Nebraska Burglars Using Unlocked Doors for Entry

Posted by , , at 8:30 am

One might expect that all the reports of increased residential crime in many jurisdictions, when combined with readily available security tips popping up all over the Internet, would result in homeowners covering at least the basics when it comes to protecting home and family. Then again, I’m still hard pressed to understand why only one in five homes has a monitored alarm system – especially now that these systems offer so many advanced interactive features. But this recent article from Lincoln, Nebraska proves that we’re still making life too easy for home intruders.

Burglars are targeting people who leave their doors unlocked overnight, and at least one stole an SUV and set it on fire, Lincoln police said. A 42-year-old woman told police she woke at 5:45 Tuesday morning and discovered a burglar or burglars had sneaked into her house just south of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus, Officer Katie Flood said. The burglar got in through an unlocked door and took her laptop, camera and, apparently, the keys to her 2005 Honda CR-V, Flood said. Police think the burglar used the keys to take the SUV from the driveway, Flood said. They found the car the next morning behind a store, after someone set it on fire, Flood said. The SUV was a total loss. Damage to the car and building totaled nearly $16,000.

Another Incident – Same Means of Entry

About an hour and a half before police found the car, a 46-year-old man heard noises coming from his kitchen at 32nd and Browning streets. He told police he surprised two intruders near the laundry room, and they bolted toward the patio door. One made it outside, and the resident nearly grabbed the second when someone hit him in the face. Investigators found a Nintendo Wii outside near the patio door and believe the burglars tried to steal it before using it to hit the resident, cutting him deeply across the bridge of his nose. Again, the burglars got in through an unlocked door. “They all left their doors unsecured,” Flood said.

Police State the Obvious

“Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure all the doors in your house are locked,” added Flood. That goes for cops, too. On Monday, retired Lincoln Police Sgt. Larry Barksdale reported four firearms stolen from his Country Club-area home. Barksdale told police that while he and his wife were asleep, someone entered their home through an unlocked door and took a digital camera, a purse and four guns, Flood said Monday.

Don’t Make it Easy

Burglars rarely break into a home when someone’s there, which has happened only about 14 percent of the time so far in 2013, Lincoln police records show. They came in through unlocked doors or windows in about 20 percent of the city’s 487 reported burglaries. Take that number with a grain of salt, she said, because thieves who duck into someone’s open garage to snatch golf clubs or tools counts as a burglary. Still, burglars probably will target unlocked doors and windows more as temperatures stay warm, Flood said in an email Wednesday afternoon. “Burglaries tend to increase during the spring and summer months simply because the weather is nice and people are more likely to open windows or leave doors unlocked.”

It’s hard to imagine a more “low-tech” approach to burglary. Remember, most intrusions are random acts, often committed to feed a drug habit. We know a lot about burglar behavior – such as where burglars break in, and what burglars steal once they’re in your home.  All this is very helpful information, and we want to be a valued source of education when it comes to protecting your home and family.

You might also appreciate our Top 10 Home Security Tips – great advice on how to make your home less susceptible to burglary. For one thing, it’s been shown that a home with a monitored alarm system is only one third as likely to suffer a break-in as the unprotected home next door. And with a burglary happening in the US roughly every 14 seconds (according to the FBI), it amazes me that only about one in five homes has such a system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring, such as FrontPoint sells.

FrontPoint will stay on the case with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable. As the leader in wireless home security and the #1 rated alarm company in the US, FrontPoint takes residential intrusion very seriously, whether it’s the usual random offense by an amateur burglar, or that rare targeted attack by the “professional.” Either way, you want the odds on your side.

Comments (4)

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  1. Alan

    Good reminder, Peter.

    Reminds me of a time when I lived in a large apartment complex. The entry door to each unit was along a long, busy outdoor walkway. One morning I awoke to find the front door unlocked, and it really creeped me out!

    I have never forgot to lock any doors at night since, as I am now even more OCD about it.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Alan – a good reminder for us all. Right up there with the suggestion that if you are one of the smart folks that do have an alarm system – USE IT!!!

  2. Alan

    Good reminder, Peter.

    Reminds me of a time when I lived in a large apartment complex. The entry door to each unit was along a long, busy outdoor walkway. One morning I awoke to find the front door unlocked, and it really creeped me out!

    I have never forgot to lock any doors at night since, as I am now even more OCD about it.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Alan – a good reminder for us all. Right up there with the suggestion that if you are one of the smart folks that do have an alarm system – USE IT!!!

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