Here’s an alarm-related story that I found both amusing and frightening. Turns out that bad guys are increasingly pretending to be home security salespeople so they can case neighborhoods and find out who has a system, if they use it, when they are home, etc. Many of us are so trusting that we share this very private information, with predictably bad results. But it’s not every day that a potential burglar poses as an employee of an alarm company that no longer exists! That’s exactly what happened, as you can read in this news article from Milpitas, California.
Milpitas Police released information Thursday about a suspicious man who recently knocked on the door of a home on Costigan Circle, identified himself as a Brink’s Alarm employee, and asked questions about the home’s security features. The man was white, approximately 30 years old, 6 feet tall and approximately 160 pounds, and did not wear a uniform or carry any other type of visible identification – he simply carried a Brinks Alarm sign. When the homeowner answered the door, he asked if the home had an alarm system.
But ADT Purchased Brink’s!
The amusing aspect of this story is that ADT purchased and absorbed Brink’s/Broadview well over a year ago, as discussed in this FrontPoint blog post. But the criminal probably did not know that – he just grabbed a handy yard sign to use as a prop.
Police on the Case
Milpitas Police believe the man was trying to gather information about the home, possibly to return later and burglarize it. “By the individual asking the question, he was able to determine a key piece of security information and conclude how difficult it might be to burglarize the home,” said Lt. Steven Petrakovitz, public information officer for the Milpitas Police Department. “It is not uncommon for residential burglars to case potential victims’ homes prior to striking.”
Residential Burglaries on the Rise
A recent report on crime statistics by the Chief of Milpitas Police, Dennis Graham indicated that though overall crime is down in Milpitas this year over last, residential burglary is the one criminal activity that has increased. According to the report, which charted crime in Milpitas from January to August of this year, there have been 16 more burglaries in the city than during the same period in 2010 – including one that occurred on the street Mayor Joe Esteves lives on, which he cited as part of the reason he requested the report from the police department.
Police Caution: Protect Your Privacy
Milpitas Police caution local residents to be wary of anyone who knocks on their doors. “All residents should be wary of door-to-door solicitors and should not provide personal or security-related information to a stranger at their door,” Petrakovitz said. “Ask salespersons and peddlers for credentials, employer identification and a City of Milpitas business license.”
Of course, the best deterrent is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. As the leader in wireless home security, FrontPoint specializes in the best protection: that’s why we’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. Safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat: from Maine to Texas, from Florida to Milpitas, California, in thousands of cities and towns all across the US and Canada, FrontPoint is on the job.