Crime Prevention

Neighborhood Watch

Preventing Crime - Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood watch

Knowing your neighbors and getting involved in Neighborhood Watch are two of the best ways to protect against crime in your neighborhood. In a study at Folsom State Prison, 23 of 24 convicted burglars said that a crime watch sign in the window caused them to go elsewhere.

Get Started Today

  • Block organizer: Attend a training session
  • Block organizer: Survey neighbors to determine who will participate. The most effective group is only one block long
  • Designate a captain and co-captain: These volunteers organize the block, plan regular meetings and disseminate crime statistics report information

Schedule Your First Meeting

The first Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting is an organizational meeting to meet neighbors and share personal information.

  • Schedule your meeting at a resident's home or other local site
  • Choose a block captain and co-captain
  • Share personal information such as vehicle information, children's names and ages, emergency telephone number, etc. If someone objects, do not insist. This is about being a good neighbor
  • Talk about what your group wants and expects from this Neighborhood Crime Watch organization

Crime Watch Signs

Crime Watch signs provide a deterrent to crime only when Neighborhood Crime Watch participants are actively aware and involved in reporting all suspicious activities and vehicles. The city installs them. The crime prevention specialist and the City Signs Division determine placement. Individual yard signs are an option and may be purchased when ordering the primary crime watch signage.

To be eligible for a sign:

  • Have an organized Crime Watch group on your block
  • Choose a block captain and co-captain

For more information, contact McKinney Police Department Crime Prevention OfficerRandy Haak at 972-547-2795.

Crime Prevention

The following tips help prevent and discourage burglary.

  • Lock all doors and windows: Invest in good locks. Deadbolt locks with long bolts that terminate in a good, solid door frame makes breaking down a door a chore. Also invest in good, solid core doors.

  • Keep shrubs trimmed back: If windows are visible, it is easier for neighbors or police to spot a broken window. Consider “thorny” shrubs, as they can be deterrents, as it can be painful to access windows over them.

  • Keep your garage door closed at all times: Not only does this prevent items from being stolen, it also takes away another sign that you’re home or away.

  • Store vehicles in your garage: Vehicles in garages make it harder for crooks to determine if you are away and prevents them from burglarizing your vehicle.

  • Get to know your neighbors: Knowing your neighbors is a great crime deterrent. Extra sets of eyes keeping watch on your property, reporting suspicious activity, and helping keep you safe. Be sure to return the favor and keep an eye on their home too.

  • Consider an alarm system: Most insurance companies offer discounts for alarms, and some system also monitor fire.
  • Watch what you throw out in the trash: If you’ve purchased a new TV, computer, or other expensive item, consider another way to dispose of the box. Will the store dispose of it in their trash? Can you cut it up to put inside garbage bags?

  • Use light timers when you are gone for long period: Light timers give the appearance of being lived in. Leave a radio or TV on at a conversational volume level. Have a neighbor pick up your paper and mail and accept packages. Have a neighbor remove door hangers and other advertisements that pile up at your door.

  • Consider a safety deposit box for jewelry: This can be especially useful for expensive jewelry or jewelry that you do not wear often.

  • Join or form a crime watch group: Getting to know a lot of your neighbors, and inviting the police to your meetings are powerful tools in your arsenal against crime.

  • Turn on exterior lights after dark: Use the same schedule for lighting when you are away that you do when you are at home. Consider timers for exterior lights.

  • Think like a burglar: Ask yourself, “What would a burglar find when he looks at my house that would be inviting?” Remember that you are an important partner in the fight against crime.
  • Burglary Prevention

    Preventing Burglaries

    Breaking into a car

    The McKinney Police Department (MPD) is tough on crime. Even so, the fight to keep McKinney one of the safest cities in the country continues.

    In response to a heightened number of burglaries in McKinney seasonally, or during times of economic hardship like we have experienced for the past severalyears, the MPD has formed working groups of detectives to focus on the different aspects of these crimes, like what is being taken, where the crimes occur,how the homes are entered and how the stolen property is disposed of.

    From these working groups, the detectives develop leads, suspect actions, witness interviews and compile information that is passed along to citizens andother police agencies in Collin County. They continue to track down every lead and share information with other departments knowing that burglars do notrespect city limit boundaries, and if we don’t catch them maybe a neighboring department will.

    What You Can Do


    It is important to know that no area of our city is completely crime-free. The MPD also encourages residents to take simple steps that can help ward off awould-be burglary. We must all take an extra few seconds to make sure the doors and windows to our homes are locked, that outside lighting is working andthat our homes do not offer hidden places for burglars to hide without being seen by a neighbor. By working together as a community, residents can be theeyes and ears of the police department in every neighborhood. No city can afford to have a police officer on every street, but combined with goodcommunication and good acquaintances, every street can help alert police officers when something is suspicious.

    Calling 9-1-1

    To share suspicious activity with the MPD, residents can always call 9-1-1. If you get an unexpected knock on the front door, realize it could be a burglarchecking to see if anyone is home. A homeowner should ask who is there before opening the door and only open the door when you feel safe doing so. If youdon’t feel safe, call 9-1-1. If you or a neighbor sees people they do not recognize from the neighborhood walking in the alleys or between houses, call ina “suspicious person” to 9-1-1 and let the MPD check out the stranger.

    If you are unfortunate enough to be at home when a burglary occurs, or hear a window break or a door being pried open, you should make as much noise aspossible and call 9-1-1. Most burglars are looking for crimes of opportunity and target houses where they know they will not be seen or caught. If you letthem know that someone is in the house, they are more likely to get out of the area before they can be identified.

    Recovering Property

    Locking the door

    While criminal activity levels can change, the property primarily targeted for burglary continues to be anything of value. Flat screen TVs, video gameconsoles, cameras, medicines, jewelry and lawn equipment have all been reported stolen during burglaries. The best piece of evidence MPD can gather is aserial number, which can be traced once they are offered for sale on Craig’s List, EBay, at pawn shops, or any other resale location.


    Never leave anything of value inside of a vehicle, whether it is locked or unlocked. Vehicles are not designed to be vaults, and criminals see breakinginto a car and stealing a radio, camera, phone, GPS system, CDs, purses or wallets as an easy payday. Please do not make it easy for criminals to make youa victim.

    Prestwyck Crime Watch

    Leader: Jason Kaup

    Meet: To be announced

    Download and complete the Committee Volunteer Form