I remember in that great movie, Catch Me If You Can, one of the things that appealed to me the most was the notion that a former criminal, after paying his debt to society, then joined the good guys by working constructively with law enforcement. The subject of the film, Frank Abagnale, Jr. did in fact go on to have a long and distinguished career with the FBI. Other criminals have also tuned over a new leaf, and here’s a good example from Albany, New York where a former burglar is now working on the right side of the law.
While violent crimes are trending down in the Capital Region [Albany, NY], burglaries are up in some counties – as much as 100% in one rural area. Monday on News 10 ABC at 11 we’ll have the startling numbers and how to make sure you’re not giving burglars opportunities to target your home. The advice comes from someone you’ve probably never heard from before: A man who spent years as a professional thief stealing things from homes like yours.
“I was an outlaw for eight years,” says Bob Portenier. Starting when he was 24-year-old, Bob was part of a gang of thieves breaking into dozens of homes. “Maybe 150,” Bob recalls, “and probably two or three dozen businesses, half a dozen armed robberies, couple of extortions.”
Turning Over a Very New Leaf
After serving eight years in prison, Bob was an ex-con having a hard time finding a job. Driving from one fruitless interview to another, he was thinking of getting a gang back together. He stopped on a road near a radio station. Ahead of him he says he saw a life of crime and darkness. Calling it divine intervention, he turned around and drove to the radio station. “You might say I had an inspirational flash,” Bob said. “It came out of the blue and that started my career in crime prevention, with a talk show on the radio in Wichita.
Next Steps Away from Crime
It went from there to a column in the paper, to TV to public seminars to talking to kids about the consequences of making the wrong choices.” Monday on News 10 ABC at 11, Bob takes us through local neighborhoods. He shows us exactly how some of us are leaving ourselves wide open to attack, and what you can do to keep from becoming a statistic.
I have watched some of the videos, and Bob does indeed have great advice. And he should, since he was the guy on the wrong side of the crow bar, before he changed his ways. But there is plenty to learn about how burglars think, even though today’s intruders are just as likely to be drug users looking for an easy mark to feed their habit, vs. the organized burglary gang. Either way, the best peace of mind still comes from a monitored alarm system – preferably one with safer cellular monitoring, the kind FrontPoint sells. With a burglary happening every 14 seconds somewhere in the US, you want the best protection for your home and family. Along with cellular monitoring, add in our industry-best interactive features, and you can see why FrontPoint is the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. When you are ready for protection that is safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, FrontPoint is your clear choice. Then you’ll be ready – for the random first-time burglar, or the seasoned professional.