The McKinney Police Department (MPD) is tough on crime. Even so, the fight continues to keep McKinney one of the safest cities in the country.

The MPD is encouraging residents to take simple steps to help prevent possible burglaries.

The department has posted new information on its webite informing residents that "in response to a heightened number of burglaries in McKinney seasonally, or during times of economic hardship like we have experienced for the past several years, the MPD has formed working groups of detectives to focus on the different aspects of these crimes."

The working groups of detectives focus in on what is being taken, where the crimes occur, how homes are entered and how the stolen property is disposed of, according to the department.

"From these working groups they develop leads, suspect actions, witness interviews and compile information that is passed along to citizens and other police agencies in Collin County," the department says. "They continue to track down every lead and share information with other departments knowing that burglars do not respect city limit boundaries, and if we don’t catch them maybe a neighboring department will."

Burglary Prevention Tips

The MPD reminds residents that no area of our city is completely crime free. The MPD also encourages residents to take the following simple steps that can help ward off a would-be burglary.

"We must all take an extra few seconds to make sure the doors and windows to our homes are locked, that outside lighting is working and that our homes do not offer hidden places for burglars to hide without being seen by a neighbor," the department says.

By working together as a community, residents can be the eyes and ears of the police department in every neighborhood. No city can afford to have a police officer on every street, but combined with good communication and good acquaintances, every street can help alert police officers when something is suspicious.

To share suspicious activity with the MPD, residents can always call 9-1-1. If you get an unexpected knock on the front door, realize it could be a burglar checking to see if anyone is home. A homeowner should ask who is there before opening the door and only open the door when you feel safe doing so. If you don’t feel safe, call 9-1-1. If you or a neighbor sees people they do not recognize from the neighborhood walking in the alleys or between houses, call in a “suspicious person” to 9-1-1 and let the MPD check out the stranger.

If you are unfortunate enough to be at home when a burglary occurs, or hear a window break or a door being pried open, you should make as much noise as possible and call 9-1-1. Most burglars are looking for crimes of opportunity and target houses where they know they will not be seen or caught. If you let them know that someone is in the house, they are more likely to get out of the area before they can be identified.

While criminal activity levels can change, the property primarily targeted for burglary continues to be anything of value. Flat-screen TVs, video game consoles, cameras, medicines, jewelry and lawn equipment have all been reported stolen during burglaries. The best piece of evidence MPD can gather is a serial number, which can be traced once they are offered for sale on Craig’s List, EBay, at pawn shops, or any other resale location.

Never leave anything of value inside of a vehicle, whether it is locked or unlocked. Vehicles are not designed to be vaults, and criminals see breaking into a car and stealing a radio, camera, phone, GPS system, CDs, purses or wallets as an easy payday. Do not make it easy for criminals to make you a victim.