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Convicted burglar shares insight into break-ins, tips for keeping your home safe

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"Like this house right here, perfect, not a car in the driveway, not a soul in sight."This man is a convicted burglar. He's in the Albany county jail now for a different charge. It's because of the information he's sharing - he asked us to distort his voice, blur his face and not use his real name. For this report, we'll call him "Bob.""I was breaking into homes for jewelry, cash, cellphones, TVs," Bob said."Bob" didn't want to be caught, he didn't want to go to jail. So, he says he was careful and he planned.{}He said, there are things people can do, to reduce the risk."Make sure your house is locked up good, your windows," he said. "It was so easy to just find a door open in a house.""Bob" said people left their windows wide and doors wide open. "You just walked in? Just walked right in."He said secluded homes were ideal because they made it easier for him to remain undetected. As for which homes were least appealing, Bob said houses with TVs and lights on, dogs present and signs of an alarm system were off limits.{} If you go up to a door and the TV is on, a light is on, that's a deterrent, so were dogs and alarms," he said. "If there was an alarm sticker on the door, it was a no go." Nosy neighbors also served as deterrents to Bob."They are going to be looking out the windows, they are going to be watching the neighborhood."The city of Albany police didn't investigate "Bob's" case{}but do offer home security surveys.Officer Janet Zalatan showed us a few ways people can improve the safety and security of their home."Sliding glass doors are certainly points of opportunity," Zalatan said. "A piece of wood, or broom handle, can add security{}to prevent the door from moving any distance. Windows are another common entry point for burglars. New windows, like these, remind if the window is locked or not and some have a pop out pin to hold windows in place." {}Zalatan said drilling holes in older wooden windows and using nails as stoppers can do the same thing. The least expensive crime prevention? Lighting. Zalatan recommends homeowners install lighting around the entire perimeter of their house.
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