You never know who’s really at your door – no matter what uniform they are wearing. Some of the aggressive door knocking alarm companies wear manufacturer’s logos (like GE Security or Honeywell) to boost their credibility, even though these notoriously aggressive folks may work for a company with multiple alarm license violations for fraud, along with a terrible service record. But there’s another reason to be worried: burglars are also getting into the uniform-wearing game. They have found that putting on a company uniform can make breaking in easier. As this story from Alhambra, CA demonstrates, the uniform could even be from a cable company.
Two men are in jail on allegations that they dressed like cable guys to break into a Los Angeles County home. Police in Alhambra report that 30-year-old Perre Michael Chang and 26-year-old Daniel Wardming Quon were arrested Friday and are being held on $50,000 bail. The two were nabbed on suspicion of burglary after a neighbor reported a possible break in. They were caught while fleeing in Time Warner cable company uniforms. A message left with Time Warner by The Associated Press was not returned.
This report is just the latest in a long and growing string of crime reports where burglars were dressed as company representatives – even from a real alarm company, like ADT. In fact, local law enforcement agencies around the US are warning homeowners to be very suspicious of anyone coming to your door, and to demand company identification from anyone claiming to represent an alarm company of other type of service provider.
The real question is, how is a homeowner to know if the person in uniform is a potential burglar or not? If they are selling some other product (vacuums, encyclopedias, etc.), it’s less obvious: they probably won’t be asking about your pets, if you have an alarm system, and when you are home. When these burglars pretend to be alarm sales people, they can extract valuable information that makes it easier to break in when they come back. This is a real security risk, and I’m glad police are taking it seriously.
FrontPoint is happily removed from the door knocker scene, as a truly “next-generation” service provider. The “old school” alarm companies still focus primarily on traditional, less reliable security. Now several cable and telephone companies (including, ironically, Time Warner!) are making forays into electronic security for the home. They have a lot to prove when it comes to protecting homes and families, even if they are offering smarter interactive features like those already provided by FrontPoint (including video, home automation, text or email notifications, and mobile apps). The jury is still very much out on how well these newcomers will support their home security divisions: some of them have tried it before, and it has not ended well.
Stay tuned here more news from the alarm industry – and please let us know if there are topics you want to cover. We aim to be topical, timely, and informative. Part of being the leader in wireless home security and being recognized as the #1 ranked alarm company is the US comes from knowing the competition – and staying several steps ahead.