I like to categorise burglars into two separate groups:
- The low-risk burglar.
The low-risk burglar is typically going to go about their business between 10 AM and 3 PM. This is the time most homes are empty with children at school and parents at work. They will typically target homes that appear to have children living in them for this reason. They will case the house first and check for security systems and places where they can enter the property and the building without being observed.
- The high-risk burglar
These guys prefer to target homes between 1:30 AM and 4.am and they prefer the residents of the home to be home. And with good reason. When we leave home we most often take our mobile phone, our wallet, some of our jewellery, and items such as laptops and iPads. But when we’re home those items are there with us. All of these items are the preferred items for theft of the high-risk burglar.
The high-risk burglar will target the kitchen, and lounge room first looking for wallets, phones and portable electrical devices and then make a judgement as to whether it seems safe enough to enter a bedroom to go for wallets and mobile phones likely sitting on its side tables.
The high-risk burglar realises that are carefully planned night-time burglary is often not as high as you might think. People who routinely carefully locked their home when they leave it off and don’t bother to lock it in the home so the burglar doesn’t even need to force a door or break a window to gain entry they can simply walk on in.
You might think you’re being home is a deterrent, that a burglar might be frightened to be confronted. Sure this is a factor but your average high-risk burglar realises even if you do wake up back in more than likely exit property before they will be apprehended. When interviewed about what they did if they thought a burglar was in the house the three most common answers were:
- Lie in bed as still as possible and hope you are just hearing things.
- Yell out that you could hear the burglar, were grabbing your bat and were coming to hurt them. (In order to hopefully scare the burglar into making an exit prior to any confrontation.)
- Calling someone or the police on your mobile phone to come and assist.
- Lastly, some people chose to arm themselves and try and sneak up on the burglar.
In cases a. to c. The burglar usually gets away.
We’ve already written about how to keep the low-risk burglar’s from breaking into your home(lock up tight, don’t leave evidence lying around that you have lots of good things inside to steal, install a security system etc) so here are a few ideas about how you can improve your chances of keeping the high-risk burglar out as well.
- Lock up when you go to sleep
I know in summer this can mean locking the heat in. Doors and windows left open to get a breeze don’t let much breezing when they are closed. Consider installing security door so you can get some breeze through their mesh but still have a high level security.
- Consider adding movement activated lights inside your house.
Many people have installed sensor activated lights to the outside of their house with these lights having the dual purpose of lying the path to your door as you come home but also to ensure an intruder is unable to approach your house undetected. Motion activated lights are also useful in doors. The burglar is trying to quietly make their way through your house with a narrow beam torch is likely to be surprised to find all the house lights come on and might make a hasty exit rather than risk being confronted with the residents woken by the light. I have a client who looked up a playable message to a sensor that went like this: “Hi there Mr burglar and welcome to our home.” If our trip down security settings and our security company is aware of the intrusion into our property. Please understand, that all the trying devices on this property have been fitted with tracking devices so that if you leave the property with them will be able to follow your movements. Right now we are recording your actions on our video system so feel free to smile and wave to anyone of the 10 cameras we have positioned around the house. We suggest you leave the property immediately and close the door behind you stop alternatively, please sit down and wait for a security service or the police to arrive. Hilarious right? You’d hope it was never used… but it would be a laugh it ever was. As far as I’m aware today the system is only caught the cat and a 15-year-old son who’d snuck out to a party and was stumbling home a little bit worse for wear.
- Consider leaving an old wallet with $10 and it an out of date smart phone in a bowl near the kitchen
This gives the impression that you’re not the kind of people who carry lots of cash and have up-to-date devices. You are not a juicy target ripe for the picking.
- If you live in an apartment building someone buzzes the door don’t just let them in.
It might be a delivery man, might be someone who is this place for key pretending to be one of those people simply to gain access to the building before attempting access to the apartments themselves.
- Install an alarm System
Alarm systems are becoming more and more affordable. You don’t need to install a system with a high monthly cost connected to a security system… You can install a system that will detect intruder, set off an alarm inside your house and send messages to your mobile phone about the intrusion even sending you video and photos of what is going on if you are not home.
- Don’t be a hero
If someone is prepared to burble your home expect that they are a desperate person willing to use high levels of violence to avoid being caught this is not the movies it is real life. Possessions can be replaced but we only get one life so think long and hard confronting a burglar who may well be harmed.
Not sure how secure your Gold Coast home is at night? Give us a call at AllCoast Locksmiths and we can come and do a quick security check of your premises.