SECURITY

7 Ways To Prevent Home Burglary

prevent-home-burglary

Home burglary is occurring almost constantly throughout the United States. I’ve read a statistic that home burglary happens here about every 15 seconds.

Who commits home burglary, and why?

Apparently most are committed by young males under 25 years of age looking for small items that are expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Home burglars are looking for cash (duh…), jewelry, laptop computers (and other small electronic devices), watches, guns, etc…

Most burglars prefer a home with easy entrance through an open door or window (can’t get much easier than that). A home burglar will use ordinary tools such as a screwdriver, small pry bar, small hammer, and/or pliers to gain access.

Home burglaries are not random. Burglars will select a home via a selection process…

– A home that is unoccupied
– A home with the easiest access
– A home with the greatest amount of cover
– A home with the best escape routes

 
Here are seven ways to help prevent home burglary:


 

Doors & Locks

Solid core metal doors.
Quality heavy duty dead bolt.
Heavy duty strike plates with 3″ screws into door frame.
Blocking devices for doors.
Blocking devices for sliding glass patio doors.
Master Lock Door Security Bar
Patio Door Security Bar

 

Windows

An open window, (especially if visible from the street), may become the sole reason that a burglar chooses your home. So, keep your windows latched & locked while you’re away! Sounds simple enough, but during the summer – LOTS of people leave their windows open without thinking while they’re away at work, errands, etc..

Use alarm decals or other generic crime prevention decals on the windows – especially ground level accessible windows – and even more importantly on sliding glass doors (which are generically easy to break in due to cheap locking mechanisms).
Alarm Decals

 

Neighborhood Watch

It’s a good idea to get to know your immediate neighbors to your left, right, behind, and across the street. Even if you live rural and your nearest neighbor is down the road – get to know them for the sake of mutual security and neighborhood watch.

You all know your own neighborhood, and the cars that belong there (and the people themselves). If something is out of the ordinary, take notice. Transients walking the neighborhood is a ‘red flag’ for example. If while at night you notice a neighbor’s motion light come one, then take a look out the window…

If you have established trust with a neighbor, you might consider further burglar deterrent actions, such as letting a neighbor know when you’re going on vacation and parking one of their vehicles in your driveway when you’re away. Picking up the mail, things like that…

 

Lighting

Having light’s that are ‘on’ inside the home will indicate that someone’s there.
Use light timers when you’re away during the night.
Fake TV (reviewed here).

Install an outdoor motion light for effective burglar deterrence. Not only is it logical to install one at your driveway and front door area, but it’s equally important to install an outdoor motion light at the rear of your home.
Review of the ‘best’ outdoor motion light

Photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically, dusk-to-dawn (e.g. porch lights).
Dusk-to-Dawn CFL Bulb

 

Alarm System

An alarm system will definitely deter a home burglar who will move on to an easier access home. And the thing that enables the deterrence is not the alarm itself, but the lawn sign and the window decals!
Alarm Lawn Signs

Installing a ‘real’ alarm system is obviously beneficial – should the burglar actually gain entrance to your home. There are many to choose from – lots of ‘do it yourself’ choices. However to have it done professionally may be the better choice for many…

 

A Home Safe

Assuming a burglar does get into your home while you’re away, by having taken the simple precaution of keeping a ‘home safe’ will minimize your potential loss of valuables such as cash, jewelry, a handgun, etc..).

Choose a home safe that is also fire rated. It is imperative that the safe be secured to the home’s stud framing in some way (e.g. lag bolts). A Safe will typically have recessed dimples in the bottom or the back to facilitate drilling through and securing to a floor or wall.

Install it away from the master bedroom or closet (one of the first places a burglar will look).

 
There are LOTS more ways to deter or prevent home burglary, but these were just a few examples of actions you can take to better secure your home from the common thief.

If you have further ideas, let’s hear them…

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62 Comments

  1. A couple of dogs from the local animal shelter would be of benefit, if you have a fenced yard. Also make great pets.

    1. When things get real bad like it did in Argentina, thieves will poison the dogs, or just give them a Benadryl wrapped in meat for a nice nap. Moral being, don’t count on the dogs too much.

