Burglar in Springfield, Massachusetts Claims to be ADT Employee When Confronted by Homeowner

Posted by , , at 8:36 am

I post frequently on stupid burglars – the ones who pocket-dial 911, leave their phones or wallets at the scene of the crime, or make tracks in the snow that police can follow right back to where the perps are hiding. You would think that burglars would be smarter – but then again, if burglars were that smart, they would be doing something productive, instead of stealing property and destroying other people’s peace of mind. Here’s a story where a burglar tried to get creative when confronted, by faking his purpose and identity. Did it work? Not so much…

Springfield police are looking into whether a man who allegedly claimed to be an inspector for ADT is responsible for a series of break-ins over the weekend. Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that on Sunday night, officers arrested Kenneth Spence, 48, of Springfield, after he allegedly tried to break into a house on Ambrose Street.

What Exactly Happened

According to Delaney, police received a call from a homeowner claiming that a man had tried to force open the home’s rear door. When the victim asked what was going on, the man said that he was from ADT and that he needed to come inside and check their security system. The intruder had a clipboard with ADT written on it, but did not have an ID on him. The man ran out to his car after the victim announced that the police were being called.

Police Nab the Suspect

Police, who had been patrolling the neighborhood following recent break-ins, spotted a car about an hour later on Boston Road that matched the description provided by the victim. Inside the car, Delaney says officers found an ADT clipboard and a company ID. Police brought Spence, the car’s driver, back to the victim’s house, where he was identified by the homeowner as the man who tried to break in. Delaney says that police then contacted ADT, which confirmed that Spence had never been one of their employees.

Responsible for More Burglaries?

Delaney says that they are now looking into whether Spence is responsible for other burglaries over the weekend, in the Pine Point and Liberty Heights neighborhoods. Residents are advised that ADT does not conduct random inspections of security systems, and will only come to your house if you call them. Delaney says that if you did not request that they be there, you should not let anyone in your house who claims to be from a home security company.

Not That Strange, Actually

The fact is that burglars are getting more brazen, and in some cases more creative all the time. There are increased reports from across the US of burglars posing as alarm company employees, utility workers, and even city inspectors to gain access to homes. Unwary homeowners often let them in. Unfortunately, this type of scam is just one more sign of the times we live in.

Of course, if you’re a burglar pretending to work for an alarm company, you may as well pick the biggest one – ADT. Recently spun off from parent Tyco into an independent public company, ADT is the largest provider of security services in the North America, but is considered by many to be a notable example of the concept that bigger does not always mean better. Review sites have it made it much easier for disgruntled subscribers to share their experiences, which can be painful for the companies that disappoint with poor service.

Exercise Caution when Opening Your Home to Strangers

With increasing numbers of home intrusions being drug-related, it’s hard to predict how some of these burglars will behave, and many of them are armed. And you may even want to think twice about the “real” door knocking sales people from those aggressive alarm companies that won’t take “No!” for an answer: a number of those companies have been fined and sued by numerous states for fraudulent and deceptive sales practices. As sad as it may sound, home security experts and law enforcement professionals agree that you have to be more careful than ever when opening your door to strangers – any strangers.

The good news about FrontPoint is that we’ll never send anyone to your home. We’re the largest (and most highly regarded) DIY alarm company in the US, meaning you get to set up your fully programmed and wireless FrontPoint system yourself, on your schedule, with no FrontPoint technician – or salesperson – ever in your home.

Once you start shopping online for home security and automation services, you’ll quickly learn why FrontPoint is the leader in interactive, wireless home security: our long list of five-star reviews spells out very clearly what makes us the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.  Being on top means we have to prove ourselves in every aspect of our business – with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. These days, that makes us rare indeed among nationwide alarm service providers. And no worries about who is at your door!

Comments (4)

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  1. Steven

    Peter,
    I am a month-old customer and have been pleased with most everything. But I do have a concern about the cellular monitoring. (Would have written sooner but have been away.) I noted an issue on 18 Feb where the app didn’t appear to be working, and called Frontpoint. The person I spoke with was very forthcoming and explained that part of the Verizon network was down, and because of that, there was no communication between the Control Panel and the monitoring company. He called me back early on the 19th and left a message that all was working again, as of late the night before.
    My concern is that if I hadn’t noticed that the app wasn’t working, I wouldn’t have known there was an issue. Couldn’t you notify customers (say by email or text) if the cell network is down? If there had been an incident during those hours, there would have been no way to know.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    Steven

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Steven, that’s a great question, and thanks for posting here.

      In the first place, the type of outage you describe is so rare as to be extremely unusual. In fact, it’s the first and only time this has happened (with any carrier we use) – it’s simply never happened before. Plus, an outage of this kind is generally relatively short-lived: so much so that it would be resolved by the time everyone received (and could react to) their notification, hence creating unnecessary concern.

      That being said, we have already been evaluating the best way to communicate an outage if a serious one does occur again.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Steven

    Peter,
    I am a month-old customer and have been pleased with most everything. But I do have a concern about the cellular monitoring. (Would have written sooner but have been away.) I noted an issue on 18 Feb where the app didn’t appear to be working, and called Frontpoint. The person I spoke with was very forthcoming and explained that part of the Verizon network was down, and because of that, there was no communication between the Control Panel and the monitoring company. He called me back early on the 19th and left a message that all was working again, as of late the night before.
    My concern is that if I hadn’t noticed that the app wasn’t working, I wouldn’t have known there was an issue. Couldn’t you notify customers (say by email or text) if the cell network is down? If there had been an incident during those hours, there would have been no way to know.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    Steven

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Steven, that’s a great question, and thanks for posting here.

      In the first place, the type of outage you describe is so rare as to be extremely unusual. In fact, it’s the first and only time this has happened (with any carrier we use) – it’s simply never happened before. Plus, an outage of this kind is generally relatively short-lived: so much so that it would be resolved by the time everyone received (and could react to) their notification, hence creating unnecessary concern.

      That being said, we have already been evaluating the best way to communicate an outage if a serious one does occur again.

      Thanks for your comment.

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