Police and alarm companies recognize most residential burglaries as random, opportunistic acts – not planned events. TV and movies aside, few intruders target specific homes: they just look for easy targets and the same items, over and over. Our home was broken into twice in San Francisco, and both times the thieves took cash (not much, happily!), jewelry, and a camera. The news articles referenced in my recent posts on crime sprees in Fairfax County, VA and Lubbock, TX both refer to a standard list of items being stolen, and that list applies all over the US. We can make it harder for intruders to break in (and here’s my Top Ten list of how) – but, you should also know what the bad guys are after, if and when they do get in:
- Cash and credit cards
- Computers and hand-held devices (cell phones, iPad’s, etc.)
- Home entertainment electronics (gaming devices, large-screen TV’s)
- Prescription drugs
In reviewing hundreds of burglary reports over the years, I can attest to the consistency of this list. Burglars want to get in and out fast, with whatever they can turn into ready money. Here’s an excerpt from a news article on a serial crook that was recently caught:
“A search of Agosto’s home by detectives netted the recovery of an extensive amount of property taken from other home burglaries to include guns, televisions, prescription drugs, laptop computers, expensive baseball cards, and game systems.”
What additional steps can you take?
- Don’t leave valuables where they are easy to find. Intruders learn quickly where to look, like the tops of bureaus and top drawers for cash and jewelry.
- Use a safe if you have items of significant value. Secure the safe in place. Here’s a story about a burglar who walked out with a bookstore’s safe!
- Don’t assume your insurance covers items that are not specifically listed – like expensive jewelry.
- Use an engraver to mark tools. Record serial numbers for your electronics: it can help in recovery.
- Unsecured fire arms are a burglar’s dream since often left in closets, drawers or under beds. The seasoned burglar knows this. A safe is a great place for storing guns (see recent post).
FrontPoint is here to help with the highest level of interactive, wireless home security, and a system that is virtually impossible to defeat. We hate a see any burglar gain access to a home, and we’ll do everything we can to detect them and scare them away. You can help, by making their job even harder.