ADT Mission Viejo, California

Home Security in Beautiful Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, incorporated very recently in 1988, is a prosperous city in Orange County, California. It is mainly a residential area, although there are a few businesses and office buildings as well. Recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its proliferation of trees, its 95,000 residents are generally quite well-off. Their affluence is reflected by average income levels that are almost twice the state and national levels, and much higher than average housing prices. Generally speaking, it is also quite a safe city. Rates of both violent and property crime fall well below the national and state averages. In fact, since 2006 the city has had the consistent honor of being listed as one of the ten safest cities in the country with less than 100,000 residents. While in communities across the country there are an average of 1,700 crimes committed annually, just over 500 crimes per year are reported in Mission Viejo. In most years, no murders are reported at all. 2014 is the one notable exception, as an entire family was killed in an apparent murder-suicide committed by the son, a 21 year old man. Likely due to the area’s low levels of crime, police clearance rates particularly high. 100% of rapes reported over a recent two year period were solved, and 79% of the violent assault suspects were apprehended. When compared to the national averages of 38% and 52% respectively, these statistics speak volumes about the effectiveness of the local police force at solving, as well as preventing, crime. The one area in which Mission Viejo’s remarkably dedicated officers fall short in resolving crimes is burglary. The force has only a 7% burglary clearance, compared to a national average of 12%. Statistically speaking, burglars are some of the criminals least likely to be apprehended after committing a crime. This can be disconcerting for homeowners and residents. Another area in which the city compares unfavorably to others of its size is in racial diversity. The majority of its residents are white, and fairly affluent. One unfortunate result is that the city experiences higher rates of hate crimes than other forms of criminal activity. Although most years the average number of hate crimes committed in the area is still lower than the national average, it’s clear that racial tensions do exist in Mission Viejo. One local resident fell prey to a white supremacist gang member around this time last year. Although the murder itself took place in the bordering town of Laguna Niguel, keeping it off the local police’s radar, both the suspect and the victim were residents. The murderer faces 76 years to life, but has not yet been convicted. Also disconcerting to residents across Orange County is a documented increase in crime over the past year. The city has experienced an overall increase in crime in the 20%-30% range. Similar patterns have been noted across Orange County as a whole, with the neighboring town of Rancho Santa Margarita experiencing an increase in crime of more than 50%. Unfortunately city lines do not stop criminals, so this number has some residents concerned. It’s a knownf act that not all households are equally susceptible to crime. It’s always wise to exercise basic safety and security precautions when out on the town, like always informing a friend or family member of whereabouts. When it comes to preventing crimes that occur in the home, such as burglaries and other forms of property crime, the level of prevention necessary depends largely on an individual household’s unique needs. Those living closer to the east side of the city, which borders the more dangerous Rancho Santa Margarita, may have reason to be more concerned about home safety. Similarly, homes located near major thoroughfares are also more susceptible to break-ins. Those living in these types of higher-risk areas should ensure that their homes do not appear to burglars as easy targets. Factors that influence what homes criminals choose to break into include limited visibility from nearby neighbors and streets, lack of adequate lighting, and lack of active security measures. If the household has a rear or side entrance, it should be well-lit and should not be obscured from view by trees, landscaping elements, or other structures. Burglars are more likely to target entrance points other than the front door, particularly if they have good cover. One way of avoiding this problem is to have motion-sensor lights installed over the door, or in nearby areas. All residents, regardless of perceived risk, should ensure that doors are locked both at night, and any time the home is left vacant for any period of time. They should also avoid placing valuable items on display near windows, where they can be tempting targets to potential burglars. These basic measures may not be enough to keep residents and their families from feeling unsafe. Additional measures such as installing security alarms, or even surveillance cameras, are much more effective, although they are also more expensive. Most find that the money is well-spent, as homes that employ active home protection measures are statistically 3 times less likely to be broken into than those that do not. Advances in technology allow homeowners to remotely view security feeds, turn lights on and off from their smart phones, and even view and control whether or not the doors are unlocked from afar. There is no reason, in today’s technologically advanced day and age, that burglars should be provided with easy opportunities for committing crimes.