Thursday, April 1, 2010

Advice from Thieves

Thieves are everywhere...well they are in our area. Our neighbors are wonderful and we take care of each other. We are away quite a bit, but our property is not left unguarded. We have an alarm system that is always turned on when we leave. We don't answer the door to folks we don't know.  When we have repair people in our home we lock everything of value up prior to their arrival and then they are in our sight the entire time they are here.

 Yes, they have used the restroom and that's the first place we check when they leave. If you are doing work outside, you aren't coming in to use the restroom. Trusting? We aren't trusting one bit. If you show up at our house unsolicited then we are immediately suspicious. Here's some really good advice from convicted thieves.
  1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

  2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

  3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

  4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

  5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

  6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

  7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

  8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather..

  9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

  10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

  11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

  12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

  13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at

  14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

  15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

  16. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

  17. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

  18. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

  19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

  20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

  21. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky. Security consultant Chris McGoey; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.


  1. Those are all good tips, Sandee. This a very useful post. We have most of those covered including upstairs window and door sensors.

    Your words, "I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier" rang my bell. In one of my former unmarried lives the burglars broke out the bathroom window. The tiniest came there and the rest used the back door.
    At NASA I worked nights sometimes, I was really glad that day wasn't for being home asleep.

    One time we went on vacation and our front door got open somehow (obviously unlocked). A neighbor came in, and after looking around locked it from the inside and went out a back door that had an unlocked deadbolt lock.
    Now we use an 'egress checklist (NASA talk).'

    A thing going for us here is that we live in a gated community with a real live person gate guard so not too many 'wrong' people come in. That is one reason we live here.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful post. You are writing with love and thus I just don't know how to respond properly. The cunning phrases of the thieves made everything into the real mess because the deceits come from the lips of people who should be my brothers in spirit (we all are God's beloved in Jesus Christ) Thus the reality warns and confuses.
    In any case, thank you once again. Your post guards me from falling asleep.

  3. I got this in an email and thought about posting it too--great minds think alike, I guess. It's in my "possible post" list.

  4. Thanks for sharing. Some of the steps we ought to take are so easy but so often overlooked.

  5. That is great info. I am way too trusting. I do lock my doors and my car when it is parked here. I have two loud dogs too. But those were interesting things that should be done. Have a great day Sandee. I am off to the doctor. Keep your fingers crossed.

  6. Great advice and suggestions that we all need to heed, even here in Mayberry. It is not a perfect world.

    Have a SAFE day. Big hugs...

  7. Woof! Woof! Thanks for great advice. YES, we need to be careful. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  8. A wanted criminal here tried to steal a car in order to make his get away. The cars' owner heard his dog bark and grabbed a gun. End of criminal. No charges were filed against the homeowner. He was protecting his property. True story. Sweet and simple.

  9. Good tips. I love hearing things like this. Reminds us of things we easily forget.

  10. and just because you live in a high rise don't think for a minute you are not vulnerable too...

    smiles, bee

  11. The week after we moved to the Swamp 5 teenaged boys broke into a house about 5 doors down just around the corner... at 1:00 in the afternoon!

    They probably expected the house to be empty, but their 15 year old daughter happened to be home sick from school. She locked herself in her bedroom and called Mike, my very good friend and neighbor across the street. He told her to call 911 and he was on his way. He stopped only long enough to decide which guns to bring with him (retired military).

    There were 5 cops there by the time he rounded the corner! Unfortunately, 3 of the them managed to get away, but they caught 2 of them. Mike said one of them had just been arrested the previous week for theft. The cop told him to keep on laughing because his doo doo just got deeper as this time it would also include Home Invasion.

    I've been getting quotes on Home Security Systems, even though Mike is always on duty!

  12. OK, sorry, Sandee. That was more of a Post, than a Comment, wasn't it?

    Big hugs, honey xo

  13. Oh, yeah! Me, I'm a "lock it" type of person which my husband teases me about but I say better safe than sorry. All very good advice!

  14. Oh my goodness me. This is too funny. I, for one, am way too trusting; albeit as the wrinkles set in, I am learning. Thanks for the "funny" heads up *smoochies*

  15. All very good points, obviously coming straight from the mouths. I am very security conscious. I just wish my wife was too.

  16. Good advice.

    Also, it might make sense to prop open a door if you are bringing in groceries or bringing out items to the car/trash but a good robber can easily slip in and out without being detected. Often when the family is right there in the next room.

    It happened to our family.

  17. Good tips! It seems like common sense, but we so easily forget and drop our guard. It's ashame that we have to be so careful nowadays.

  18. You can't let your guard down for a moment. My house was broken into on Thanksgiving Friday a couple years ago. At 2:00 in the afternoon! My neighbor was home, heard a noise and called the police while she watched the guys going in my basement door. They were busted.

  19. who better to get advice from than the experts. I'm lucky I have a nosy neighbor, nice nosy though. She tends to keep an eye out for me. She even called the fire department one time when she thought my house was on fire while I was at work. Turned out it was just the steam from the dryer vent. It was a cold morning and it looked like smoke to

  20. This was WAY informative Sandee. I am careful, but there were things here that I had not considered. Great post!

  21. I've tried to memorized this for the last 6 hours, but I still don't remember more than half of these 21 points - so I guess I give up and stay home forever from now on! :lol:

  22. Wow great tips indeed. So looks like I should mow the lawn once in awhile and actually read some of the newspapers piled up on my porch? Naaaaa, I would have a laugh if someone decided to come in here to rob me. First they would end up with a dog attached to their leg, to then find out, there is nothing here of worth and would actually end up leaving me a few bucks out of sympathy :-)

  23. all good tips. A co-worker was robbed a few weeks ago, in broad daylight while she and her husband were at work. She lost a lot of valuable and sentimental jewelry. Breaks my heart to think of it. I have a few things at our house that mean a lot to me, I should get a safe or a better hiding spot for them.

  24. What an great advise...interesting blog..

  25. great useful tips! kudos! have a great week end!

  26. Sandee,

    What a wonderful write up and everyone should read these tips. I watch too much Criminal Minds so now I'm so suspicious of strangers. Luckily, Mountain Man does all the work on our farm and we're gated and surrounded by 7 barking dogs but when I lived in the city, I was way more cautious. I know you have possibly saved someone heartache.

  27. This is really helpful advice, especially living in one of the most crime ridden cities in America. Been fortunate so far, but you never know when it might happen to you.

  28. Excellent points. I would add to never, ever leave your purse in your car in the garage at night; that's where mine got stolen one night (as we slept in the house).


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