      Of course, thieves might just use a cordless sawzall to make an entrance through a wall, too. Moral being, the best defense is to have someone at home, all. the. time. …Old folks homes might become a thing of the past, sooner than later, eh? Better to have a senile old person in the house than to have an empty house? Even then, that might not be enough, maybe get a gang of old people to keep on-site? I can see it now, companies will rent gangs of old people to watch your house while you’re out slaving away to support the empire. Yay.

      1. My dad has dementia and I’ve got him at home. I can just imagine an intruder thinking the house is empty and have Dad come out swinging. He’s massively strong, and with 25 years of martial arts behind him…

        1. Lauren… I strongly suspect your Dad would be hugely effective at protecting you/home. Folks with dementia are often champions at remember past (skills) and muscle memory.

          1. And then…I worked with a patient (and their family) once awhile ago. The family started noticing that lots of cash was missing. They finally figured out she was giving money to her “grandson”. Trouble was, she didn’t have a grandson. Some kid showed up to her house, she invited him in for a sandwich, and gave him money. He became a regular visitor. So lucky he didn’t harm her! Beach’n

      2. Helot,

        I am so glad to hear you say that. How do I get in touch with you? I am available to help protect your house. In my house, I am alone; I would feel much safer as part of a gang of old people!

  2. Our home was burglarized and doing some contemplation later I came up with a theory. We had a car for sale sitting in the drive with our phone number in the window of the car. The thieves probably called the number and then knocked on the door using the car as a ruse. After verifying that no one was home they were free to smash the door in and take what they wished.

    They used my own car to haul the loot after finding the car keys on my dresser. My car was recovered a few days later with a few small items inside but most of the loot was never recovered.

    We had deadbolts but they broke a solid core wood entrance door and the door frame also. Protection is only as strong as the weakest link.

    1. Wanted to add, our burglary was during the day time hours while we were away at work. I was informed by the police that most break ins are during the day, not at night when people are more likely to be home.

  3. 4 honkin’ 100+ lb German Shepherds at the window and door barking like they will take your head off. Never had a problem breaking in but had one looney tune try the door until Kewanee (Schutshund lines from Germany) and 2 others inside barked and scared him away. Keeps deer away from my garden too. And salesmen. And Jehovah Witnesses. And nosey neighbors. And the mailman. And the UPS man.

    Those with legitimate business wait in their vehicles and honk their horns until I come out or after I turn off the live alarms. I rarely have people coming here so I could be here 2 months before any human would know I am dead. By then, no burial arrangements would be necessary, there would be nothing left of me. :-)

    1. Quite the chuckle you created with the “there will be nothing left of me!” Pretty sure if our schnauzers didn’t finish me off, the local bears would!. We too are pretty remote, and can be quite a bit of time between seeing folks. I like it that way though….
      Our little dogs have BIG spirits and can hear forever….anyone within 1/2 mile of the place sets them off. Great alarms!

    1. Yup – it was caught there. Not sure why, but I released it…

      At least you didn’t go off on me – thinking that you were banned or something ;) (this has happened before whereby I’ve subsequently and immediately received emails filled with anger, threats, and other nasty business… some people are on a VERY short trigger)

      1. LOL I wouldn’t think that, I was also directed after posting to a posting page I never been before like I was caught up in the Twilight Zone, where I didn’t know you had an article on snakes…..so I explored it. ;-)

  4. Several years ago, there was a string of home burglaries in our area. The thief(s) would enter homes at night, even with the occupants there asleep. Some of the residents even had dogs (Some were BAD dogs), but the residents were never awoken. A Whodunit! Want to guess how it was done?
    Give up?
    The burglar brought with him a female dog in Heat. Very effective. Even with other female dogs at the residence.
    Finally caught by a neighborhood watch group.

  5. I can tell you first hand, my home was burglarized 3 yrs ago while my children were home. The Story is too long to explain, but I will say my youngest was traumatized for 2 yrs. They tried to gain entrance thru the basement window which was obstructed by a porch above. The police detectives said most of all replacement windows made today are they the easiest to break into. I removed the windows and covered up the hole that was once there. I purchased and an alarm system after 2 more homes were broken into on my street, I added a dog. Needless to say the precautions mentioned above were completed soon after these incidents.

