Tis the Season for Theft

Tis the Season for Theft

A recent series of break-ins in my very rural area has left me uneasy to say the least. Two of the most recent burglaries occurred close to the farm where I grew up and where my dad still lives. A lifelong friend of mine notified me that her parents, who happen to by the nearest neighbor to my dad were broken into a couple of days ago. I’m still a bit shook up! I shared a post on Facebook to alert others in the area and have gotten several responses from people who are aware of other break-ins that I was not aware of.

It’s sad that people can no longer feel safe leaving their homes for fear they will be robbed. Many of the robberies have occurred on farms. Lots of tools and ATV’s have been stolen. Barns and detached garages seem to be a hotbed for burglaries, in this area especially.

Here are a Few Ways to Decrease Your Risk of Experiencing Property Crime

One of the most effective ways you can do to decrease the risk of experiencing property crime is the installation of security technology such as a burglar alarm system or security cameras. There are several affordable cameras on the market today. One of the best and most used that I know of is D-Link Wireless Day/Night Network Surveillance Camera. It’s available on Amazon for $50.95 for Prime members. Without Prime, it’s $139.

With technology options aside, there are still things you can do to decrease the chance that your home will be targeted by a burglar.

Avoid Mentioning Travel Plans Online

Avoid mentioning travel plans or times you will be away on social media. Discuss the importance of this with your children.

Deadbolt Locks

Deadbolts make burglary difficult and burglars don’€™t like difficult. The longer a burglar spends in your home, the higher the chances are that he or she will be caught in the act. Deadbolts on doors make your home a more difficult target to break in.

Get a Dog

Dog ownership has long been a cited method of maintaining a safe home and deterring against burglars. When given a chance to burglarize a home at random, burglars are much more likely to target a home that does not have a dog rather than a home that does have a dog. Large dogs are intimidating because of their appearance and pitch of their bark, but even a small dog can be effective in warding off intruders. I HIGHLY recommend getting a FIDO dog. They are dogs that are already trained in five basic commands, crate trained, socialized, spayed or neutered and have their shots. Most humane societies offer these programs now and it’s a great way to get a great dog that is ready to take home and love. No training or housebreaking required.

Home Safe

Home safes are one of the most important steps that homeowners can secure important documents and priceless possessions. While taking home security prevention methods is a great way to protect the home against burglary, there is no assurance that a burglar will not somehow find a way to enter your home. Amazon has several affordable options here

Home Security System

The simplest, most effective action you can take to prevent future burglaries and protect your family is to install a monitored home security system. Security systems alert you when an intruder enters your home, and they have loud alarms which tend to scare intruders away before they can do any real damage. These systems, if monitored, also notify local authorities so they can investigate the reason the alarm was activated. Again, I recommend D-Link Wireless Day/Night Network Surveillance Camera. It’s an affordable way to monitor and receive alerts directly to your phone when there is activity at your door or in your home.

Keep a Record of Valuable Personal Property

Homeowners and home renters should always carry insurance to help to protect them against losses that may occur as the result of a disaster or theft. Most companies that provide this type of insurance prompt their customers to always keep a note of personal property that they consider to be valuable. If nothing else, take a series of photos of your house to help prompt your memory should a theft or disaster occur. Store them in an online file such as Google Drive – it’s a free, and very good online stores file system. I use it often! Or even a private photo gallery on Facebook would work.

Maintain a Well Lit Property

A well lit property is counterintuitive. Burglars do not work in well lit areas because the chance of being caught is much higher than working in the dark. Make sure outdoor lighting is always functioning well. Having a well lit front porch means nothing if the back side of a house is not lit at all, perform a full audit tonight to determine the areas of your property that need lit. Consider installing motion activated lights around your property. That is a good way to alert neighbors that there is activity when you are away. Amazon offers several and affordable options here

Monitor Mail and Newspaper Delivery

The presence of mail or newspaper buildup is a huge tipoff to burglars. Place a hold on mail delivery or have a trusted neighbor collect mail if you are going to be away for an extended period. Keep in mind that burglary is not the only concern when it comes to mail. All of those credit card offers and other secure information can be used for identity theft in the wrong hands. Consider a locked mailbox to prevent identity theft.

Neighborhood Watch

Living in a neighborhood that enforces neighborhood watch is another good way to promote safety, not only for the individual homeowner, but also to develop a safe neighborhood. A successful neighborhood watch is one that involves an entire community of vigilant neighbors who work together to enforce a safe community for each of its members. While it is rarely something that individuals take in to account when moving in to a new home or neighborhood, this type of cooperation is a key factor in discouraging criminal activity of all sorts.

If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program in your area, take the time to get to know your neighbors. Exchange contact information and communicate with each other on what they should consider to be out-of-the-ordinary.

Home Delivery of Packages

More and more we are hearing of packages being stolen right from the front porch. There are more local businesses that are offering services where you can have your packages delivered and pick them up when you get off work. Check with your local businesses to see if you can’t arrange something with them. If you have a neighbor who is home a lot – check with them to see if they would mind having things dropped off at their house – especially through the holiday season.

Paper Shredder

All homes, regardless of their income level, should make use of a paper shredder in order to keep personal information hidden and avoid having their identities stolen. Placing un-shredded items in the trash is not only a method for giving away personal information and increasing the opportunity for identity theft to take place, but it is also a method for burglars to find out whether or not a home is worth the effort of being burglarized. If you don’t want to invest in a paper shredder, keep watch for shredding companies to offer shred days. A good friend of mine owns a shredding company in California and I’ve seen them offer these up regularly. It’s a great way to safely get rid of important documentation.

Secure Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are a particularly easy way for home invaders to gain access to your home because they are rarely fitted with secure locks. One affordable means of securing a sliding French door is to place a curtain rod or wood stick in the sliding track to prevent the door from being slid open at any point.

Timing Devices

Timing devices may seem like a rather old method for deterring burglars, but it is a method that has proven successful. So successful in fact that it is a tool that has been around and approved upon for a very long time. Timing devices are a great tool to implement in the home whether or not the homeowner is on vacation because they switch on lighting or technology within the home even when no one is home. By setting timers to turn on lights and to turn on radios or televisions is a way to give the impression that the normal daily routine is in progress even when no one is home and this itself is enough to turn potential burglars away. Amazon offers several options here

Utilize the Garage

Burglars often observe properties that they are planning on burglarizing to try to establish a pattern of when the home is active and when it is empty. For homes that have garages, one of the most important things that a homeowner can do is to always keep the car inside the garage. When homeowners do not utilize garage space, they leave their car out in the open where it can be observed by passersby which means that it is particularly easy for burglars to observe when there is and is not someone home.

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