Older adults are often the target of criminals. An 83-year old grandmother recently called News 4 to tell us that her home was burglarized. One or more burglars broke into her home in Berkeley and rummaged through the house while she was sleeping. They took cash from her wallet and the keys to her car and then drove away in her car. It was later found in South St. Louis where the thieves had crashed it into a concrete barrier and abandoned it. Police know that criminals see senior citizens as easy targets. Most burglars prefer to break into homes during the day when people are working, to avoid a possible confrontation. Investigators say the burglars that hit this grandmothers home probably weren't worried about her waking up to confront them, since they'd be able to physically overpower her. Berkely police took fingerprints, have stepped up patrols in this neighborhood and are actively looking for the criminals who preyed on this woman.
Even if an older adult lives alone on a fixed income, there are some things they can do to protect themselves.
1) Get to know your neighbors and look out for each other.
2) Be sure you have a sturdy door knob and deadbolt.
3) Consider reinforcing the door frames on exterior doors. (A deadbolt is only as good as the door frame it locks into)
4) Report any suspicious activity to police.
5) Have a security system installed.
6) If you can't afford a security system, purchase a portable alarm or portable motion detector. (As cheap as $10)