    They were called the back pack bandits, because they broke into homes and only stole items that would fit into back packs so they would not arise suspicion as the walked to get away . They broke into 12 homes in my area during their spree and stole cash , jewelry, gaming systems, any thing of pawning value. Here is the kicker, they even broken into a police officers home and stole 4 of his personal hand guns.

    They were caught Thanksgiving night leaving a house next door to me and my neighbor who is a Conn State Police. He saw 2 male figures running by him. He called for local back up and proceeded to give a foot chase to the suspects. Two brothers were apprehended, ages 14 & 17. Both losers are still in lock up today.

  6. Neighborhood watch group is the best way to go. Sometimes, the best/most productive “meetings” were an unplanned meeting on the street with fellow like-minded neighbors. You hear and talk about any changes on the street in a timely manner. (before crime strikes or tragedy befalls a family.)

    Two tales from 11 years in the same Cul-de-sac: My neighbor Mark brought over a little girl that walked up to him as he was washing his car at the entrance to our cul-de-sac. We called the police and she sat on my front porch with me and Mark until the police or mom showed up. It took about 30 minutes but both mom and the police showed up at roughly the same time. Mom made a gooey-sweet pie for us in gratitude and the police officer came prepared with his officer friendly kit and gave the child a foil badge and brochure for mom. We lived in a cul-de-sac that is off a busy multi-lane road where people drove fast and careless. The story could have ended very differently.

    Last story: During a bad cold and flu season, one of my coworkers of fragile health status became so weakened she was unable to go to the grocery store to pick up provisions. Her son was living about 30 miles away so she called me for help and we brought her provisions until she got better. Her son was grateful to us for helping his mom out.

    Calling an ambulance and getting the 911 ball rolling is expensive and the person getting that help is sometimes stuck with a large bill afterwards. Most of the time, we can avoid the 911 debacle by either prevention or with a little help from our friends.

    The saddest day for me within that cul-de-sac was the days before we moved out and made it a point to shake hands with the many neighbors we knew and worked with within our community before our relocation. They were good neighbors and our friends. being prepared within our community allowed me to reach out and help others.

    1. RE: “getting the 911 ball rolling is expensive and the person getting that help is sometimes stuck with a large bill afterwards.”

      It can be worse than that. Your comment reminded me of these, among many others:

      NEVER Dial 911

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/never-dial-911/

      NEVER Call 911: If Jimma Reat Had Ignored the Police, He’d Be Alive Today

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/never-call-911-if-jimma-reat-had-ignored-the-police-hed-be-alive-today/

  7. One type of burglar was addressed above: The teenage boys breaking in to steal small valuables during daylight hours and walking away with the loot in backpacks.

    We had another type of burglar roaming our towns in California Suburbs: Organized crews of young men wearing coveralls or uniforms driving panel trucks, vans or pick-up trucks. Their MO (Method of Operation) was to hit multiple homes at the same time within a small neighborhood like a cul-de-sac off a busy main road.

    I caught one pair of suspicious individuals driving a pick-up truck wearing blue trousers and wearing white shirts (clue #1); no name or company logo on the truck or the shirts. (clue #2) their statement that they were there to deliver an appliance to a home while driving an empty p/u truck. (clue #3) lack of paperwork on clipboards, posse-boxes or invoices jammed in the windshield shade as all LEGIT delivery trade trucks have. (clue #4) there was recently a rash of burglaries in a nearby town within an upscale cul-de-sac.

    Why did I approach these young men? Because they pulled into my driveway. Did I approach them unarmed? No, I had just returned from the Trap Range where I had several good rounds of 23 or 24 out of 25 birds and my trusty 870 Remington was stoked with buckshot during the vehicle approach.

    End of the story: I was lucky. Their timing SUCKED! And they pulled into the driveway of a bitter old former cop. There were a few tense moments when the local constabulary showed up. Fortunately, the first back-up unit was being driven by Officer Friendly who recognized me from a previous call about a little girl being lost earlier that year.

