FBI study ranks Indianapolis among most-burglarized cities

A smashed window on a door let a burglar into a west side home Thursday.
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The FBI ranks Indianapolis near the top of a recent survey on home burglaries in the United States.

More than 15,000 burglaries were reported in Indianapolis in 2011. A burglary at a west side home Thursday led to the lockdown of several schools.

A neighbor called police after noticing someone loading a van with a homeowner's belongings after she left for work.

"Some of the things that he took were the television, Playstation, Wii, Wii games, any kind of games, money, he went through some of my paperwork, things like that," said the homeowner, Kim.

After leaving Kim's house, the burglar crashed his getaway van into another house and ran away on foot.

"It just breaks my heart that someone has to break into your house and take your things," she said.

Kim is not alone.

The FBI survey ranked Indianapolis 10th among the most burglarized cities in America. Thieves are preying on homeowners and keeping police and people like locksmith Barry Campbell busy.

Campbell has been installing plenty of door jambs to help keep the bad guys from kicking their way inside. He says it is practically burglar-proof.

"To protect, to keep someone from kicking in your door, you want something that is going to tie your door frame to the 2x4s surrounding it," Campbell said.

Of course, a strong door is only as good as its lock, so get a deadbolt that fully extends and slide locks that operate properly, too.

"When the door closes, that should fall, but the deadlock plunger should not and when it does, no one can force that back in with a credit card or screwdriver," Campbell said.

Once your door is secure, Campbell says you should take steps to make your home less of a target.

"Having the TV on something that makes noise, the little yapping dog that will bark if someone is approaching," he said.

He says lighting, noise from a dog or television and alarm signs can also deter burglars from paying you a visit.

Burglary prevention tips