One of our local TV news programs did a segment on how burglars choose their victims and what they're looking for during a burglary. They showed part of a video made by police in which they show homes in the aftermath of break-ins and interview convicted burglars currently in prison. The convicts talk about what people are doing wrong. It was informative...and oddly enough, entertaining.
The TV segment ended with some recommendations from the pros (and by pros I mean criminals). Home security systems are advised--but even they can backfire. An author friend of mine had one. She accidentally set off the silent alarm one day, and she and her grandmother were in the kitchen when the police burst in, guns drawn. "Yeah, I always take Grandma along on all my heists," she told them.
Think just putting one of those home security service signs in your window or front yard helps? Guess again. They know that's almost always just for show. (I thought about putting one of my Minion cutouts in our living room window with a little sign reading Protected By Minion Security. I guess they wouldn't take that seriously either....)
And the huge dog water bowl I bought with KILLER painted on it won't actually scare anybody away?
Recommendation: get a deadbolt. Got one. Not that it would do much good. Anyone wanting to break in would only have to break the living room window and reach inside to unlock it. Of course, if I'm inside, I'm going to chop their hand off. I almost did that once, years ago. I was a teenager, my parents were both at work, and a nutty gal from down the street thought she was going to force her way in. She did a lot of screaming when that big knife came down hard on her arm!
Fortunately, we now live on a courtyard and a large number of the neighbors have dogs. When they get started barking, it reminds me of the Twilight Bark from 101 Dalmatians. They're a better early warning system than NORAD.
Recommendation: hide your valuables. What? You're not supposed to sit them out on display on the dining room table with a TAKE ME sign? From the looks of the crime scene photos shown, the thieves didn't mind making the effort to find the good stuff.
The reporter doing the story also recommended a number of websites where one can upload photos of their valuables so that, in the event of a burglary, police will have a photographic file of all of your property. At first, that seemed like a good idea. But on the same broadcast, there was a story about another massive computer hacking.
I'm picturing a group of burglars hacking into one of those sites, checking out all the merchandise. It would be like an online shopping site for customers who don't plan to pay for anything. The resulting crime rate would be almost as high as it is on Craigslist!
And now to get caught up on the blogs I've missed the past couple of days....