“I think there is a lot that people can do and we've talked about this many times before. Not just as it relates to the series of cases that we've been investigating for some time, but crime prevention in general," says Charlottesville Police Chief, Timothy Longo.
The most important thing is to make sure when you leave your home in the morning, that the home is secure.
Experts say have good locks on all doors and windows and use them. Deadbolts or locks with a key hole in both sides are recommended.
It seems simple but you'd be surprised at how many people don't lock their doors or close the blinds at night.
Longo says, “Things like window treatments, and windows, often times some of the windows in the residence, particularly in the residential housing units near the university don't have curtains or blinds, it makes it very easy for a sexual predator or a peeping tom to look inside and know who is inside and who isn't, kind of develop a kind of a sense for patterns and habits an individual has.”
In the evening, make sure lights are left on in the exterior of the house, but also inside as well.
If you are worried about your windows being easily broken into, the easiest thing you can do is buy one security bars, which clip onto windows and sliding glass doors and it only costs $18 at Lowe's.
There are more expensive ways to protect your home, like a home security system or a unit that turns your lights on with a timer.
Charlottesville police say these suggestions are just that, suggestions. Even if you do these things it still may not deter an intruder.
“If something doesn't seem right when you're approaching the residence, to stop and call the police and give us the opportunity to go there and investigate and make sure the home is safe before you go inside,” says Longo.