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Burglar alarms becoming more prominent in Lincoln neighborhoods

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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For weeks, I’ve been looking forward to receiving my new house purchase.

What I bought, after months of deciding to do so, was a customized alarm system.

And while I immediately was safer in my house, it’s sad that I needed to arm my house with such a device. If I had cash to burn, I’d rather have new living room furniture, an outdoor kitchen, a lap pool or a multitude of ceiling fans.

But as soon as the alarm company owner arrived last Thursday to install my system, I immediately felt a huge sense of relief. I no longer had to worry if I stayed longer at work or if, on the spur of the moment, I checked out a movie after shopping on the weekend.

It’s not that Lincoln is a high-crime city.

Compared to nearby cities such as Sacramento and Stockton, we’re not.

In fact, we’re rated the 48th safest city in the United States by research site Neighborhood Scout, as of January.

That’s an amazing statistic that should make us very proud of our Lincoln Police Department.

Yet I read The News Messenger’s police logs and burglaries are listed every week. Plus I sometimes see suspicious-acting strangers walking to and from the Auburn Ravine late at night.

And on a recent Friday night, I watched a man knocking on doors in my neighborhood, on the pretense of selling new furnaces, and then looking in windows if no one answered.

So to ease my growing wariness, and on the advice of neighbors, I called Paul Strickland, the Maxpower Electronics, Inc. owner about installing an alarm system.

Thanks to Strickland’s system, I now am secure in my house.

I’m not the only Lincoln resident adding a security system. The number of residents adding a system is noticeably growing.

“Yes, we have been doing an increasing number of intrusion alarms and digital video systems around the greater Sacramento area and the Lincoln area,” Strickland said. “We’ve noticed about a 30 percent increase in residential alarm sales in the Lincoln area alone and around 18 percent more CCTV systems.”

CCTV systems refer to video surveillance.

Any neighborhood can be a target for crime.

“As far as nice/not nice neighborhoods, anything goes,” Strickland said. “A not-nice neighborhood is always a target and criminals always like a nice neighborhood. We have noticed the more sophisticated, career burglar types targeting the nicer neighborhoods, however.”

After my system was installed, I wondered if I was just being overly cautious.

“I recommend an alarm to anyone. The technology is getting better and cheaper, and with smoke and carbon monoxide devices, it makes sense to protect the biggest item you’ve ever purchased for a few hundred dollars,” Strickland said.

Lincoln’s new interim Police Chief Dan Ruden gave me his take on installing an alarm system.

While violent crime has been declining somewhat, burglary and property crimes have been gradually increasing. This is the case throughout most of the region. In Lincoln, property and violent crime rates are generally quite low,” Ruden said. “However, to answer your question, it is never a bad
idea to protect yourself by installing a security system.”

Burglar alarms “are a common security feature and work well to create a deterrent effect, especially systems with an audible bell or siren,” according to Ruden. “I always recommend prominent display of "burglar alarm" signage around your property.”

But Chief Ruden also has some old-fashioned advice that makes a lot of sense.

“The best prevention measure is to get to know your neighbors and their
routines, watch out for each other and never hesitate to call the police when you see something suspicious,” Ruden said. “Even if nothing comes of the call, we can often put together multiple reports of suspicious activity and intervene before a crime occurs. The police department can help
interested residents put together Neighborhood Watch groups.”

For more information on forming a Neighborhood Watch, go online to http://www.lincolnpd.org/#!neighborhoodwatch/c1hb3 or call the police department at 645-4040.