    1. I had a similar experience shortly after we moved into our house. I had been working in the yard when a white van came down our driveway. There were two Puerto Ricans in the van. The passenger appeared a little nervous, the driver indicated that they had a delivery for me. He even showed me a clipboard with an invoice with my name and address.

      I told them I didn’t order anything and they might have the wrong address. I told them to check down the road (as the town changes and so do the house numbers). At the time I was holding a rather large pick as I was trying to break up some very stubborn soil, so neither of them got out of the van. Instead they went down the road and came back down after about 2 minutes and continued down the road.

      It wasn’t until they were out of site that I realized that they had MY NAME and address. I blame it on being in the sun too long. If I had been quicker I would have gotten the license plate number and called it in. Being that we had just moved in, we had had furniture delivered about 3 months prior. So I believe these were the very people who had delivered our furniture.

  8. On a different level, but also beware of the young people claiming to sell some product that will be delivered at a later date. If they don’t have their product WITH them, if they don’t have receipts and product information on their very obvious clipboards, don’t bother. They often tell some sob story about trying to “earn” a scholarship (which simply means their stable is set up as winner takes all) or earn money for school.

    A legitimate salesman has no need of the push-button tactics.

    1. I do try to help out kids that are selling stuff for their school, but I also pay with a check made out to the school.

      1. These haunt our neighborhood every summer, and you don’t make out checks to the school because they’re transplants from outside the state “working” to earn a scholarship. I talked to one young lady in depth and she said they bus these kids in from disadvantaged areas (she was from Georgia) and put them up in dormitories with the promise of wages and training, then refuse to pay anything unless they make a certain amount in sales.

        This young woman said she had to make $500 in sales before they would even pay for her bus ticket home unless she stuck it out for the full three months. The person who makes the highest sales gets a “scholarship.” She didn’t tell me how much that was, but I bet it was pretty low. I talked to some of the others and their stories lined up.

        Kids from low income areas of Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, etc. All with the promise of high wages and training, then they’re armed with a clipboard and sent door to door to earn their “scholarship.”

  9. Don’t forget about workers who are legitimately at your place. The guys who installed our steel roof were really interested in our house. We’re on a relatively quiet dirt road in the middle of nowhere. A few weeks after it was installed, there was the truck sitting across from our house and the guys staring at the house. I drove by slowly and then turned into the driveway and they took off like gangbusters, fishtailing across the gravel.

    A week later, same truck slowly cruising by and staring at the house again. And then they put the truck in reverse and again drove by. Another day they did the same thing. Good thing I don’t work outside the house.

    Finally I had enough, jumped in my car and tore after them. They were so smart, pulled over and waved me on. I pulled up behind them, got the plate # and snapped a pic with my phone. They took off skidding all over the road and darn near flew through a stop sign. Almost lost control of their truck. I chased them but stopped at the stop sign.

    Oddly enough, never saw them again. Stupid would-be thieves. Told my husband that next time we need something done at the house, he needs to be at home with me.

    Sometimes you have to consider what kind of image you project to strangers. They must’ve considered me an old lady who would be an easy mark. They were wrong.

    kk

    1. You’re lucky you caught on, and so far nothing has happened.

      This kind of thing has always worried me too. I would be alert for phone hang ups (checking to see if you’re home), and odd sort of solicitors (who may also be checking you out), and odd sort of folks asking for donations for this or that. These folks, if they personally have decided to pass, could pass any info on to the next crook.

      A large dog or a bad ass biker bike might now be a good addition to your front yard to further discourage their interest.

      1. We had a run of strange happenings with trucks and vans stopping in front of our house after the roof was installed.

        The dogs usually scare people off. I also found that brandishing my air rifle (for scaring off wild critters) can sometimes change the minds of people casing our place. Keep it handy. From a distance, its just a long gun of one sort or another. Country folk around here hunt so there’s no shortage of real guns.

        Whenever I leave home, I try to do it at different times of the day and take different routes to town. Sometimes I leave my car in the driveway, other times its in the garage. During the winter months, I avoid leaving footsteps to the garage from the front door. I’ll go through our basement and up into the garage. TV or radio left on. Window blinds adjusted differently.

