Signs in Oak Hills Place Urge residents to be on guard for home burglaries

Signs in the Oak Hills Place subdivision warn residents to be on the alert for home burglaries.

"Kind of surprised when I saw that sign because I knew nothing about it and no one in neighborhood seems to know about it either," said resident Jimmy Clark.

Clark is the vice president of the Oak Hills Civic Association and while the signs caught him by surprise he adds that because he's retired with a little extra time on his hands, he's always on the lookout in the neighborhood.

"I stop and talk to people and get feedback from anything that might have occurred. They'll report anything suspicious to me and I can relate it on," added Clark.

Clark and other residents in Oak Hills say they will continue doing what they always regardless of the new signs and that is letting your neighbors know when you're leaving town and remain alert using things like security systems even when you're not. Advice law enforcement officials say is a no brainer.

"Make sure all your doors are locked, your windows are covered and drawn. Make sure there are no valuables where other people can see them," said Casey Rayborn Hicks of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

Hicks says in June there were two burglary attempts reported in Oak Hills which is low for a subdivision of its size but adds it never hurts to be extra careful.

"Looking out for one another and being proactive in the community, being proactive in your own safety. So many crimes are crimes of opportunity so what you want to do is make sure you don't provide that opportunity for a criminal," said Hicks.

Despite the heightened awareness in the area, the Sheriff's Office says car and home burglaries in its jurisdiction are actually down over 70 percent the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2012. Clark believes that statistic is a far cry from how he felt when he lived in New Orleans prior to Katrina.

"In this area I actually feel much more secure than I did before," said Clark. "I just think people here hyperventilate over least little thing and it's ok with me."

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