Home Security Systems – Crime Spotlight: Vacation Homes in the Poconos, PA

Posted by , , at 11:20 am

Here’s the most recent case I’ve seen where burglars targeted second homes – and that second home (or primary home that’s vacant during a well-earned vacation) is increasingly the favorite target of intruders who prefer an empty home: especially one that’s not protected by a monitored alarm system. Many owners of vacation homes think they can close the place up for the winter, maybe drain the pipes, and that’s that. Not any more – and that’s why more second homes owners are turning to next generation alarm systems to protect those vacant properties. Now for some detail:

Five people, four of them from Luzerne County, have been arrested in connection with a string of burglaries that targeted unoccupied and seasonal homes in Thornhurst Twp., state police at Dunmore said Tuesday. Six homes in the Thornhurst Country Club Estates area were forcibly entered during the spree, which began last fall, police said. The investigation determined the houses were targeted because the suspects knew they were unoccupied or used as summer homes, police said. In two of the burglaries, one on Golf Course Drive and another on River Road, credit cards were taken and later used at area retail locations, police said. One of the suspects was identified through video surveillance while using the stolen credit cards.

What can you do?

The steps you can take to protect that empty home are the same as those I posted on the Top 10 Home Security Tips list. You may also want to read the post on How to Winterize Your Home – in case there are things you can still do. Here are some additional pointers for the second home:

  • Have someone inspect the property regularly. A well kept property says “We care” – and that alone will deter intruders.
  • Ensure repairs are done swiftly. Same concept as above, since it sends the same message.
  • Remove or secure all valuables. While this would seem to go without saying, you would be amazed at the things people leave unsecured in second homes.
  • Secure your property with high security window and door locks. This is especially important for a house that is unoccupied for long periods. Again, think deterrence. Make it as hard as possible to get in.
  • If you have a monitored alarm system (and you certainly should!), make sure you arm it when you leave. Today’s technology lets you arm systems remotely, so you can let service providers in and out – and even keep track of them as they come and go.
  • If you have an alarm system, consider adding cameras. The better cameras not only let you look in remotely – they also send you clips when they sense motion, and store these clips remotely where you can retrieve them.

While these burglary stories and headlines are on the rise, there are more homeowners getting smarter about taking the right precautions. Since FrontPoint is committed to providing the best in interactive, wireless home security, it’s our job to say up on the trends, and offer the best home alarm advice, along with the technology to protect your home: whether it’s where you spend the whole year, or a few weeks in the summer. We know how important peace of mind is – and you deserve nothing less.

Comments (4)

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  1. Webcam Software

    As a family, we travel a considerable amount – we take off almost every weekend on little road trips and a couple of times a year on larger planned vacations. We don’t have a professional security system at home, because honestly, I haven’t felt the need for it so far. I use a very basic webcam monitoring service that’s available off the internet. What I’ve done is – set up 2 webcams, one each at both points of entry to my house. I have a sofware (GotoCamera) that i’ve downloaded, which sends me an email alert every single time there’s any motion that is detected in front of my webcam. So basically, if a burglar enters, he’s not only caught on camera, but I’m also informed about it immediately. All this costs me less than $4 a month. The reason i’m writing such a detailed note is that i know a bunch of people who don’t know ways to take care of their homes while away on vacation. Since I do, I hope it helps out atleast a few people who don’t. Currently, I use GotoCamera: http://www.gotocamera.com for the webcam software. If any of you happen to come across other good options, do let me know! Thanks!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for the advice on a limited solution. What you propose is better than nothing (and as we know, over 3/4 of American homes have just that: nothing!). One of the biggest problems with the solution you offer is that you need a lot of cameras to cover every vulnerable area, and your entire security platform is dependent on the internet. So if a burglar were to simply remove your internet connection with a $3 pair of wire cutters (which happens regularly), you have nothing protecting your home. Remember. it’s just as easy to take out an internet connection as it is a phone line. Burglars have gotten a lot smarter, since they know that most homes don’t have the added protection of safer cellular monitoring – the only kind that FrontPoint provides. The challenge as I see it (as a long-term operator in the alarm industry) is that your solution misses so much. A partial list includes the following: real intrusion protection from door/window sensors and motion sensors, fire detection (especially if you are away), environmental protection (CO, water/flood, low temperature) that is especially important if you travel, text and email notifications, remote control of lights, locks, thermostats, etc. In other words, you may be saving money, but I’m not sure how much peace of mind you really get in the protection of your home and family.

  2. Webcam Software

    As a family, we travel a considerable amount – we take off almost every weekend on little road trips and a couple of times a year on larger planned vacations. We don’t have a professional security system at home, because honestly, I haven’t felt the need for it so far. I use a very basic webcam monitoring service that’s available off the internet. What I’ve done is – set up 2 webcams, one each at both points of entry to my house. I have a sofware (GotoCamera) that i’ve downloaded, which sends me an email alert every single time there’s any motion that is detected in front of my webcam. So basically, if a burglar enters, he’s not only caught on camera, but I’m also informed about it immediately. All this costs me less than $4 a month. The reason i’m writing such a detailed note is that i know a bunch of people who don’t know ways to take care of their homes while away on vacation. Since I do, I hope it helps out atleast a few people who don’t. Currently, I use GotoCamera: http://www.gotocamera.com for the webcam software. If any of you happen to come across other good options, do let me know! Thanks!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks for the advice on a limited solution. What you propose is better than nothing (and as we know, over 3/4 of American homes have just that: nothing!). One of the biggest problems with the solution you offer is that you need a lot of cameras to cover every vulnerable area, and your entire security platform is dependent on the internet. So if a burglar were to simply remove your internet connection with a $3 pair of wire cutters (which happens regularly), you have nothing protecting your home. Remember. it’s just as easy to take out an internet connection as it is a phone line. Burglars have gotten a lot smarter, since they know that most homes don’t have the added protection of safer cellular monitoring – the only kind that FrontPoint provides. The challenge as I see it (as a long-term operator in the alarm industry) is that your solution misses so much. A partial list includes the following: real intrusion protection from door/window sensors and motion sensors, fire detection (especially if you are away), environmental protection (CO, water/flood, low temperature) that is especially important if you travel, text and email notifications, remote control of lights, locks, thermostats, etc. In other words, you may be saving money, but I’m not sure how much peace of mind you really get in the protection of your home and family.

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