        My kids tell me I’m neurotic. I prefer to think of myself as careful. After shopping I also unload my car in the garage. Never know when the neighbour’s horses will rat me out.

        kk

      2. When I was married in the 90’s to my ex in Pa, I got a lot of those hang up phone calls only when I was alone in the house working, but it wasn’t a regular burglar, it was another woman out to steal my husband :-) After 6 hang ups every day, I installed caller ID and the calls suddenly stopped —only my ex knew I did this and he relayed to his girlfriend to stop harassing me. ….Shortly after that, he was free for the taking.

        1. Ha! Stardust, Love this story! I had a similar “situation” with my first husband. I was at home, after several “hang ups”, I said to the next call, “please, why are you calling and hanging up?”. She said, “I’m going to do anything to get your husband”. I said, “You don’t have to do much, here…” and handed the phone to him :D DONE! Win Win Luv ya’ll, Beach’n

  10. Anyone familiar with history should know there is no such thing as an impregnable fortress. On the other hand, I agree that there are some things one can do to discourage thieves from breaking into your home.

    Solid doors, dead bolts, lights, security fences simply discourage people and are only symbolic. Take for example, the fence around my yard. It will absolutely not keep out a determined thief so it is only symbolic to the lazy thief and curious passersby.

    Both dead bolts on my front door are strong but will only deter the lazy or stupid thief. They can easily be picked by a determined thief using a good set of lock picks. My back door is a different story since it is glass but does have two locks on it. So, how secure is a glass door? LOL!!! It’s not, and that’s why I have a big, friendly but loud deep barking dog who stays indoors to guard when we are away.

    I agree you should leave some lights on inside with a radio playing when you are away but I disagree about the exterior lighting. Most of my back and side yard are dark and I will leave them that way, and I do not turn the lights on (inside or out) when I go outside at night whether it’s to investigate a noise or just to go out and enjoy the night. Why? Because thieves cannot see any better at night than I can except I know where everything is and do not care to be silhouetted against a lighted backdrop when I slip out at night.

    Thieves need a flashlight of some kind to prowl around at night while searching for loot and I can see them from inside my dark house. Even if they are wearing night vision goggles they are still at a disadvantage and besides, if I ever detect someone prowling around my house at night wearing night vision goggles I will automatically assume they are someone other than a burglar and I will be loaded for bear because I don’t think the average burglar or thief wears them. (Being simply armed is different from being loaded for bear; two different concepts).

    Security lights only make it easier for them to see. Does anyone ever wonder why convicts always tell investigators or commentators the best way to deter them is for the homeowner to have security lights? Nothing is better for the wolf than to tell the sheep how to keep from getting eaten. A loud dog is a much better investment.

    A good quality heavy duty safe is an excellent investment, as is a heavy duty gun safe. We have both. Our big safe weighs about 1500 pounds empty and the gun safe is around 400 pounds. The big safe cannot be moved by even two or three thieves without some sort of mechanical assistance and they would attract a lot of attention trying to steal it. The gun safe is heavy but tall so bolting it to the floor is a waste of time. Its weight would be more than enough leverage to assist a thief in tearing the bolts from the studs/floor joists. Although neither are smash and grab items.

    Electronic alarms are about as unreliable as car alarms IMHO. Multiple mechanical booby style trap alarms (NOT booby traps) are much more effective. They are unconventional and there are no published blueprints available online for a thief to look up and figure out how to get around. Use your imagination here. It has to be simple and noisy when tripped. I have devised several and I believe them to be very effective as I inadvertently tripped one and woke up the wife once, who wasn’t a very happy camper when she discovered it was just me outside drinking beer in the dark. They are noisy in an unconventional way and are not designed to trap or hurt anyone, just to discourage someone from further encroachment. Forgive me for not divulging how or where they are deployed however I will say some of the components include various combinations of steel cable, tanglefoot, 2×4’s, water traps and loud falling debris.

    Throughout my life I’ve had people case me and have actually been stalked and have had several robbery attempts made against me but so far have managed to come out unscathed. Nothing beats carrying a good weapon.

