Dear Ann Landers, I am a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Crime Prevention Officers Association. I am concerned about the letter signed "Ohio Nightmare Without End." She said her in-laws often show up on Sunday morning uninvited and let themselves into their home. The in-laws use the emergency key the couple keeps hidden near the door of the house.
Please, Ann, tell your readers not to hide keys outside their homes. No matter how secret they may believe a hiding place is, a criminal is sure to find it. Burglars know exactly where to look. After all, breaking into homes is their business.
No one should leave an extra key under the mat, over the door, in the mailbox or anyplace someone could find it. If your readers feel they MUST have an emergency key, it should be left with a trusted friend or neighbor. May I also suggest that they not leave the key in any of the commercial devices advertised as "hiding places" because, believe it or not, criminals read those advertisements, too. -- Richard D. Pontes, security specialist, Boston
Dear Richard Pontes, Your letter is sure to prevent a great deal of anguish. Thank you for giving my readers some extremely valuable advice today for the price of a newspaper.