Chicago: A City Coping With Crime

Published September 28th, 2017 | By

 

A Popular Location to Visit

Tourism is key in “The Windy City.” Last year, tourism accounted for more than 145,000 of all jobs and brought in $15 billion to the economy. In 2016, there were over 54 million visitors who travelled to Chicago. Compared to the year before in 2015, there was a 2.9 percent increase in travel. These overall numbers included people both on business and on vacation.

The two main reasons for the increased number of visitors are due to the various large-scale city events and attractions. Famous landmarks draw in an impressive number of people, locations such as: Wrigley Field (home of the Cubs), Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Skydeck, Field Museum, The Magnificent Mile and others. These places are iconic—people want to be a part of something they have always heard so much about and finally have the opportunity to experience first-hand.

And while tourism growth has reached record numbers, Henry Hartevelt, the President of the Travel Industry Consistency Atmosphere Research Group stated, “The city will need to curb some of the violence continually making headlines to maintain that momentum.” He continued, “It may take a toll on leisure travelers who have complete discretion on where they choose to go.”

So despite Chicago’s popularity, the city will have to tackle its alarming crime rate if it wants to maintain its place as one of the leading travel locations to visit in the U.S. People want to feel safe and secure anywhere they venture—not just visitors but the residents of Chicago as well. One of the best ways to prevent crime is to come together as a community.

 

Life In Chicago

Despite its current issues with crime, Chicago is an appealing city for many people to live in. It is more than a place that continues to have issues with crime— stemming from its infamous Al Capone mafia days in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. Then, there was literally terror openly on the streets. Fast forward to today, Chicago is also more than a city that is renowned for simpler things, such as its deep-dish pizza.

Chicago is a sprawling metropolis with an abundant culture of diverse food, music and art. There is no place quite like it. As the third largest city in the U.S.—ranks just behind New York City (8.5 million) and Los Angeles (3.9 million), Chicago is home to an estimated 2.7 million people. The median age of its residence is 32 and mainly comprises of people of Caucasian, African American and Latino decent. The number of occupied homes is 1,045,560 and consists of mainly family-led households.

 

The Housing Market

Regarding the housing market, those in the metro areas have done best since the Great Recession of 2008. It has taken many areas to bounce back years after the recession ended. Other locations, such as the Northwest side have fared better than those on the Southside. Those on the Northwest side have more home equity, whereas those on the Southside frequently are facing underwater mortgages.

Only 15 percent of Chicago homeowners are viewed as being equity rich, meaning they have over a 50 percent steak in their homes. On the contrast, over 17 percent owe 25 percent or more than their current market home value. Regarding equity wealth, areas throughout the Northwest side are doing the best, including these neighborhoods: Old Irving Park, Mayfair and Jefferson Park, Logan Square and Avondale. These areas and numbers only reflect homeowners and don’t take into account the financial statuses of renters throughout the city.

One thing is clear: neighborhood wealth directly impacts the levels of crime a specific area will experience.

 

Migration to the City

One alarming thing to note is that Chicago’s population numbers are seeing the greatest population losses of any other major U.S. metropolitan city. The U.S. Census Bureau released this data in March of 2015. The report shows that the metro area decreased by 6,300 in a one-year span (July 2014-July 2015). This is part of Chicago’s total loss of over 80,000 people. Within the U.S., Chicago is losing its people to other locations (domestic out-migration) more quickly than it is having people migrate to the city.

Other large cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles see large domestic out-migration as well, but also see migrations to the city, offsetting any losses. After Chicago, the second worst city to see a net population loss was Detroit, which has had a floundering economy.

It goes to say that Chicago is at a crossroads if it’s not careful with things that can negatively impact its population. Crime is undoubtedly one such component that will potentially make people want to pack up and leave.

 

Chicago and Crime

As stated before, Chicago has a complex relationship with crime—stemming from over a century ago. Al Capone set the stage for the mafia presence in the area, but it wasn’t the last stint of corruption it would see. Plenty goes on today in various forms. From theft, burglaries, violent crimes and assault, murder and rape, Chicago is a city that has it all.

To put it into perspective: halfway through 2017, violence in Chicago had claimed the lives of 323 people. From an annual perspective, 2017 is likely to see over 700 homicides—more than what it has been in 20 years. Even in comparison to the more populous cities of New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has a higher murder rate.

Much of Chicago’s violence surrounds its gangs, which have a hand in everything from petty crimes to drug dealing. Other factors include unemployment, racial divide and hardships of the South and Western parts of the city. And while there are police to help prevent citywide crime, Chicago as a whole now faces a strong resentment of its police force due to recent cases of racially-related police shootings of citizens.

 

How Can You Protect Your Home and Family?