    My windows are six feet off the ground and I can’t say much about the neighborhood watch. I think I would be better served in watching some of my neighbors than having them watch out for me. I would not put much trust in most of my neighbors to look out for my welfare. Some of them would probably just as soon steal my stuff than not. Besides, in many places government agencies have turned neighborhood watches into neighborhood snitches. Good luck to all. That’s my two cents.

    1. Security lights cast major shadows and draw attention away from the edges. If you’re looking out into a dark yard you can see motion easily. Same concept as looking away from the fire to preserve night vision. On the other hand, most thieves don’t want to be seen and simply aren’t smart enough or patient enough to work their way across a brightly lighted area.

  11. Cameras, real or fake, mounted in very visible and non obvious areas, even pointing up and down the driveway.
    Crooks hate to be seen or worse recorded.
    And make sure you put them out of reach. with an auxiliary power supply.
    NRP

  12. This summer we had a “salesman” go through the neighborhood knocking on doors one Saturday. Where we live a lot of folks have “weekend” cabins and spend Sat/Sun there. We don’t.

    We did not answer the door when he knocked. Later that night, sitting in candle light, sipping some wine, we hear someone trying to kick in our door to our garage.

    Little did the would-be thief know that I had piled cement blocks against it to prevent such a thing happening. Put a nice dent in the door.

  13. I live on acreage, fenced and gated. There have been several instances where itinerants (Gypsies) drive by when I am near the gate, and ask me if I need any work done around my place. Having had past experience with this, I now tell them: “No, but I have a Shotgun that needs some exercise.”. That always ends further discussion real quick!

    1. @DeepSouth.

      That happened to me once. My response was similar and the guy quickly left. Never saw him again.

    2. I had the “gypsies” hit my garage several times before we moved into our house. It was an open faced garage with old runner sleds, some traps and a little old red wagon I used to move my archery target around that got stolen. (Antique type things) I happened by the first time this lady was there in my driveway in her van. When I approached her, she said she was looking for a place to rent as there are other rentals in the area beside me. That day I didn’t notice anything stolen until she was gone. I remember a very uneasy feeling walking around her van that had no windows, I wanted to ask her to open the doors to the back of the van but had an awful gut feeling something bad was about to happen. I let her go and took the loss as I was in an awkward situation and unprepared that day.

  14. A good deadbolt is a great way to slow down a burglar. They can still be picked or with a good set of channels locked broken but it will still deter most crooks. If you just have a door knob with a lock then a crook can be in your house pretty quietly in a few seconds with a crowbar. I had to do it once at our old house when I locked my keys in the house. Opened the garage door grabbed a 24″ crowbar and boom I was in the house in about 10 seconds, hardly no noise and barely any damage to the door.

    To me dogs are one of the best deterrence out there. I prefer medium to large myself but even the little ones work. Those little ones create more racket than some big ones.

    Crooks will always go for the easiest score. The ones that will go to any expense to break in are the ones you really have to worry about. That means they are very desperate and if they have to use violence to get in or once they are in they will. That’s were the Rem 870 comes in handy.

    Adapt and Overcome.

  15. Interesting article for me, today. My neighbor called me at work and told me there was a strange car in my driveway. So, I hurried home from work. There was an advertising tag hanging on the doorknob letting “the homeowner” know that there had been an insurance appraiser on the property. They were here as a “courtesy” to appraise our property for insurance. And just to let us know, they had walked around and took pictures of our home and outbuildings… WHAT?!

    I called the company on the tag (Frontline Insurance), and they claimed that the appraiser was at the wrong address. oopsie… I cannot believe that there is an insurance company that walks around someone’s property taking pictures without the homeowner being home and giving them permission… What a load of invasive crap!

    So, I’m on alert and so are my neighbors. Bad move Frontline Insurance Co.!

