Hello and welcome to Your Sheriff's Corner.
Last week a person entered a Morriston couple's residence and the suspect shot the victim leaving him critical wounded.
I have had many phone calls from home owners in the Morriston area disturbed and alarmed about this incident. I totally understand why the residents are alarmed because this is a quiet and peaceful neighborhood and usually there is little to no crime in this rural community.
A burglary is committed every 10 seconds in the United States. Some of these burglaries even occur in gated communities, quiet neighborhoods and rural areas where often time residents have become complacent about safety issues.
A false sense of security dictates that this will never happen to me, but nothing could be further from the truth. Usually burglaries are committed when no one is home. They will use different type of ploys by knocking on your door to see if you are home before breaking in.
If you are home, the person may ask for directions, ask if you need work done around the house or ask to borrow money. If this occurs I would ask that you not allow the person in your residence and immediately call the Sheriff's Office with a description of the person /vehicle and direction of travel when leaving your residence.
Most burglars take the path of least resistance and look for an open window or unlocked door.
Burglars usually have a good working knowledge of different types of doors and windows, how they work and their weak points. Sliding glass doors are defeated easily so install a quality lock, place a wooden dowel in the bottom track and also have a steel pin on the top of the sliding door.
This will eliminate the potential intruder from lifting the sliding glass door from the track and also prying the door open.
Other effective deterrents is having an alarm and monitored by a reputable alarm company, install motion detection lights that are activated if someone prowls near your home, have your shrubbery and trees trimmed back and have a telephone near your bed when you got to sleep, so if someone breaks in your residence you can immediately call for help.
Another recommendation I would offer is to have a safe room in your residence. Usually bedroom and bathroom doors are hollow core doors that can be easily kicked in. With minimum cost you can replace the hollow core door with and make your safe room more fortified by replacing it with a solid core door with a dead bolt lock.
A frequent question I receive is: do I need to have a gun permit to own a gun in my residence? The answer to this question is: if you are not a convicted felon, been adjudged mentally incompetent or declared addicted to the use of narcotics or habitual chronic alcoholic you can have a firearm inside your home.
In Florida, you are required to have a conceal firearm permit if you desire to have a firearm concealed on your person in a public place.
It is my recommendation that you receive qualified training from a certified organization before owning any weapons.
If you go on vacation, have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail, newspapers and flyers. Have them park a car in the driveway and give them a key to do "pop in" checks periodically. Make sure your lawn is cared for and consider having some lights which switch on by timers or even play a radio while you are gone.
As you can see with very little time and money, you can improve your home security and decrease your chances of becoming a victim.
In order for Community Policing to be effective I need you to be involved and report any suspicious activity.
I want to assure the citizens of Levy County I have my personnel working around the clock to solve this crime and bring this thug to justice.
If any groups in Levy County would like a Crime Watch meeting about this or any other matter please contact my Public Information Officer, Lt. Evan Sullivan at 352-486-5448.