Owning a property comes with many benefits. Owning a property in a renominate, small countryside community it is a must. And it was for me and my family, until a sunny spring day three years ago.
As a young couple with two small children and a dog, I and my husband Mark were excited when we bought our house in a renominate countryside community. And it turned to be the best decision for a while. Leaving rainy winter days behind, it was a beautiful Sunday.
A perfect spring day, with small cumulus clouds floating in the sky, spring flowers blossoming, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees flying in the garden, and my two kindergartens playing in the backyard with their dog. In this idyllic countryside scenario, I and Mark were chatting on the patio, when a police officer approached our house.
It turns out that the evening was not as idyllic as we thought. Our neighbor’s house was robbed. It turned out that the burglary happened just in one hour, a few feet away from our backyard where my kindergarten children and their dog were playing and even more the only hour that Sunday, that our neighbors Jeanne and Daniel went away. Furthermore, in our renominate countryside community, their propriety was the third propriety being vandalized in the past month.
It was a slap in the face, a shock, a wake-up call into a horrible reality. A horrible reality that many homeowners have experienced. My image, like many others, of an easy target, looked like a house in an isolated village or city road, with unlocked doors or opened windows during the holidays period. Not our neighbor’s small, two-family house, with a protected entrance, responsible owners, and during a sunny Sunday evening with neighbors in the yard. I was wrong, this idea is extremely different than the real trends out there. In the U. S., it is estimated that there were 7. 694, 086 propriety crimes that year and in the EU statistics are not far away.
What attracts burglars to homes?
Before breaking into a home, burglars have to come up with an effective plane. They case the area and look for particular features in a house. A serious burglar may watch your home for a few days before the burglary.
They look for well-maintained proprieties, for owners that leave valuable items on the table, and for fakers with lights all night on, fake cameras security and predicable leavings for work, school, and errands. But even the most observant people, do not ever notice that their propriety has already been targeted by burglars. So, let us find out what signs to look for that indicates someone may be casing your home.
10 Signs that burglars are casing your propriety
1. Thieves code
Burglars have their secret code, they use signs to mark the potential targets. Jeanne and Daniel have always let our children draw on their driveway. We have never taught that not only a child can mark propriety. You can discover chalk drawing on the house wall, symbols carved into the letterbox, or signs on the garage door.
In addition to that, if you discover any kind of symbol on your propriety and you are sure there are no children scribbles on the wall, then take a picture of the symbol and location. Make sure you have the date and report your finding to law enforcement.
Further, erase any suspicious marks that appear near your home, on the door, on the garden lanterns, or in the driveway. Be aware and pay attention to look-alike random marks in your neighborhood.
2. Strangers walking down your street
Most of us have been living in the same place for a while and we do recognize most of the people that live on our street or visit regularly. On the other hand, burglars rely on the fact that people do not always know much about their neighbors. It could be a red flag if you notice strangers and uncommon neighbors in the street, moving up and down on the road, pretending to be jogging or just looking around and photograph yards and gardens.
Furthermore, juveniles walking or cutting trough backyards or a man displaying unusual behavior and want to hide an object. One of the best ways you can help law enforcement is providing as much detailed information as possible. If you can take a careful look at the person and write down approximately how old and how tall is he or she, hair color, clothing, and particularities.
3. Unfamiliar vehicles
Not only in the movies but also, in reality, unfamiliar cars and vans around the neighborhood will surely raise concern. Daniel noticed that an unfamiliar car kept parking on our street, but with a busy schedule, he did not report it to anyone.
But what specific actions could he take? Our police officer said that it is important to keep calm and write down as much detailed information as possible. The make and model of the vehicle, color, license plate, bumper stickers, and when it is possible information of the driver. In addition to his words, I should say, that it is important to keep an eye on your propriety and, why not, the neighborhood. Especially, when the vehicle sits around over an extended period of time or repeatedly shows up on an irregular basis.
4. Missing trash
Be careful what you are trowing in our trash bag repeats Mark regularly since the burglaries have occurred in our countryside community. Undoubtedly he is right. Many documents contain your personal information, like social security number, birthday, phone number, bank data, and more. A stolen identity can be more valuable than a bracelet or cash. Also, discarded holiday boxes can be compared to leaving doors open to burglars. Remember to break your boxes down in an effort to disguise valuables from burglars. Especially, do not advertise your electronics with a box on your trash can.
