I’m watching you.
I know when you leave every day, and when you’ll be home. I know you never lock your tool shed and that I can use your garden tools or ladder to get into your home.
I see that you’ve planted nice, big trees right in front of your home—the better to shield me from the neighbors while I kick in your front door.
I’ll know when you’re on vacation because your papers and mail pile up and there are no lights on in the house at night.
Best of all, I know you don’t have an alarm system. That makes your house my #1 target in the neighborhood.
I’m a burglar, and I know what burglars look for.
And, I can tell you things burglars don’t want you to know. Like how I make sure I don’t look suspicious. I may hang around the neighborhood with fliers or a rake, you know, trying to blend in. I may even smile and say hi.
Want to make my job harder—or even impossible? Here’s what I suggest:
- Don’t plant huge trees or shrubs that conceal your front door or windows. Don’t put up a six-foot-tall security fence. Those are my cover.
- Get an alarm system. I don’t want to be noticed. I want to walk in and out as quietly as possible. And to that point, Post the alarm security sign in your front yard. Save us both the time and trouble.
- Keep valuables in a safe, and make sure that safe isn’t portable, or it’s coming with me. One of the first places I check is your sock drawer.
- Lock doors and windows, even when you’re home. I can slip into an empty room any time. But not if I’m locked out.
Keep strangers out. I may have a respectable day job, as a landscaper or deliveryman. But if you let me in, I can unlatch a window and see where you keep valuables. And don’t let me use your bathroom. That’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.
- Give the impression that you’re always home. I get goose bumps when I see newspapers piled up, fliers in the doors and no tire tracks or footsteps in the snow.
- Fake out felons. Not all of us are brilliant. We’ve been known to buy into fake security cameras. Did you know there’s a fake TV you can put on a timer that makes it appear as if you’re home watching TV? Pretty smart.
- Be suspicious of everyone who comes to the door. Of course, I knock before entering. I’ll either ask for a made up person or try to sell you something you don’t want if you answer the door. Really, I was hoping no one was home.
- And, it bears repeating: Get an alarm. More than 90% of convicted burglars say an alarm is the reason they walk by one house and hit another.
You can’t stop me from watching your house, but you can keep me out. Prevent burglary and home invasion with the tips above. This is one area where you can definitely trust me.
Photo By: TNS Sofres, May 6, 2015 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.