Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!


Home burglaries can be very disruptive, leaving many people feeling unsafe and upset about having their privacy violated. Most burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home, with most entries occurring during daylight hours via unlocked windows and doors while residents are presumably at work or school.

Good home security and alert neighbors are the most effective deterrents to intruders, but burglaries are crimes of opportunity, so making their job difficult is extremely important. 

Residential Burglary Prevention

  • Make your home look “lived in.” Never let items pile up in the mailbox or on the porch. Arrange for mail, newspapers, garbage cans, etc. to be picked up by a trusted neighbor when you’re away.
  • Do NOT stop mail or paper delivery. You never know who is taking the call on the other end.
  • Set automatic timers for interior and exterior lights, radio and TVs. 
    (Note: A ringing phone alerts others that no one is home, so turn down the ringer.)
  • Leave your window shades in the “normal” position, or have your “house-watcher” move the window shade positioning throughout your vacation. Do not close blinds. 
  • Lock your valuables in a safe deposit box or fire safe. Document all valuables.
  • When taking an extended leave from your home, notify the Evanston Police Department and request a special watch or vacation watch.
  • Lock all ladders, lawn supplies, etc. in your shed or garage.
  • Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle.
  • Make sure your burglar and fire alarms are in working order.
  • Secure your windows by “pinning them” and place a security bar in the track of sliding glass doors.
  • Leave emergency contact information with the police or a trusted neighbor.
  • Consider forming a neighborhood watch program.

If you see a suspicious person trying door handles or looking into vehicles, call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police number, 847-866-5000.

Interested in having the Evanston Police Department show you more tactics to protect your home from a burglary? Contact Police Officer Loyce Spells at 847-866-5000.