A Burglary occurs in this country every 15 seconds!
Before becoming a homicide investigator, I spent several years developing my skill set as a burglary detective. Statistically, burglaries are one of the hardest major crimes to solve, hovering around 11 percent.
There are many ways to prevent being the victim of a burglary but I have chosen these four that are often overlooked. Also, you should never forget the importance of good physical security like good locks for your windows and doors.
Most of us, thank God, will never be murdered, raped or stabbed or otherwise be a victim of a serious crime.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about being the victim of a burglary.
The following four measures can greatly reduce your risk of becoming one.
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1. Never post on social media that you are leaving town or going on vacation!
Imagine yourself sipping on that third cocktail while vacationing at St. Bart’s (sounds like a cool place right?) – all the while letting your toes wiggle in the warm sand..As you return to your room you can hardly wait to post your awesome pics to your Facebook and Instagram letting your legion of friends know that their life sucks right now compared to yours.
Nothing can kill your buzz.
You’ve planned this trip months in advance.
You even did the common, “countdown to vacay” on Facebook.
Big, BIG mistake!
This is essentially letting the world know that your house and all of its belongings are there for the taking while you are thousands of miles away.
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Bart, only my friends see what I post on Facebook!” This would be correct if you have set your privacy settings correctly. But lets be honest with ourselves. The vast majority of us have not hardened our privacy settings.
And it really doesn’t matter. Always remember, that friend whose really not your friend (this could be in the hundreds for some of you) has family and
other friends. Some of them may be drug addicts, thieves, professional burglars etc.
Are you starting to see the bigger picture here?
2. Be careful of who is allowed in your home.
Some of you may be thinking that I’m just a paranoid Cop who doesn’t trust anyone.
Well, you would be mostly correct.
I can’t begin to tell you how many burglary cases I solved just by looking at the friends of the homeowners kids. There is no science behind this statement but my experience is that most burglaries are committed by someone known to the family.
As they so loudly proclaim on the street, “let me break (clever) this down for you”..
Little Johnny, your 13 year old son, seems to have a lot of friends come over to the house.
And why wouldn’t he.
You have done well for yourself and have a beautiful home. Oh, and because you’re such an awesome Mom, you always make sure Johnny gets the newest “Call of Duty” video game the minute it arrives. You even caved and bought him a brand new PlayStation 4 for his birthday.
One day, Johnny’s best friend brings two other boys with him that go to a different school. Johnny immediately takes a liking to them.
Shoot, they even agree with Johnny that “Ghost” sucked!
The hustle has begun.
3. Buy a Dog (preferably a large one, or two).
In over 400 burglaries that I investigated, less than 5 percent had dogs in the home. People generally fear dogs, especially loud, mean ones.
Burglars are no exception. Remember, a street burglar hates confrontation. He or she does not want to be seen.
What they really want is to get in and get out quickly (with your stuff of course). Most will either knock at your front door or ring a doorbell to make sure no one is home.
Most burglars will just leave and pick another house if they hear a loud, angry bark or growl.
I know some of you are cat people but lets be real-
A cat would only intervene unless it was the cats idea first.
4. Be friendly and get to know the older people living in your neighborhood.
This may sound somewhat abrasive and disrespectful but hear me out.
There are few reasons why older people are great at deterring and preventing burglary’s.
- They typically don’t work and are usually home,… a lot.
- Old people stare, especially at people coming and going from the neighborhood.
- They tend to know everyone’s business and schedule and are hyper sensitive to things that are out of place or people who don’t belong.
- They are a segment of society who actually still like the Police and have no problem contacting them.
There are probably a thousand other tips I could give you for preventing a burglary but I think this is a good start. A lot of what I have discussed is mostly common sense.
As a former burglary detective with over 500 cases investigated, one of the most important prevention of burglaries, to go along with what I have mentioned here in this article, is the hardening of your home.
What I mean by hardening are the measures taken by you to make your home less desirable to a burglar.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to have a reliable home security system. There has been a recent boom in home security systems in the past few years with an emphasis on DIY installation platforms.
What I really like about iSmartAlarm is the ease of use and functionality of the system. It is completely wireless, has no set up or monthly fees and no contracts.
iSmartAlarm is an award winning home security system that prides itself on customer service. Having a reputable home security system like iSmartAlarm can also lower your homeowner’s insurance in some cases.
Some of you have reached out and want to share your story with others. A blog like this one is a great way to reach those who could benefit from your experience and interests. Blogging has changed my perspective and my life.
It could do the same for you.
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