By Brian New

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A recent string of home burglaries has many Plano residents calling on police to make a house call.

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The Plano Police Department offers free of charge to send a specialized crime prevention officer to any resident’s home.

Officer Mark Dawson said recently his schedule has quickly been filling-up with requests.

“We cannot make your house burglar proof,” said Dawson. “But we can make it more difficult, more time consuming, and nosier for a burglar to break-in.”

In about an hour, Dawson can go through a home and offer customized home security tips.

At most homes, Dawson advises homeowners to replace the strike plates on the front and back doors with new security plates that have at least four-inch screws. He said that way the lock is attached to a stud in the wall and not just the door frame.

One vulnerability Dawson often comes across is homeowners not locking the door between their house and the garage.

Leaving garage door openers in their vehicles is also another mistake he said homeowner often make.

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“That’s a key to your house,” he explained.

Keeping front porch and alley lights on, locking backyard fence gates, and not leaving valuables in the master bedroom are among the dozens of other tips he said can better product your home and possessions.

“We like to get our citizens involved,” said Dawson. “We will go out there for free. We’ll show you what to do.”

The single most important piece of advice Dawson said he tells homeowners is if they see a suspicious person or vehicle in their neighborhood to call police. He said people are often hesitant to call police. He tells homeowners don’t be.

To schedule a home safety assessment call Plano Police Crime Prevention at 972.941.2431.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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