Police Investigating Shed Burglary in Takoma Park

Takoma Park Police are investigating a shed burglary and attempted shed burglary that occurred over the weekend, according to emailed community advisories:

Shed Burglary: Takoma Park Police responded to a shed burglary in the 800 block of Larch Avenue at approximately 12:18 p.m. on January 1. The victim noticed that the door to his shed was open at approximately 10:30 a.m. on January 1. Unknown suspect(s) stole property from the victim’s unlocked shed at an unknown date/time. A Trek 7.3 FX-07 Hybrid bicycle was stolen. A serial number was provided and the bicycle was entered into the stolen vehicle database of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Case #230000059

Attempted Shed Burglary: At approximately 6:40 a.m. on January 2, Takoma Park Police responded to the 500 block of Belford Place for an attempted shed burglary. During the overnight period, unknown suspect(s) attempted to pry open the locks on the victim’s shed but were unsuccessful. There was no theft of property. Case #230000134

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.

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