Where your home security and personal safety are concerned, there are things you can do to ensure that you are better protected from things such as burglaries and violent home invasions. Every year, approximately 2 million homes experience a home invasion; however, with a home security system, your home will be 3 times less likely to be targeted. Home security systems provide a peace of mind, allowing you to worry less and focus more on the things that matter most to you, such as your family and daily activities. Enjoy all that Chicago has to offer—after all, it’s a city with plenty of great things to offer.

Safety and Security in Houston, Texas

Published August 18th, 2017 | By

Houston, Texas. The Space City. Ranking just below Chicago as the fourth largest city in America, and the largest city in the state of Texas, Houston brings a wealth of culture, history, education, and more to not only the state of Texas, but to the country as a whole. Recognized as a global city, Houston’s industry contributes to the entire global economy.

Houstonians abide by an honest life and work hard to make it a place that all residents and visitors can feel proud of calling home. Based off several metropolitan studies, Houstonians have plenty reason to feel good about making a permanent home in the area.

According to an analysis of 100 metro areas by U.S. News, which looked at factors such as the job market, net migration, and value, Houston ranks at number 20 as one of the most desirable metro areas to live in. The report also found that Houston provides a better home living value when compared to similarly sized areas, based on median household income and home costs.

While it’s easy to bask in such positive statistics, it is also important to recognize that crime accounts for some rather significant statistics within the Houston area. While larger crime rates will naturally occur given a larger population, Houston does seem to suffer from larger crime rates well above the national average. According to AreaVibes.com, Houston’s crime rate sits at 88% percent higher than the national average.

These numbers are not meant to scare away anyone from making a living in Houston, but it is important to put some of these issues into perspective. In keeping the focus with home security, we are going to look at burglaries in Houston, and what can be done to minimize the risk of anything happening to you.

Burglaries in Houston

Since 2001, Houston has experienced pretty consistent annual burglaries, ranging where from roughly 19,000 to as high as just above 29,000. The good news, according to trends published by City-Data.com, is that burglary rates have steadily declined since 2009. In fact, given data collected since 2001, burglaries in Houston were at their lowest in 2015 with 19,859 reported incidents. This means 872.8 burglaries per 100,000 people living in Houston. The state average in Texas is 412 burglaries per 100,000 people

Auto thefts have also seen a general decline in recent years, falling from 19,465 thefts in 2007 to 12,281 in 2011. There was, however, a small jump in years beyond.

While all forms of crime serves as a source of large concern for any community, burglary accounts for a rather small makeup of overall crime in Houston. According to City-Data.com, burglaries (where only a break-in occured) made up 16% of all crime in Houston in 2015. Theft made up an overwhelming majority of all crime, account for 54%. Keep in mind that the term theft covers a lot of ground, where it may not necessarily indicated home break-ins. More statistics about crime in Houston can be seen here.

Safe Neighborhoods in Houston

Despite the numbers discussed above, Houston’s size opens up the door to a multitude of safe areas to live in.

With data pulled from the FBI and U.S. Census, Niche.com recently provided a list of the Safest Neighborhoods in the Houston Area in 2017:

  1. Lake Houston
  2. Kingwood
  3. Addicks Park Ten
  4. Westbranch
  5. Hunterwood
  6. Braeswood
  7. Afton Parks / River Oaks Area
  8. Clear Lake
  9. Langwood
  10. Meyerland

More information from Niche, including user input, can be found here

While “safer” neighborhoods tend to tag along higher home prices, an initial search finds that these top-rated neighborhoods are reasonably accessible. Westbranch for instance has homes listed on Realtor.com for under $200K, and Hunterwood has new builds for under $190K. Compared to other large cities, finding a modestly priced home within the greater city area is rather attainable in Houston. 

Increasing Your Safety

There is little reason to feel apprehensive about feeling safe in Houston. As of 2016, 2.303 million people call the city their home (U.S. Census). With the city being a hub of international tab, medicine, media, and so much more, there’s good reason that the population has steadily grown since 1990.

Living a normal and safe life is completely within reach, and there are plenty of accessible measures that you can take in order to make this happen.

Home Security Systems

One of the most sensible solutions is to make an investment in a monitored home security system. While it may seem unlikely at first, more affluent and middle-class neighborhoods are more likely to be targeted by burglars due to what they believe they can yield. Complacency, whether it’s in Houston or any other city, is not something you want to make a habit of.

Just having a security system installed can do a lot to persuade a would-be burglar to not try anything on your home. Interviews with incarcerated burglars have revealed that they prefer to stick to home without any form of visible security.

Learn about how you can bring 24/7 monitored home security to your Houston home through Choose Home Security. Protect Your Home, an Authorized ADT Monitored Home Security provider, is available to Houstonians throughout the greater and metropolitan area. 

