Safe Home Security
Things Your Neighborhood Burglar
Won't Tell You
- Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your
carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
- Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your
yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make
my return a little easier.
- Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means
there are nice things inside.
- Those yard toys your kids leave out always
make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
- Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I
might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you
to remove it.
- If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and
foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead
- If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your
alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That
makes it too easy.
- A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and
your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
- It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to
lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off
because of bad weather.
- I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere
or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
- Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check
dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
- Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
- You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where
you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
- A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town,
you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the
flickering glow of a real television.
- Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and
carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
- The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors...
- I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise.. If
your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to
hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he
was doing. It's human nature.
- I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy
alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
- I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home,
and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk
through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to
pick my targets.
- Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than
you think to look up your address.
- To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way
to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
- If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit
the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and
Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs crimedoctor.com; and
Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University
of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglers On The Job.
Protection: An Alternative to Pepper Spray
If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil
plans for you.
Wasp and Hornet Spray
A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high-risk area was
concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when
they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department
about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of
wasp spray instead.
The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a
lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close
to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an
attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can
on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people
like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for
home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use.
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