Banyan Hills Neighborhood



Do NOT leave your vehicles running/warming up in your driveway!

A car was stolen from a home on west Poppleton in Banyan Hills around 9:00 a.m. this morning!   Due to the frigid temperatures, the owners were warming up the car in their driveway before going to church.  The car was only unattended for a few minutes!  But when the owners came out, it was gone, and another car had been abandoned in the driveway next door.  Thieves are trolling our neighborhoods looking for running cars – something many people do when the temperatures are extremely low – like today.  

If you saw or heard anything suspicious, please contact Steve Rasmussen at 308-991-2752  or Amber Goetsch at 402-891-1966.

Amber Goetsch
Banyan Hills Neighborhood Watch Coordinator

For Emergencies, Dial 911
Reporting Non-Emergencies to the Omaha Police Department:  Report an incident


For Emergencies, Dial 911
Reporting Non-Emergencies to the Omaha Police Department:  Report an incident 

 Helpful Websites:

Omaha Crime Maps

Prevent Crimes

Nation of Neighbors

National Town Watch


Information & Tips for Staying SAFE

Street Light Repairs - properly functioning streetlights are an important part of the Neighborhood Watch Program. *All residents are responsible for the street light nearest their home.  To report street lights out, interruption of service, or wires down, contact OPPD at 1-800-554-6773.

Summer Vacation Tips

  • When going on vacation, or even on a short trip away, make sure you tell a neighbor, a friend, or a family member so they can watch your home, and pick-up your newspapers and mail every day. 
  • Leave a contact number with a neighbor when you travel. 
  • Give a neighbor your garage code or a spare key so they can get into the house, if necessary.
  • Put some of your interior lights on an automatic timer so the lights go on and off throughout the day and night.  You should put a radio on a timer as well. You may call or e-mail the Omaha World Herald to place a temporary hold on your newspaper delivery while you are away.  
  • Lock your doors and windows at night.  Make sure your basement utility windows are always properly locked, too. You may want to enjoy that summer-time breeze at night, but you should at least lock your lower level windows, if you live in a two-level dwelling. Make sure your car doors are locked overnight.
  • When you leave your home during the daylight hours, make sure you lock your back windows and doors ~ and don’t forget that small bathroom window or back garage door.
  • A good burglar watches for specific times when a homeowner comes and goes throughout the day. If you have a predictable schedule, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your property during those times when you are away.
  • If you have children, teach them to watch for, and report, suspicious people to you or a neighbor immediately.
  • If you get your car worked on by an auto shop, don’t forget to remove your house keys from the key ring, and take the garage door opener from the car while it is in for repairs.

Stay alert, be safe, and look out for your neighbors!

Home Security Tips
Courtesy: Omaha Police Department

Is there a burglar working your neighborhood?
Burglars and other criminals often strike neighborhoods where residents do not watch out for each other, or do not call the police when they observe suspicious activity. It is very important that you be alert to the following activities, that may be happening in your area:

  • Strangers going door-to-door, (front or back, night or day), or loitering around the houses where residents may not be home.
  • Strangers entering a neighbor’s house when no one is home.
  • Strangers at your door who claim to be lost or looking for someone else.
  • Strangers running, possibly carrying something of value, not wrapped or packaged.
  • Strange vehicles waiting or driving in the area, parked in neighbor’s driveway, or loading property.
  • Vehicles driving without lights, or parked and occupied at unusual hours.
  • Unusual noises such as screaming, gunshots, dogs barking continuously, glass breaking, etc.

    Taking Action
    Burglaries and other crime can be stopped if you and your neighbors get involved.

    Keep a list of Neighborhood Watch members on your refrigerator or near the main telephone in your house.

    When you notice suspicious activity, call the police at 911.  Then, call other Neighborhood Watch members to notify them of the activity so they can secure their homes, turn on lights, and be alert for further activity.

    Be prepared to do your civic duty in reporting crime, being a witness for the police, and testifying in court, if called upon to do so.

    Develop good habits in personal and home safety so that you re not an easy target for a criminal.

    Don't Make It Easy
    Never allow strangers to enter your home for any reason such as using your telephone or bathroom. Call 911 for them if they need help.

    Be wary of sales people, solicitors, or others who claim to be legitimate. Make them prove it with identification. Then call back to their office to verify it.

    Remember, a burglar has to knock on your door to see if someone is home, just like anyone else does. If someone is at your door and you are not expecting a visitor or do not already know them, you should become suspicious.

    Never leave house keys under the door mat, in the mail box, etc., burglars check these places.

    Make sure your home is secured with good doors, windows and locks. Then keep them closed and locked when you are away, even if you will only be in the yard or next door.

    Place valuables such as extra cash and jewelry in a bank or safety deposit box.

    Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed so they do not become places for intruders to hide. Keep your property neat so burglars know that someone cares for it.

    When you are away from your home, make sure things appear as if someone were home. Leaving a radio or television on, the usual lights on, a car in the driveway and using timers are just a few good precautions.

    If you will be gone for an extended period, make sure a trusted neighbor will watch your home for you, pick up your mail and call the police if suspicious activity occurs. Also notify the police of your plans. This information will be provided to the officers who patrol your area.

    If you have an automatic garage door opener, never exit the garage until the door has closed and you are sure no one entered when the door was open.

    Security Lights:
    Install lights over all doors, and mount spot lights on each corner of the house to illuminate all exterior walls.

    Record All Valuable Property:
    Keep a record of serial numbers, along with photos and/or a detailed description of your property.

    Sliding Doors and Windows:
    Cut a heavy dowel or broom handle to the length of the bottom track and lay it in the track so that the door or window will not slide open when forced. Your door and window dealer also sells devices that serve this purpose.

    Basement or Kitchen Doors and Windows:
    Consider securing with strong ornamental grills or screens.

    Sash Windows:
    Should be secured with quality locking devices. Small wooden blocks or similar devices should be installed in the side tracks to limit the height that the windows can be opened to four (4) inches.

    Garage Doors:
    Should be closed and properly locked. All ladders and tools that may help a burglar break into your house should be locked in the garage or house.

    Porch and Yard:
    Should be clear of all newspapers and circulars. Keep the grass mowed and the snow shoveled.

    Any dog that barks loudly when a stranger comes to the door is a good deterrent. The noise will scare away most burglars.

    Burglar Alarms:
    Shop for the system that best fits your needs. Alarms do discourage burglars

    You should ALWAYS report suspicious activity to the police, whether or not it occurs during the day or at night, by calling the non-emergency dispatch hotline for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 333-1000.  Some people fail to call the police simply because they are not aware of what might be suspicious. Others may hesitate to call for fear that the suspicious activity may not be considered “important” enough. But, it is better to call and report suspicious activity, than to do nothing about it.

    Important Tips:

    • Don’t assume your stuff is safe in your driveway or garage.
      (At least one vehicle has been stolen from Banyan Hills, and numerous others have been vandalized.)
    • Lock doors and windows, even when you’re home
    • Don’t place outgoing mail in your mailbox
    • Protect your account information
    • Don’t share too much in Online Profiles
    • Don’t stuff your purse under the seat
    • Don’t leave your garage door up
    • Report suspicious activity

    National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event held annually on the first Tuesday of August.  This event has been held annually since 1984, and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada.  The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, Neighborhood Watch, and other anti-crime efforts.  Initially communities held lights-on vigils.  These days, many neighborhoods hold block parties, festivals, and other events to help bring neighbors together.