    1. surely does sound concerning…

      I wouldn’t rule out, it is a common tactic from
      that business
      employees at that business

      with economic times being hard, it is not impossible either the business or some of the employees have decided to “branch out”…

    2. Beach’n
      was curious, so I googled

      Frontline Insurance Complaints

      there’s been some..
      might support a conclusion of company in trouble to make ends meet

      “Complaint Review: Frontline Insurance – First Protective Insurance – Fidelity Fire And Casuality Insurance

      Frontline Insurance – First Protective Insurance – Fidelity Fire And Casuality Insurance Baid Faith Insurer,Lies Lies,Refuses to pay claim,Cheats customers, Slow pay or no pay Lake Mary Florida”

      “Frontline Underwriting Managers Complaints and Compliments”

      “Weiss Ratings considers five C. Fla. property insurers weak

      First Protective Insurance, now called Frontline “

      1. Thanks Anon. I’ve done the same research. I’ve left a strong message with the department that handles “appraisals”. I’ll keep everyone updated as to their response. Even if they were accidentally at the wrong property, they still walked around and took pictures without the homeowners consent. Unbelievable.

        Shouldn’t insurance appraisers have GPS or google maps or at least a homeowner’s permission to walk around and “take pictures”?!

        I will be calling the Insurance commissioner tomorrow also.

        1. It’s good that you’re taking steps, in case this truly is a case of someone doing the wrong thing. It is possible, though, that they had the homeowner’s permission to walk around and take pictures of the outside of the house while the homeowner was at work. Showing up at the wrong address does happen. Several times I have had people go one street over (same house number) to deliver something to me, or I’ve received a box that is for someone else in the neighborhood. Hopefully, there was nothing nefarious about this, and they have deleted all pictures taken.

          1. Over the years I’ve had odd things happen also. One time I got a bill for trimming a couple of apple trees. I called them and told them that my trees had not been trimmed, nor did i want them pruned. They argued a lot basically being pretty rude and telling me that I just didn’t know what I was looking at and that when they gave me the estimate it also let them come do the work. WE argued some more and then I told them that it seems that they had pruned the neighbors trees – not mine!

            More recently I was changing homeowners ins. and the company came and took pictures (I wasn’t home) and they left the card on the door. A few days late my neighbor saw me and told that the guy had been looking real hard into my windows trying to see through closed curtains. I called the company and got some bs story about needing to look for dry rot. Then they jacked my rates up claiming the carport as a “room”. I did cancel the insurance and filed a complaint. Gotta watch everything and everyone these days.

        2. You’re welcome.

          Myself, I am doubtful of being accidentally in the wrong yard. Run in to too many situations where it was “planned”. Because someone was home, etc., seemed to work out.

          On my street there were several robberies. Several queried, wonder why they hit their houses and “not yours”…

          I did mention some possible reasons, at first, but all I would get is a blank stare and disbelieving looks “that could make a difference”, so I quit..

          Large Dog
          Almost always someone home
          Extra car in drive moved frequently so folks are never sure who is home
          It is pretty tough to see inside our house “from the front”, so tough to assess who/if someone home
          etc etc

          Folks I talked to seemed to think this was all silly reasoning..

    3. If you don’t have a no trespassing sign or a gate that cannot be opened or a high fence around your property it is likely that anyone with legitimate reason to be there can do so. When I was a kid our water meter and electric meter was in the basement and every month two strangers entered and read a meter.

  16. Good lights at night, 3 or 4 obvious cameras in front, a sensor that has an audio signal when someone steps onto your porch, live on a cul-de-sac, make sure your property is surrounded by other homes not backed up to a wooded area or playground etc., good locks, a security company sign out front, unplug your garage door opener, Put a lock through the garage door tack so it cannot be opened. Tell your trusted neighbors when you will be gone and be sure they have your number in their cell phone. Don’t keep things of great value or easy to pawn in your home; this means jewelry, money, silver, gold, guns, etc. And don’t tell or show people what you do have in the house.

    I would disagree with a safe unless it is a booby trap. I don’t mean a booby trap that blows up but one that as soon as someone tampers with it sets off a burglar alarm. A burglar will know where to look for a safe and will go there first. Hide your cash in the botton of a kitty litter pan rather than a safe.

  17. Alarm decals and signs – back in the 90s when I bought my car the dealer put the alarm stickers on the windows. Shortly afterward I was reprimanded by a reformed criminal to take them off because I was telling people how to steal my car.

    If thieves make it into the house it’s good to have a decoy box with a small amount and case and fancy fakes (jewelry, etc). Hopefully the less bright and time constrained will take it and stop looking further.

