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Guarding Against Burglary


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 Jason Garrett

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Posted January 26 2005 - 07:16 AM

Ok, some guy just came by in a truck and the dogs started barking. I go outside and he acts like he's got some asphalt to sell. Right. So, if I suspect that the house might be targeted to be burglarized what should I do? I must not have been the only one suspecting this because the police had him pulled over at the end of the street by the time I got on some shoes to run down and see if he was stopping at other homes. My uncle is the police chief here and he lives across the street ¡V maybe that finally was a good thing ƒº

I hate to see my stuff get ripped off. I suppose I should take down the serial numbers immediately as I already should have done. Any other ideas? I have a suspicion that between here and other web sites my computer and home theater equipment have been tracked down.

#2 of 22 SethH

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Posted January 26 2005 - 07:24 AM

Are the dogs inside or out? If inside I doubt he'll be coming back. I guess I don't have any great ideas for keeping people out other than the obvious: an alarm system.

In addition to getting serial numbers it's a good idea to take pictures or videos of your equipment. Do it all digital and put it on a CD or DVD in a safety deposit box, if you have one. Otherwise, e-mail them to yourself at a Yahoo or Gmail account, so you could access it in case you lost everything in your house (i.e. fire).

#3 of 22 Chuck Mullen

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Posted January 26 2005 - 07:25 AM

Do you have big dogs? I don't think bad guys like big dogs.
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#4 of 22 Elinor

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Posted January 26 2005 - 07:27 AM

2 suggestions.

Alarm system

Smith & Wesson

I like to call it "the ultimate feminine protection." Posted Image

#5 of 22 JasonF

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Posted January 26 2005 - 09:02 AM

A few of the things that I believe keep my stuff getting stolen is:
1. Two big dogs
2. Motion lights
3. Sign of side yard fence that reads "Steal here Die here" I think it gets the point across.

#6 of 22 BrianB

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Posted January 26 2005 - 09:09 AM

Quote:
2 suggestions.

Alarm system

Smith & Wesson

Of course, the latter suggestion won't stop you being burgled if you're not home. Are you home 24 hours a day, Jason?

Quote:
I have a suspicion that between here and other web sites my computer and home theater equipment have been tracked down

If he's going around different houses on your street, which is what you've said in your original post, I doubt he's actually got a clue what you own.
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#7 of 22 Elinor

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Posted January 26 2005 - 09:19 AM

>"Of course, the latter suggestion won't stop you being burgled if you're not home"

Right. That was like a "not home/home" list.

#8 of 22 Jason Garrett

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Posted January 26 2005 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I believe he only stopped here. I don't know that for sure. I am fairly certain that this was his last stop, if not his only destination. He wouldn’t have had the time to stop anywhere else and be pulled over and the police have had his license in hand if other stops were made. I’m the paranoid sort, so I believe this was his target. It could have been random. We’re the last house on a country road which makes a nice target. Oh well. I did reveal my address in questionable company last night – that could be it. Who knows. My stuff isn’t all that in the first place. Very entry level.

#9 of 22 Philip_G

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Posted January 26 2005 - 09:37 AM

You close with your neighbors? ask them if they got a creept vibe from him too. Ask them to keep an eye on each other and watch for that truck again.

there is no better alarm than the nosey old lady across the stree Posted Image

ditto the dog comment. Do your dogs SOUND big? I would think the bad guy would move to an easier target..

#10 of 22 Jason Garrett

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Posted January 26 2005 - 10:32 AM

Oh, I've got better than just any nosey old lady across the street - my Grandma lives across the street. Like I said, my uncle is the police chief next door too and his daughter is married to an OKC police officer next to them. You would think this would be like the most law abiding area around. This guy was either totally random, had balls of steel, or sh*t for brains. I dunno which, but at least he is known. I’m concerned for the reason he came poking around though – if there will be others to follow. Spooky that he was pulled over before he got off the street. I’ll see what the story is on that later.