Protect Your Home and ADT Monitored Home Security offer customers in Houston the ADT Guarantee, which works to protect your investment in home security. You can learn more about the ADT Guarantee and other home security deals in Houston.

Houston Police Department

If you are the victim of a burglary, the Houston Police Department has a dedicated division that focuses strictly on burglary and theft. Several units make up this division, and work to investigate everything from financial crimes (e.g., identity theft, forged documents), metal theft, and more. If you are interested in learning more about the Houston Police Burglary and Theft, Division, click here

Remember that with a monitored home security system in Houston, you will be put in touch with the appropriate Houston authorities in the event of an emergency.

With Houston’s size, prospects, and reasonable real estate, there’s little reason to feel doubt about making a home in the Space City. Once you find the neighborhood that’s right for you, you’ll know that you’ve made the right choice for yourself and your family.

Using Craigslist and Keeping Yourself Safe

Published February 22nd, 2017 | By

Craigslist may essentially still have the same minimal layout as when it started, but with 50 billion page views per month, the classifieds website shows no signs of slowing down. An overwhelmingly large majority of transactions that take place on Craigslist are done so by honest people simply looking to acquire goods and services. However, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to be complacent about the safety of yourself or even your home when it comes to interacting with someone on Craigslist.

There are a slew of measures that you can take to make sure that you safely engage with someone on Craigslist, ensuring that you are not jeopardizing anyone’s well-being. Take into consideration the following tips.

1. Insist on meeting in a public place

This should be a given whether you’re the seller or the buyer. Meeting in a heavily used parking lot during the middle of the day is often best for goods that are easily mobile.

If you’re selling something that is difficult to transport, this is where you may run the risk of dealing with someone with a little less honesty. If someone must come to your home, do everything you can to hide all other expensive goods in your position. Close your garage doors, pull the curtains on all of your windows, and if possible, transport what you are selling outside before the buyer arrives.

2. Keep your location ambiguous on your post

When you’re looking to sell something, the most that anyone should really have to know is the general city or town that you reside in. Avoid giving out any address (even down to just the street name) in your post. There is often little to no reason why your address has to be made public on your post. Think basic home security.

This even goes for if you’re listing your home or apartment on Craigslist for rental purposes. Only the neighborhood or apartment complex needs to be specified to start. More details can be exchanged as you speak with interested parties.

3. Look out for red flags when interacting with someone

When talking with someone via Craigslist, there are several things that you want to keep on the lookout for. Anyone who provides ambiguous answers to questions or asks suspicious questions themselves (about your home/personal life) is probably someone that you want to avoid doing any business with.

Trustworthy individuals are those who provide relevant information regarding the interaction that you two are engaging with, are quick to respond to emails, and are willing to speak with you over the phone before you meet.

4. Use SafeTrade Stations if possible

SafeTrade Stations started up in 2015 as a program to help Craigslist users have a safe space to conduct their exchanges. SafeTrade Stations are often in the parking lots of police stations, and can sometimes happen inside of the police station themselves. There is no charge for using the service, and hundreds of stations exist across the country.

More information about SafeTrade Stations can be found here: http://www.safetradestations.com.

5. Go to the exchange with a friend

It always helps to go to a Craigslist exchange with other people present, especially with someone that you already trust. Find someone willing to take an afternoon to go with you for peace-of-mind. Good friends will likely care about your safety, and rather go with you without you even having to ask.

It’s important to stress that you shouldn’t feel scared to use Craigslist. Hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions happen everyday with no harm done to any of the parties involved. It’s simply important to remember to remain vigilant about your safety as you conduct any exchanges through the website. Keep yourself visible to others and keep your own address secret if possible.

Preparing for Your Next Getaway

Published July 22nd, 2016 | By

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We are in the heart of summer. For many of us, it’s hard to not daydream of our up and coming trip to the beach, mountain, etc. This is the opportunity to prepare for your trip—not just at your future destination, but back at home. Did you know that recent reports indicate that a burglary happens nearly every 14 seconds somewhere in the U.S.

It doesn’t matter if you are well off or are just scrapping by; a burglary can happen to anyone and in any neighborhood. Life is too risky to leave things up to chance. Preventative measures could save you not only thousands of dollars (most burglaries cost the average victim over $2,000 in losses), but it could also save your life and the lives of your loved ones. ADT home monitoring provides exceptional protection—24/7. Letting you enjoy life without all the worry, stress and anxiety.

So to prepare for your vacation, there are additional things you can do to protect your home. A home monitoring system is the best defense, but you can do a number of things to increase your protection. Here they are:

Stop your mail and newspaper delivery

It’s fairly easy. All you have to do is put a hold on your mail by going online to https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/ and filling out the form. Stopping your newspaper delivery requires you to contact your newspaper delivery service provider and doing the same hold process as your mail. The reason for doing all of this is to prevent your mailbox and yard clear of days or weeks worth of mail and newspapers. When you are home, you check and remove these items daily; so it’s obvious if these pile up. You are clearly not home if these are accumulating.

