It doesn’t matter where, when or to whom—a burglar will go where there is easy access and easy money, or goods to be resold. One favorite target of criminals is houses of worship, which often have audio equipment and cash-filled collection boxes on hand. Case in point: The Bartlesville, Oklahoma Examiner-Enterprise reports that Daniel Walker Barnett, 22, is accused of stealing around $10,000 worth of audiovisual equipment from inside a church.
According to the article, “Guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, drums, a laptop computer and a projector were taken from the church as a result of the burglary, the police document states. Surveillance video shows Barnett taking the property from the church.”
The suspect looks like a regular guy, and this isn’t unheard of. Burglars look normal; they may be someone you know. Often it’s those on the inside—those with a close familiarity of the target—that have knowledge of how things work and where they are. For this reason, it’s important to beef up security to protect from the inside out and from the outside in. Even then, thieves often may enter through unlocked doors—or they may break windows or bust doors off their frames, resulting in vandalism along with the theft. Amazingly, the damage a burglar does to the premises often costs more to repair then the actual value of items stolen. “The affidavit claims Barnett caused damage inside the church by spraying a chemical fire extinguisher over a large area of one room and on a stage,” the article continues. “It also is alleged that the suspect urinated in several different locations at the church.”
Theft and vandalism happen. Protect against them.
- Lock up. Even if it’s an “open access” environment, you don’t want to give access to the wrong people.
Have someone always watching the door. Install both visible and hidden motion-sensitive, DVD-recordable security cameras everywhere, along with “Monitored by Video Surveillance” signs.
- Lock doors and windows always.
- Install break-resistant film over windows and other glass portals.
- Install a home security system at the building.