The dogs are outside. Medium size. They wouldn’t scare a burglar away.

Eh, the neighbor called it in they say. The guy was apparently going house to house and a neighbor found him suspicious as well. That's a bit of a relief I suppose. Good wake up call as to what I need to do be prepared for a loss though. I’m backing up all my computer files now and taking numbers and such.

#11 of 22 andrew markworthy

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Posted January 27 2005 - 07:39 AM

Don't you guys have crime prevention officers over your side of the herring pond? Over here, if you phone your local police station they'll send an officer around to advise for free on how you can make yourself more thief-proof and will give a list of police-recommended alarm installers, etc.

I got advice after I was burgled (I know, why didn't I do it sooner ...). The advice I was given at the time was:

(1) Most burglars are lazy. If getting into a house will take time and/or effort, they'll move on. So make it hard on them. Nice prickly thorn bushes underneath ground windows (the UK law takes a dim view of man traps, but your choice in plants is generally not illegal). Deadlocks on doors (makes it much harder to break a door down). Infra-red sensitive external lights that show anyone approaching. And so forth.

(2) Burglar alarms deter the 'rank amateur' scum after money to finance their drug habits. Skilled burglars aren't as easily deterred, but unless you have something spectacularly desirable chances are they won't bother with you.

(3) What I was told to do by the police officer was to lock the house and then walk round it trying to work out how I would get in if I'd lost my key. This should reveal the weak spots - and therefore what needs fixing.

(4) If you're going away for any period of time, make sure you cancel orders of papers, etc, and tell a neighbour you can trust.

(5) Do you have neighbourhood watch schemes in the USA (where neighbours agree to keep a lookout for anything suspicious and there is a designated contact person who liaises with the local police)? Over here they do seem effective at keeping down crime.

Having said all of this, I got robbed by the drug addict son of my next door neighbours. The neighbours were entirely respectable and I'd given them my key whilst I was on holiday. The son had paid them a visit for the weekend and decided he needed some quick cash for his next fix ...

#12 of 22 Elinor

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Posted January 27 2005 - 07:57 AM

All good advice Andrew.

Add to that, leaving lights on at entrance doors. Bad guys don't like light as they're fiddling around trying to get in.

If you can't afford an alarm system you can still buy the signs that say you have one.

#13 of 22 Henry Carmona

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Posted January 27 2005 - 09:42 AM

Thats a great one Elinor!

My wife gripes about leaving a light on all night, something about the electric bill Posted Image

But ill spring that one on her Posted Image
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#14 of 22 Shawn Solar

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Posted January 27 2005 - 01:34 PM

Some things you can cheaply do:

sliding widows and patio doors, put a stop bar either vertical or horizontal and two if its dual sliding. Bars on basement windows but not necessary

Deadbolts on every door leading to outside and if there is one between the house and garage.

A little more costly is to re-enforce not necessarily the door but the the wood frame around the deadbolt/ doorhandle with a thin flat steel that goes about 1ft above and below the locks(it fits right over wood frame and is screwed in,) may need to be routed 1/16-1/8" to fit flush but locksmith could install)

Outdoor sensor lights. They work good but a lot of the time are not adjusted right.

lastly is an alarm system.(Which I install) they work extremly well and are considered 85% effective at DETERING theives. They do not however prevent breakins. They can also be used for fire and ambulance services too. There is a lot of companies out there that give home security a bad wrap. Mostly the one that give free alarms and do not cover a house properly IE. one door and one motion does NOT protect the house.

I've always been skeptical about neigbours being a look out cause they are good for feeding the dog and checking the house very rarely do they "catch" a thief.

IN CASE OF A BREAKIN

Never go in a home or you house. First thing, if an alarm is sounded or you supect something is not right do a perimeter search look for cut screens, broken glass and if any lights that you think may not have been on when you left. Then proceed into the home OR call the police. I've responded to alarms in the past, even ones that are pretty much Know are false alarms and we never went into the home first.