Trim back your bushes and have your lawn maintained

Having overgrown bushes and trees can easily block the views of your entryways. It’s a great thing for burglars, since they want to make their entrances as inconspicuous as possible. Proper trimming will give these entranceways a clear view for anyone to see, which is a great robber deterrent. In having your lawn maintained (even while you are away), you are again giving the appearance that someone is home. How many times have you seen a home with an overgrown yard and wondered whether anyone was even home? Exactly…it made you at least wonder the possibility.nighthome

Setup automatic timers

Appearances say so much. Automatic timers do just that. Set specific times for your lights to come on—both indoors and outside. A dark house screams that it’s vacant; precisely what you don’t want people to know while you are away for an extended period of time.

 

****Another thing to consider is upgrading to ADT Pulse for remote home protection. Pulse lets you monitor and control your home from anywhere—provided that you have a Wi-Fi Internet connection.

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New Orleans Police searching for three suspects in burglary

Published February 2nd, 2015 | By


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Three men are wanted in a burglary that occurred at 1:30AM Monday morning in a New Orleans residence. WDSU News 6 reported on the incident this morning.

The New Orleans Police Department told reporters that the home was occupied by an unidentified 30-year old man who was robbed at gunpoint. The suspects broke down his door, taking money as well as the victim’s cellphone.

Currently, the whereabouts of the assailants are unknown and police are asking for help. New Orleans Crimestoppers can be reached at 504-822-1111 for anyone that has tips into the burglary.

According to Neighborhood Scout, New Orleans experiences close to 15,000 property crimes per year. About 39 in every 1,000 has a chance of being victim of a property crime, where the national median is 27.3.

Broward County, FL police take down burglarly ring

Published January 30th, 2015 | By

Security in Ft. Lauderdale just improved this week after Broward County Police concluded a six-month investigation of a chain of burglaries occurring within the Florida county. The investigation led to the arrest of Wisdom Williams, 17, and nine others who are believed to have been involved in a series of burglaries stretching six months.

According to CBS Local 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, surveillance began on the suspects in August, where it was discovered that they were merely part of a bigger gang that could be as large as 100 individuals responsible for over 100 burglaries in the area.

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Burglaries were such a problem in Broward that the Sheriff’s office formed the Burglary Apprehension Team, a unit devoted entirely to burglaries investigations within the area.

Although Williams is 17 and not an adult, CBS Local 4 reports that prosecutors intend to charge him as one.

While the arrests will certainly play a role in decreasing the rate of burglaries in Broward, there are still believed to be many individuals on the loose who could be associated with the ring. Residents of Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding areas of Broward County could now very well be considering home security for their residence if they do not have it already.

Southgate homeowner shoots home invasion suspect

Published January 29th, 2015 | By

detroit

An attempted home invasion ended in the death of the burglary suspect on Thursday morning in Southgate, MI, located nine miles south of Detroit. The incident happened around 4:47AM when the homeowners, a man and woman in their 60s, were woken by the intruder attempting to enter a window. The man fired his legal firearm on the armed intruder, killing him.

The Detroit News reported on the story around 11AM EST. No details about the identities of the homeowners or suspect have been released. One statement by police chief Jeff Smith suggested that no charges will be placed against the homeowners, saying that “He had a legal firearm so we don’t see any problems with the shooting.”

Another statement from Southgate Police Department director Thomas Coombs also reiterated that since the homeowner had a legal firearm and was facing an intruder, he was justified. “You can, obviously, defend your home if someone comes into your house,” Coombs stated to reporters.

A link to the news report from Fox Detroit can be see here: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/clip/11081764/southgate-homeowner-shoots-kills-home-invasion-suspect

 

* $100 Visa Gift Card fulfilled by Protect Your Home through third-party provider, Mpell, upon installation of a security system. Shipping and Handling Fee applies. ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire. Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $51.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner's Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided. $99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month (1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card of electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-15-1104, AK-35221, AR-2008-0014, AZ-ROC217517, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, EC13003401, GA-LVA205395, HI-CT30946, IA-AC-0036, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL-127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, LA-F1082, MA-1355C, MD-107-1626, ME-LM50017382, MI-3601205773, MN-TS01807, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 69769, MS-15007958, MT-247, NC-25310-SP-FA/LV, NC-1622-CSA, NE-14451, NJ-34BF00021800, NM-353366, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Department of State UID#12000286189, NYS #12000286451, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA22999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD- 1025-7001-ET, TN-C1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VA-115120, VT-ES-2382, WA-602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WI-City of Milwaukee: 0002640, WV-042433, WY-LV-G-21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240