Community Safety Advisory: Burglary Prevention

For any campus emergency, call DPS

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has received several reports of home burglaries where thieves have been able to enter students’ homes through unlocked doors. Some of these burglaries have happened while students were at home.  Please help DPS protect you and prevent burglaries by following the crime prevention tips below:

Protect your home, apartment, or residence hall room from thieves

  • Always secure your room, windows and balcony doors when leaving or retiring for the night.
  • Keep your door closed, even when leaving for a short while or visiting a friend down the hall. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to steal from your unsecured room.
  • Don’t leave doors propped open.
  • Don’t let anyone into your building you don’t know.
  • Report incidents of “piggybacking” to DPS immediately. Piggybacking is when someone you don’t know follows behind you into your building.
  • Be smart – if you see something that seems suspicious, call DPS to report the situation and describe the person involved.

While you are away from your residence

  • If you are away for a long period of time, give the impression that you or your roommates are at home by leaving lights on, a TV on, or music playing.
  • Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy offer a variety of low-priced, easy to install home security devices that can be controlled on your smartphone. Wi-Fi-ready light bulbs, home security cameras with a mobile app, and motion sensor alarms are available.
  • When possible, keep your bicycle indoors. If you prefer to keep it outside, lock it to a stationary object such as a bike rack. Be sure to lock the front and rear wheels to the frame of the bicycle. A U-Shaped lock is preferable.
  • Report suspicious people or activity immediately using the USC mobile app, “LiveSafe”, or call by calling 911, or DPS at (213) 740-4321 (UPC), or (323) 442-1000 (HSC).

Outside Lighting

  • Research has proven that brighter communities are safer communities.
  • Criminals don’t want to be seen and heard. Make it uncomfortable for them!
  • Turn your porch light on at dusk or use a light equipped with a dusk-to-dawn feature.
  • If you are leaving and plan to return after dark, make sure to turn your porch light on before you go.
  • External lights around the perimeter of your house will allow you to see suspicious people or activity.
  • There are a number of inexpensive, motion-sensor detected lights that also will light up when people walk by.

Download LiveSafe

  • LiveSafe, managed by the USC Department of Public Safety and the USC Department of Emergency Planning, is a free downloadable app that mobile users can use to initiate contact with emergency responders around the University Park and Health Science campuses. For more information on downloading this app, visit: