Keeping your safe protected from burglars

Police see increase in burglars looking for documents with personal information

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Burglars aren't just after televisions and jewelry when they break into houses. Law enforcement officials said more thieves are now going after victims' identities.

"They start with burglaries, they get your identity and eventually it leads to fraud," Broward Sheriff's Office Detective Javier Duran said.

Some crime prevention experts think storing sensitive documents like passports and birth certificates in a safe is a good defense against burglars.

Cesar Montalvo with ASAP Locksmith in Hallandale Beach said there is a variety of safes that are effective, but homeowners should do their homework.

Montalvo said a good safe should be fire rated and burglary rated. According to American Security Products Co., a burglary rating "signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a moderate degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means."

Montalvo pointed to a safe in stock at the store that is popular with customers.

"This has to cook at 350 degrees consistently for one hour before anything inside starts to incinerate," he said.

Montalvo also said homeowners should be creative with where they put their safes.

"You have to think outside of the box when you think about storage for your safes. Burglars are going to go straight to bedrooms," he said.

Instead, think about your kitchen pantry, or places that would not be enticing to a burglar.

"I've had customers put safes in a linen closet," Montalvo said. "I've had a customer that put a safe in the garage and she parks her car over the safe."

Crime prevention experts said another layer of deterrents, like a safe, is an effective tool against crime.

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