#15 of 22 andrew markworthy

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Posted January 27 2005 - 07:47 PM

Quote:
A little more costly is to re-enforce not necessarily the door


Shawn, I agree with what you're saying, but in reading your post I've just remembered that the crime prevention officer who came to see me pointed out that the weakest part of many modern doors is the bottom panel which is often made of surprisingly thin wood. I reinforced mine with a large thick slab of wood(marine ply it's called here - you guys may have a different term)which I dyed the same colour as the door. The whole exercise only took a couple of hours (and to be honest, the door looked nicer afterwards).

Re: leaving lights on. Rather than just leaving one light on, consider getting a series of timer switches for different parts of the house, so the lights go on and off. It looks more realistic.

Quote:
I've always been skeptical about neigbours being a look out cause they are good for feeding the dog and checking the house very rarely do they "catch" a thief.


Agreed. However, having said that, statistically speaking crime rates are significantly lower in UK areas that operate neighbourhood watch schemes. However, I should add that part of the scheme is that the police notify the designated neighbourhood head about known suspects thought to be operating in the area, so people are forewarned. I should stress that this isn't a vigilante type thing. Nobody tackles suspects - they just phone the police if they see anything suspicious. Written on paper this looks pretty paranoid, but in reality it's not as bad as that.

#16 of 22 Alf S

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Posted January 28 2005 - 01:05 AM

Also write down the serial #'s of all your equipment..better yet, use a Dremel tool to etch an identifiable (to you)# (last 4 digits of social# maybe) or name on them in an inconspicuous spot.

Just a thought.
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#17 of 22 Shawn Solar

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Posted January 28 2005 - 08:36 AM

My reasoning for the frame and not the door is most of the time(80%) I see the frame break not the door.That will vary as subdivisions and towns are old and young and likewise the doors are different styles in different areas too. Now something else that is weird is that wood doors like maple or oak are much harder to break than the metal doors used in todays construction. Those metal doors just bend or stress in the middle if the pine or spruce/fir frames don't break. higher quality commercial doors do not however. Though the door will most likely break at the door handle either the frame or lock which is why flat steel on either the frame side or both sides really makes the door a lot sturdier IMO.



Quote:
statistically speaking crime rates are significantly lower in UK areas that operate neighbourhood watch schemes. However,



Oh I aggree with you Andrew I was mostly speaking of the "neighbour friend guy" that says he'll keep a watch out when your not around. Frankly as much as they mean well it is very hard to watch the neighbour hood when ones inside their housePosted Image

#18 of 22 Robert_Gaither

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Posted January 28 2005 - 10:37 AM

For doors I'd advise anti-kick plates (it bolts thru the frame), motiion alarm with outside horn/light (so it attracts the neighbors), a camera outdoors (they don't know if they're filmed or not), signs ("beware of dog", "premises may be monitored", and "lethal traps on premises"), and NRA sticker on the door and windows.

#19 of 22 Francois Caron

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Posted January 28 2005 - 03:01 PM

I live in a condo, not a house. But I did take the precaution of installing a double cylinder lock on the door when I changed the locks. This way, if a crook tries to unlock the door by reaching through a hole in the drywall, they STILL can't get in my place! And if I can't find my keys, I can't even get OUT of my own home! Posted Image

BTW, metal door with metal frame. Also, no balconies since this is an old textile mill, and I live a few floors up.

#20 of 22 andrew markworthy

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Posted January 28 2005 - 08:09 PM

Quote:
Oh I aggree with you Andrew I was mostly speaking of the "neighbour friend guy" that says he'll keep a watch out when your not around


Oh I know just what you mean. This sounds like an urban legend, but I swear it's true and happened to my cousin. A neighbour saw a guy carrying my cousin's TV set out of his house. Asking him what he was doing, the guy said he was a repairman and was taking it away to be mended (you can guess the real reason ...). The neighbour swallowed this and even helped to guy put the TV set into the van.


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