Children and teens can stay safe while home alone this summer and guard against home break-ins by making it clear that someone is home, but never letting the burglar see inside.
After two Center Grove area homes were burglarized in the middle of the day, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office recommended residents answer their doors when someone knocks to show potential thieves someone is home.
But what to do if your children are home alone?
Children who are home for the summer still can respond to a knock at the door, but should keep their home’s outer door closed and locked or answer through a window, sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Randy Werden said.
And never, ever, say no adult is home.
Neighbors also need to look out for each other and call police if they think they see anything suspicious, Werden said.
“Common sense goes a long way, and if there’s any doubt whatsoever, err on the side of caution,” he said.
During the Center Grove area burglaries, thieves broke into homes in the 4000 block of Messersmith Drive in the Windsong neighborhood and the 800 block of Queensgate Drive in the Foxberry Trace neighborhood.
Sheriff Doug Cox advised residents to answer their doors when someone knocks, so that a burglar doesn’t break in thinking no one is home and become violent when they find someone inside.
Werden said the same advice applies to kids who are home alone, but they should never open a door if they don’t recognize who’s on the other side.
Children should look through the window to see if they recognize a mail, delivery or maintenance truck, which could explain why the person came to their home. If the child has any doubt about who people are or what they’re doing, they should call their parents, a neighbor or 911.
“If this is a bogus situation, most people are going to leave,” Werden said.
Werden said residents nearby are the best way to deter thieves, because they can easily spot people or vehicles who are out of place. Neighbors should also watch others’ property and call police anytime they see something that looks strange, he said.