    1. It’s always good to proofread before hitting submit.

      Ahem…

      the above should read “a decoy box with a small amount of cash”

  18. We were robbed about 12 years ago — during a work-day when no one was at home. They broke in via a front-facing door that was recessed and used a pry bar to take the door off of the wooden frame. It was destructive to us but beneficial for them.

    Our home was ‘watched’ prior to the robbery because I called all neighbors to alert them. The neighbor behind our property admitted to seeing 2 men in a beat up truck w/ WV plates alongside the road at the edge of our property. The neighbor told me they figured I was hiring out for some more selective timbering to be done. DUH!!!

    What has changed since then? A security system, perimeter fencing w/ locked gates that must be unlocked to access the property from any side, I am no longer working and home most of the time (with a vehicle in the driveway), and all doors have heavy duty strike plates with 3″ screws into door frame. We also have “No Trespassing” signs posted clearly at the locked gates. We already had the metal-core doors, windows were always locked and secure, and the basics.

    We learned afterwards that this was a common scenario in our area. Also learned that several homes under construction were robbed of the well pumps and any other high-price item during nightfall at these sites.

    A few friends who were retired LEOs said most homes are robbed in daylight hours and the perps are not armed. They are in a home and only stay 2-3 minutes. They never bring a ‘looting bag’ with them but get something once inside. In our home, a pillowcase (this is fairly common, apparently).

    The master bedroom was completely ransacked — mattress completely lifted to check for items hidden there. All drawers completely yanked from dresser and chest. They also pulled drawers out of the chests in other bedrooms and a den. They took only cash, jewelry, and 1 guitar. Bastaads!!

    People are growing more and more desperate. Please double-check your home’s security and don’t let this happen to you. Being a ‘victim’ sucks but we learned from it. Society has degenerated, plan for it!

    1. That would be a pretty good idea. But I haven;t had a home phone in 10 years. I do have a cell phone which I am so happy to keep turned off all the time. I was sooooo happy to cut that cord.

  19. They better hope the cops catch em and not me, im always home, and dont call 911,
    There will just be another patch of fresh dirt somewhere in the fields.
    I just dont care enough to be worried about consequences

    1. Kulafarmer,I’m with you. turn them in to fertilizer and plant crops over them.

  20. I liked the cinder block, camera (even fake) and kitty litter ideas. Hey guys, thanks for sharing these great ideas.

    1. Oh and an easy and cheap early warning system is to put bubble pack
      in a sheet on the floor just inside a door or in a strategic hallway. If someone steps on it in the dark ya get those loud popping noises. The large bubble bubble pack works better than the smaller bubble bubble pack… and the stealth intruder will probably wet/soil him or herself in the process from the surprise noise.

  21. One thing I have used in the past is a orange colored “bio-Hazard” trash can with fake tissues and ugly looking nasty stuff on them… underneath was money, etc in a bio-harard dropbag nobody wanted to touch that container, trust me. Also on ebay, etc you can buy Bio-hazard tape, signs etc in a crunch situation putting that up on doors windows would make most people bypass you for better pickings.

  22. I was broke into about 15 years ago. I had a driveway poured and one of the workers was asking a bunch of questions about my 18 wheeler parked in my front yard. He seemed interested in trucking so I answered a lot of questions and gave him More info than I should have. I let him know that there was far More money to be made for husband and wife teams and that was why I taught my wife to drive. two weeks later my wife and I come home from the road to a house with a kicked in back door, a pickup with a busted window and a workshop missing a few thousand dollars worth of tools. Now, I’m lit up like Fort Knox at night and I have dogs, alarms,fences,gates and a pistol or a shotgun hidden in every room but the bathroom and kitchen,plus I got a CCW and its on my hip until I go to bed.

  23. Speaking of insurance appraisers, we have a “Beware of Dogs” sign in our driveway on the fence. And the insurance guy came out to take pictures and mentioned the sign, saying they needed to see vet records of the dogs because if they are certain breeds the insurance rates go up.

    Rates should go down because of the sign, if it deters burglars! Go figure.

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