Takoma Park Police are investigating multiple shed burglaries that were reported Saturday, according to an emailed community advisory:
- 500 block of Belford Place: December 17 at approximately 10:00 a.m., Takoma Park Police responded to the area for a shed burglary that occurred overnight. Some time between December 16 at 4:30 p.m. and December 17 at 9:50 a.m., unknown suspect(s) broke into the victim’s shed. It is unknown if property was taken. Investigation continues under case #220055891.
- 6800 block of Belford Drive: December 17 at approximately 2:03 p.m., Takoma Park Police responded to the area for a report of a shed burglary. Unknown suspect(s) opened an unlocked door to a rear shed and stole property. Investigation continues under case #220055923
- 6800 block of Belford Drive: December 17 at approximately 2:32 p.m., Takoma Park Police responded to the area for a report of a shed burglary that occurred overnight. Some time between December 13 at 5:00 p.m. and December 17 at 7:00 a.m., unknown suspect(s) broke into the victim’s shed and stole property. Investigation continues under case #220055926.
- 6800 block of Belford Drive: December 17 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Takoma Park Police responded to the area for reports from a witness seeing an unknown suspect (unknown race male, last seen wearing a dark jacket, high water pants, blue socks and flip flops) entering a neighbor’s shed. It is unknown if property was stolen The suspect left the area. A Montgomery County K9 track led the officers through various backyards on Prince George’s Avenue and back to Belford Drive. Investigation continues under case #220055923.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Takoma Park Police at (301) 270-1100.
“Many homeowners do not lock their sheds because they feel there’s not anything valuable inside,” police spokesperson Cathy Plevy said. “Other times they think that because a shed is located within a fenced area, it’s secure. The fact is an unsecured shed can attract thieves no matter where it’s located. Even worse, tools inside could be used to break into your home.”
Police offer the following tips for securing sheds:
- Keep your shed maintained. Rotten boards, rotted window frames and loose hardware can’t provide adequate protection for the items stored in a shed. Inspect your shed annually and repair any structural problems. If you choose to build a new shed, select products that resist termites and fungal decay.
- Keep it locked. This is an obvious prevention tool that, unfortunately, is often forgotten. A locked shed is the first line of defense against theft. Keep your shed locked when not in use. Ensure that you use a strong padlock, and that the hardware surrounding the lock is sturdy and can’t be easily pried off.
- Cover windows. Burglars will decide if a shed is worth breaking into by looking in the windows to view the contents. If your shed has windows, use privacy-control window film or a glass frosting spray to obscure them. If you prefer to have a view while working in your shed, add blinds or curtains that can be closed when the shed is not in use.
- Improve lighting. If your shed is located in a dimly-lit corner of your yard, this can encourage thieves to make it a target. Install motion sensor lights to deter unwelcome visitors. Sensor lights can also provide adequate lighting should you need to access your shed at night.
- Install sensors. If your shed houses expensive items such as vehicles, mowers, bikes and sports gear, you may want to install an alarm. If you do not have a monitored home security system, consider adding a wireless sensor system to your shed. Once a sensor is tripped, your cell phone is immediately sent a notification.