EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column:

A few weeks back we spoke about ways to help decrease opportunities for us to be victims of theft. This week we want to give you some ideas on how to decrease a thief’s desire around your home.

Please understand we can never truly take a thief’s desire away, but we can take some actions which will decrease their desire.

The term we want you to learn is “Hardening the Target.” We can never truly keep something from being broken into and stolen because given enough time and resources a thief can break into and steal anything.

But, we can make it difficult enough on the thief they do not want to try.

Some things we can do to help harden the target at our homes begin with lighting. Criminals do not like light; therefore we needed to keep our property lit up so there are no shadow spots around it. This helps us as police officers because when we drive by your house at night we can visually inspect your property better.

Another thing home owners do is build privacy fences. Privacy fences provide just that; privacy but we (police patrol units) have no idea who is in your backyard late at night or early in the morning when we pass by. When you build your fence and you construct the sections which connect to your house (portion facing the street) use a shorter fence or something which can be seen through, like a wrought iron type design.

The majority of your backyard will still be out of your neighbors view, but when a thief looks at it they realize the backyard does not provide enough cover for them.

Get an alarm system and place the stickers and signs in your yard which let the thief know you have one. This is another level of security which will help harden the target.

Use these ideas to help make your house and business less inviting to thieves.