Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - The case of missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis and a break-in sexual assault involving three young girls have Tucsonans on edge. Several security companies say they have received an increase in concerned customers during the past week. 9 On Your Side went to 30-year security expert Brian Boyd to find out how residents can secure their homes.
"It doesn't matter who you are it hits home when you hear about those sorts of things and unfortunately we see and hear about it more than most people," said Boyd, general manager of Ameritech Security Systems in Tucson. Boyd says their calls have increased during the past week, with customers looking for more ways to protect their homes.
Boyd says there are a lot of things to look out for that may attract intruders.
"There's numerous things you can do to help protect your house," he said, "making sure the hedges are cut down from the windows especially in the back of the yard. Most of the break-ins are going to happen in the back of the yard behind the privacy fence."
Boyd says a privacy fence like the one surrounding the Celis house may also offer privacy for an intruder to break in without rising suspicion from neighbors.
"Also L-shapes where the house goes this way and out," he said, "a lot of times they'll look at that because it can block off the view for maybe two-thirds of the property."
Installing a security system can monitor those areas as well as sound an alarm if anyone opens or breaks a window or door. New technology can also send emails and phone alerts during an emergency. Security screens can also prevent break-ins by sounding an alarm if they're removed or cut.
Abel Cruz with Southwest Ironworks specializes in door and window security as well. He stresses the importance of making sure no one can see into the home, but keep windows clear so that any possible intruder can be seen by neighbors.
"The main thing is neighborhood awareness," said Cruz, "another thing is to make your house as visible as possible from the street."
Another strong deterrent for criminals is simple. Displaying a security sign or sticker can send a message that the home is protected, and reduce crimes of opportunity.