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Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Communicate often, and establish trust. Ask them to watch out for your home or apartment when you are away. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called territoriality which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood.
  • Organize a neighborhood cleanup day to send the message that your community is closed to thieves, vandals, and loiterers. 
  • Have a neighbor pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Offer to reciprocate when they are away. 
  • Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation and inquire if they would like you to park in their drive when they are gone. 
  • Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or nearby shopkeeper, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox. 
  • Notify the police if you see suspicious strangers in your area.