Yippie! it’s that time of year again. The holidays are right around the corner and they often bring with them work parties, travel out of town, school events, friendly get togethers, and enough eggnog to give you the squirts for a month.
Having to attend these numerous events can leave your home feeling very lonely and empty. The only thing to keep your home feeling full, is all the nice new stuff you stock piled to give away as gifts.
Your neighborhood dope fiend understands this all to well. There is nothing they hate more than an lonely feeling home, so they take every opportunity they can to occupy it for you while you are gone. As they say, “tis the season for robbin’ and thievin’ “.
Theft (package theft big time), burglaries, and robberies typically see an increase during the holiday season. Cars and homes are filled with goodies, packages are left for the taking, people have cash and gifts on them. Low risk, big payoffs.
According to Illinois state law, Residential Burglary is defined as: 720 ILCS 5/19-3. “A person is guilty of residential burglary when they knowingly and without authority enter the dwelling place of another with the intent to commit a theft or another felony inside the residence”.
In Illinois, committing a burglary when some one is home is referred to as a “Home Invasion”. A Home Invasion can be an extremely terrifying and life threatening event. Home Invasions are much less prevalent but I want you to be aware of the difference between the two events.
On a positive note, According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for the year 2016, burglaries are the lowest they have been since 1997. 2016 recorded 468.9 per 100,000 citizens as opposed to 918.8 per 100,000 citizens in 1997 (https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-1, 12/06/2018). That is nearly a 50% decrease in annual burglaries.
I included these stats because I don’t want to cause anyone duress. You can lower the rifle, unbarricade the door, and remove the foil. As I wrote in a previous post, a good sense of situational awareness can save you a lot of heart ache. It is my opinion that this downward trend in crime will continue due to the constant improvements in technology. The world will be the safest it has ever been… until the Artificial Intelligence we created to help us, kills us all of course. (I will be the first to go for the way I verbally abuse my Alexa : )
2 of the three ways to better secure your home include that technology (sort of) and one is as primitive as can be.
Strategy #1 – Security System (Kind Of)
Security systems are an obvious deterrent for crime. Burglars know that as soon as they breach a door or window, that super high end security system you installed is going to blast an alarm and call the police. The neighbors will come out with torches and pitchforks. Every dog in a city block will be howling. Pandemonium!
In reality, they have 3-5 minutes to get in and out before the police arrive and they know that.
I know I don’t work well under pressure. I got nervous when my wife got us the Insta-Pot. “What do you mean I can cook a roast in an hour? That’s not enough TIME!! ahhhhh!” and I fell to the floor in the fetal position.
These guys don’t like that either. They want to peruse the isles, a.k.a. your sock drawer and medicine cabinets. They want time to pick items they can pawn for dope money. Grabbing a handful of grandma’s costume jewelry and extra strength Tylenol does them no good.
Burglars have a tendency to “case” a location before they strike. When a burglar sees that a home is protected by a security system they will most likely move on down the block to a house with no signs of resistance.
Security systems are expensive so HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS !
Just putting up signs that SAY you have a security system on the premise will work as a deterrent.
These low level burglars are not the type to circumvent a security system. They are not outfit pro’s hitting a jeweler. They want to raid a medicine cabinet and pawn your carry away items.
Nothing is 100 % effective, and if there is a will there’s a way, but having a sign that states you have camera’s or a security system in place will definitely act as a deterrent for most would be burglar’s.
You can click on the Amazon Affiliate link (picture) I posted below to see some examples I have found.
Strategy #2 – Security Camera’s (also kind of)
No one wants to be caught on camera red handed. With the ease of information sharing someone is bound to recognize you. In court, having video often seems like the only way to secure a conviction (at least in Cook County). And even if you mask up, you can’t hide all of your identifiers. Cameras work and I highly recommend them if you can afford them.
Side note: I recently placed two “Ring” camera’s on my own home. The camera’s themselves are pretty expensive and beware of the monthly fee (nominal but still) if you want the capability to record.. I was pissed to discover this so I want to warn you.
Most times these burglars are from YOUR neighborhood. Knowing they could be recognized, why would they choose your house if they think you have a camera? They could just as easily go down a house or two where there is none. Criminals love low hanging fruit. The easy score with the least chance of being caught.
Camera’s are expensive too.
Just like the security system fake out above, we can cheaply and easily fake a security camera as well.
Companies make mock security cameras that can be mounted on the interior or exterior of your home. These camera’s are cheap, look real, have blinking lights, and offer the same psychological effect on a would be burglar as real security system.
Click the picture to view these items and more like them.
Strategy #3 – Beware of Dog (maybe)
We are going old school, primitive, junk yard dog type Sh*t here.
It is well known that burglars hate dogs. There is an obvious primitive fear of a dog biting you for entering their territory, but the real reason burglars hate dogs is because of the noise.
Dogs bark. Some of them bark A LOT! That noisy chihuahua next door that you wish would be carried away by a falcon. Well, it may be keeping burglar’s from your door step.
When dogs start barking, neighbors start looking. I know I do. A barking dog is a tell tale sign that someone or something is near.
Burglars know that if they have to contend with a dog it may bite them and it will most definitely bark. The noise will alarm the neighbors and the likelihood of apprehension goes up.
Just like the other 2 strategies, it is more likely the burglar will to go to a house where the target is easy to hit.
Good News for those who don’t want or can’t have dogs.
A beware of dog sign can deter a criminal just as well as a real dog.
A well placed beware of dog sign on a fence or door will keep a criminal passing by. Most folks don’t lie about having a dog. They place those signs on their fence for liability purposes. The fact that they reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim is a bonus.
Below picture links are some examples of inexpensive beware of dog signs available on amazon. Even if you have the nicest dog, get a sign with a picture of “Cujo” on it. Psychological warfare!
With very little effort and very little money you can create a safer environment for your family and home by simply displaying signs:
- Security System
- Security Cameras
- Beware of dog
If ever you come home and a door or window is unexpectedly open. DO NOT ENTER! Call the police and explain the situation. Wait at a safe distance or at a neighbor’s house for a police car to arrive. The police do not mind. They will help clear the house for any threats, preserve evidence in the case you were burglarized, and give you a peace of mind. If your home was in the process of being burglarized, putting yourself in the house with a burglar can end badly. Do not try to apprehend anyone either. They are only taking items that can be replaced. You on the other hand cannot be.
Stay safe and don’t forget to have fun and learn something,