9 secrets from a veteran cop to protect your home from burglars
With more than two million burglaries (roughly one every 15 seconds) being committed each year in the U.S., it makes sense to do everything you are capable of to prevent it from happening to your home.
It’s not just a matter of losing material belongings (which hopefully you have insured to begin with), but also the fact that having your home invaded by criminals leaves families feeling violated and unsafe. Life is never quite the same again after a home has been ransacked by burglars.
Veteran cop “James L” has written a useful and enlightening article on the subject for GraywolfSurvival.com, which contains nine home protection secrets along with some effective strategies for recovering stolen items and making sure the culprits are apprehended if you do happen to become the victim of burglars.
The nine secrets can be divided into two basic categories: techniques for making your home as impervious as possible, and strategies for avoiding “inviting” burglars into your home in the first place.
In the first category, the tips include locking and securing all windows and doors (even those on the second floor), choosing the right types of doors and reinforcing their frames (solid doors, preferably with no windows are recommended), and bracing the frames of sliding doors from the inside.
While some of the tips in the first category may seem obvious, they are certainly important factors often overlooked by homeowners.
In the second category, some of the “secrets” are less obvious. It may come as a surprise to many that there is a device known as a “reverse peephole viewer” which allows burglars to peer inside the home using the built-in peephole that many front doors contain. That’s why you should install a peephole cover on any doors that feature them.
And many people may not realize that burglars can use social media to aid them in their criminal activities. For instance, if you announce on Facebook that you are about to embark on a vacation, or post pictures while you are on a holiday, you are effectively inviting thieves to break into your home by broadcasting when you are away.
It’s also a good idea NOT to post pictures of “high ticket” consumer products online, such as wide-screen TVs or other easy-to-carry and easy-to-sell items.
Other burglary prevention tips include having a dog (or at least giving the appearance of owning one), having newspapers and mail delivery suspended or picked up by a friend or relative while out of town, and alerting local police when you will be away for any significant length of time.
Taking steps to protect your belongings in advance can go a long way towards having those items recovered while increasing the chances that the perpetrators will be arrested and prosecuted.
As the veteran cop points out, only a small percentage of burglaries are solved by the use of fingerprints or other forensic evidence.
It is far more effective to simply catalog and document your possessions so that they can be easily identified and returned, and so that the thief may be caught in the act of trying to sell them.
Make a photographic record of everything that is “pawnable,” along with serial numbers if there are any associated with the item. Keep these records on a thumb drive or in a safe and hidden place — not on a computer that might be stolen in a burglary!
Photographs and serial numbers are the best tools police can have to be able to solve the crime. In many states, pawn shop operators are required to check the serial numbers of items against the national crime computer database, and if a number matches, they must report it to the police.
The takeaway from all this is that the homeowner or apartment dweller plays the biggest role in not only preventing burglaries from occurring in the first place but also recovering belongings and catching the culprits if and when it does happen.