5. Strangers knock on your door
Jeanne is a friendly person and she always welcomes door to door vendors. On the contrary, regardless of the time of day and night, when a stranger knocks on my door, it is uncomfortable or even frightening. A common tactic burglars use is to knock on someone’s door to see if anyone is there before entering. For this reason, if you hear someone at your front door, the first thing you should do is take a look at who it is and ensure your door is locked.
Genuine door to door vendors won’t mind making an appointment and show their identification card. Call a friendly neighbor to come along and check at the visitor. If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a phone call or the toilet, claims to have lost a ball in your garden, do not invite the person to your house. If you really want to offer help, make him wait outside, and when you away lock your front door. If the stranger really needs your help, he would understand your doorstep, your decision.
6. Calls from unknown numbers
My aunt Lisa has always been harassed by local elderly women on the phone, they could not understand that Lisa was not the doctor’s office, the priest, their childhood friend, and many others. She has a box of stories on strangers calling her in the middle of the day or the night.
Meanwhile, if this is not your case and you are frequently getting strange calls and you know they are not from an elderly neighbor than you must be aware. One call ring calls from unknown numbers are used by burglars and thieve. The first ones are checking when you are home, the second ones are hoping to gain access to your personal information or to charge your phone bill. Call your local phone company and police and tell them about the harassment.
7. Newspaper piles
Daniel and Mark have always make sure that their houses appear neat and occupied all the time. And you should do it too. With busy schedules and many daily activities sometimes high grass and a porch to be cleaned is easy to become overlooked. Be aware and do not commit this error. Must burglars fears someone might be home. Moreover, a quiet dark house with newspapers piled on the front porch and grass growing high is a sure sign that no one will notice them during their business.
8. A barking dog
My children’s dog Spike has always been a perfect friend. Never was he anxious or aggressive with family members or strangers. In addition to that, he never barks loud and he did not bark the day Jeanne and Daniel’s propriety was burglarised.
A barking dog can be a problem also for the burglars, it is the last thing they want when they are trying to break into a home. Commonly, burglars will try to become friends with the dog, so they can let him out before the burglary. If you notice a neighbors handyman or a new cleaning lady way too frequently petting your furry friend it can be a red flag. In other cases burglars will be less inventive, they will simply bring treats to preoccupy your dog when they are vandalizing your propriety.
9. Broken window
Some burglars might leave a sign as a thieves code others will break your car, garage, or house window just to see your reaction. Undoubtedly it is like a Christal ball forecast. Knowledge is power, and the more information a burglar has about your reaction and the neighbor’s friendship the better prepared he will be.
10. Social media posts
We never received a postcard from Jeanne and Daniel, they have always written to us on the social media platforms. Burglars use social media too, from them they can learn about your routine, activities, friends, vacations, and even what is in your home to steal. With the rise of social media, burglars have easier access to specific information about you and your propriety. Now they are turning to Twiter, Facebook, Instagram to collect information about homeowners.
How to prevent your property from being targeted?
In the introduction, I wrote that owning propriety comes with many benefits, yet owning propriety comes also with many risks. For most of us, our home and family safety is a major priority. In other not to be a part of the introduction statistic, we try to protect our homes. There are many pieces of information and examples on how to protect your propriety, from reinforcing doors and windows to moto-sensing lights, surveillance cameras, and alarms. But, the best way to protect your home and your family from burglaries is to avoid some of the common home security mistakes.
Firstly, do not get a big dog and hope he will attack anyone who comes uninvited in your home. Secondly, do not underestimate burglars, they are not dumb. They know their business and will easily notice a fake surveillance camera. Lastly, most burglaries do not happen at night or on a rainy winter day, so make sure your propriety is protected also when you are not home. Be nice to your neighbors, ask a friend to come to check your house, install a good home security system.
And remember, good habits go a long way. Lock your doors and windows whenever they are not in use, even when you are at home. Turn regular lights into a motion sensor lights by switching to motion-sensing light bulbs or a motion detector adapter. Be smart and do not hide any key in a predictable place, like into a flowerpot or under a doormat. Trim down trees and plants close to your home that could be used for cover. Take indoor expensive items like grills, toys, bikes, motors and be safe, build a tight-knit community, and get to know your neighbors.