace Officer, Master Public Information Officer and is an Austin Police Department Leadership Academy Graduate.  She was commissioned as an officer on April 20, 2000 and began her career on patrol in Central East Austin.  After five years on the streets, she moved to the Recruiting Unit where she served as a background investigator and testing scheduler to bring in Austin’s finest for two and a half years.  For the last seven years she has been with the Public Information Office.  

While on-call for PIO, Veneza responds to various crime scenes to provide media interviews, provides interviews to print, radio and television during normal PIO business hours…many of which are in Spanish, writes news releases, and performs several other PIO duties.