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Darien Police Offer Tips to Keep House Construction Sites Secure from Theft

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Darien police have some tips to make your home less likely to be burglarized, even if it’s being built or renovated. Here’s the Police Department’s announcement about what you can do:
In recent weeks this agency has received reports of burglaries occurring at homes under various stages of construction.  This is not uncommon for our area and often occurs during the overnight. Items such as newly installed kitchen appliances, copper gutters, power tools, and construction supplies have been stolen from sites often sustaining tens of thousands of dollars in losses. Homeowners and contractors should be aware that certain measures can be taken to minimize the chance of being victimized. First and foremost, when taking delivery of items, they should be very securely stored or the contractor should consider security services until such time that the items can be installed and or secured from theft.  The following six tips can help maintain a secure site:
1.      Post warning signs to keep unauthorized persons off the site
2.      Consider video monitoring
3.      Do not leave tools, equipment, or supplies visible or accessible
4.      Use only high-quality locks—never leave keys in locks, or leave locks in an open position
5.      Keep neighbors informed
6.    Provide for nighttime lighting
Please report theft or burglary immediately to the Darien Police Department at 203-662-5300.

State Police Have These Tips for Parents & for Teens Going to the Prom

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Connecticut State Police have some tips for parents to keep their teenagers safe on prom night, which is May 13 in Darien. “There is nothing more heartbreaking than for a trooper or police officer to knock on the door of your home and deliver the sad message nobody wants to hear ‘Your child is not coming home,'” state police said in a recent announcement. Here are the tips, from state police on Facebook:
Prom Tips

Know who your child is attending the prom with and obtain all cell phone numbers. Discuss the events ofr pre- and post-prom parties with your teen and with other parents. Talk with your teen about guidelines and a curfew.


Someone Attempts to Pull off Kidnapping Phone Scam on a Darien Parent

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A Darien parent on Thursday got a call from someone claiming to have captured the parent’s child, and someone could even be heard crying in the background, police said. The caller wanted money wired immediately, as is typical with phone scams.
According to police, the parent was able to confirm that the child was all right even though the purported kidnapper was still on the phone, so no money was lost. Darien police issued this news release describing how these kinds of scams work and how you can thwart them:
Daily phone scam attempts targeting residents of Darien and surrounding towns continue to occur at an alarming rate.  This morning a town resident and parent of a Darien High School student unfortunately became the target of a very real scam that we’ve seen and heard about regularly. Although law enforcement agencies around the country feel that these incidents have been originating outside of the U.S. for the past few years, the Darien Police Department investigates each occurrence.  This agency has issued numerous advisories in the past, however the warnings in some instances go unnoticed. This morning’s incident involved an unsuspecting and loving parent who was not aware that this type of scam occurs in our area every day.  The below scenario explains how the typical attempt can unfold:
Imagine going about your daily routine when suddenly you receive a phone call that shatters your existence.

Town Seal Patrol Car

Darien Police Offer Businesses Tips on Avoiding Wire Fraud

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Darien police have just offered tips on how to avoid having your business become a victim of wire fraud. Recently, two Darien businesses — a travel agency and a real estate business — were scammed by hackers who got into a top executive’s email account and issued directives to have money wired. The travel agency lost $10,000. The real estate business lost $48,600. Here’s the complete tip sheet, as posted on Facebook by Darien police:
Town of Darien Business Alert System
Issued by: Det.

Darien Police Station

Twice in a Week, Men Saying They’re Utility Workers Try to Get into Darien Homes

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If you didn’t ask a utility to send someone over to your home, be suspicious if someone shows up saying he or she is from Aquarion or Experian or Yankee Gas and wants to come in. That just happened twice in a one-week period in Darien. In one case on Fitch Avenue on Nov. 23, an elderly man let a worker in, but he left after the resident asked a question indicating he was suspicious, and nothing is known to be taken. In another case, on Locust Hill Road on Nov.

Essex Gingerbread House

While You’re on Vacation, Don’t Let Burglars in

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An announcement from Darien Police:

Home security tips while you’re on vacation: 

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar so make sure you do your best to have your home look occupied while you are away:

Ask close friends, family, or neighbors to watch your house. Give them your contact information in case they need to get a hold of you. Never announce your intention on traveling or vacationing blogs, email groups, Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites and remember if you check-in on Foursquare or Facebook, everyone knows you aren’t home! Install good locks on the doors and windows and use them. Never leave a house key hidden outside of your home.


When Someone Claiming to be from Aquarion Water Co. Knocks on Your Door

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To prevent becoming the victim of a crime when a person claiming to be from the water company comes calling (as happened on Thursday), Aquarion Water Co. has some advice for customers. Here’s what a news release (PDF here) issued by the utility on May 29 said:

Aquarion Water Company is reminding customers to take precautions before allowing anyone into their home or business for maintenance, especially when no appointment has been scheduled. Aquarion advises that residents refuse entrance into their home without first seeing photo identification. “Aquarion Water Company employees follow strict protocols when entering customers’ homes and businesses, which include showing the customer an Aquarion photo ID,” said Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion President and CEO. “We also encourage any customer who is unsure or has concerns to call our Customer Service Department.”

Aquarion Water Company employees and contractors are required to carry company-issued photo identification at all times and to present such identification upon request when entering a customer’s home.


Prevent this Crime: Distraction Burglary

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Here’s a long quote from a news release Darien police issued Friday with advice for preventing a “distraction burglary” — when one person distracts a householder while another sneaks in a home to steal from it (after one such incident happened on Thursday):
Distraction burglary is a crime in which elderly persons are often the targets but not always. The perpetrator seeks to draw a resident out of the house or into the basement on a pretext. While the resident is occupied, an accomplice enters the home and steals valuables such as money and jewelry. Thieves may also take papers with the intent of committing identity theft. In a variation, the accomplice enters the dwelling by a second door while the resident is occupied at the other door. 
To prevent distraction burglary, be suspicious of anyone who comes to your door under any of these guises:

Utility worker
Public official
Door-to-door salesperson
Person asking about a lost pet
Lost person asking for directions
Person asking about working on the property

In the case of someone claiming to be on official business, it’s a good idea to ask for identification, but that can be faked.