Police After Con-man Impersonating Cops

Our unending fascination with “Cops” must be due to the edgy dangerousness of their jobs. After all they are law enforcement officers who are often public bouncers and deal with the craziest of crazy situations. There’s also the whole “power of the badge” and the flickering blue lights that gives them authority over civilians.

It’s no wonder they have their own TV shows, movies and many dramas that depict them as both hero and villain.

With all the fanfare that comes with being a police officer, there is also the pressure of such an often difficult and stressful job. Next time you see a cop, thank him or her. They will appreciate it.

Impersonating a police officer is sometimes committed in order to assert police-like authority in order to commit a crime. Posing as a police officer enables the offender to legitimize the appearance of an illegal act, such as: burglary, making a traffic stop, or detaining.

In New York Police are hunting a con-man who pretends to be a cop while stealing from at least seven businesses cops said. The man sports an imitation police shield and NYPD jacket as he swipes items off the shelves and then returns the goods to the cashier as though he had previously purchased them, officials said.
It is not uncommon for police impersonation to occur when someone is driving and is being pulled over by a fake cop. It’s just as distressing when the criminal knocks on your door trying to gain entry.

This is a difficult scam to protect yourself from and just as tricky to advice on due to the fact that we are trained to obey authority coupled with the fact you don’t want to resist a real officer of the law.

My best advice is to always make a phone call to your local authorities or the state police whenever or wherever you are in a situation where you have the slightest inkling the “cop” may be a fake. Never let someone into your home who holds a badge or ID until you call their superiors to confirm their arrival.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.

Apartments Likely Targets of Burglary

According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), apartments are 85% more likely to be victimized by a burglary than any other form of housing.

There are many reasons why apartments are targeted for burglaries. Here are a few:

Problem: In an apartment setting the residents live among other people. One tenant in a complex who has a propensity for theft may target units within. When he knows you aren’t home, that’s when he breaks in.

Solution: Alarm it. Apartment security systems trump all other options. And keep your TV or radio on to give the impression you are home. Even if your car is gone and he knows it, the alarm will screech and alert the authorities when you’re gone.

Problem: Mailboxes often signal who lives at the apartment. A single name on a mailbox may give the burglar the impression you might not be home during the day due to the fact most people work 9-5.

Solution: Put Your Name and Another Name on the mailbox. Tell your landlord ahead of time so they understand why.

Problem: You go on vacation or travel on business and the mail piles up and the lights are always off. Your apartment is seen by many other who notice you’re gone. This is called : “a crime of opportunity”.

Solution: Give your apartment the lived in look. Keep a TV on, shades down, put your lights on timers and have a friend grab your mail.

Problem: People in apartments often do not lock windows on upper levels thinking they are more secure. They forget that ladders and fire escapes can provide access even 3-4 levels up.

Solution: Lock your windows and make sure your apartment security system is applied to your windows and alerts you via the alarm whenever they are opened. You can also install motion sensors and glass break sensors as extra layers of security.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Cops Encourage Burglary Prevention

Let it be known and publicly stated right here and right now that I love law enforcement. Even though I’ve been pulled over for various vehicular infractions, but I’m not bitter. I’ve encountered officers of the law that may have taken themselves a bit too seriously, but I’ve meet plenty of flight attendants who fit the same profile. We are all just humans trying to get through this thing called life. It’s all good.

In Fort Wayne Indiana the local Police Department responded to a string of home burglaries that they are calling ‘crimes of opportunity’ and offer suggestions on how homeowners can prevent themselves from becoming victims of such crimes.

Some of the burglaries occur while people are sleeping in their homes.  They burglars were reported coming in through unsecured doors and windows. I don’t know where you live but in many parts of the country people don’t lock their doors because they don’t want to be “paranoid” I don’t know how lock your door can make you mentally ill. Maybe they know something I don’t.

One of the cops was quoted saying “Because they, (the homeowner), made it easier on the suspect or suspects to get into their home, it became a crime of opportunity. Whereas maybe those homes that were more secure, the suspect may have even gone to those homes and didn’t choose them because they were more secure, presenting more risk to him or her.” This is why I love law enforcement. Because of officials t like this guy who speak in common sense.

Be in charge of your home security:

  • Keep doors locked day and night and every time you leave your home.
  • Use wide-angle peepholes
  • Make sure glass is reinforced so they cannot be shattered.
  • Doors from attached garages must be solid and locked
  • Lock the overhead garage door – do not just rely on an automatic door opener.
  • Sliding glass doors should have strong locks.
  • Never leave a message on your voicemail or social media that indicates you are away.
  • Trim all shrubbery near doors and windows.
  • Use timed interior lights and outdoor timed or motion lights
  • Never leave a garage door opener inside your vehicle.
  • Install security cameras that can be remotely monitored.
  • Install a home alarm system monitored by an alarm company and the police.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

What is that Facebook “Friends” Motivation?

Sandra Appiah is a curvy lady who wants to friend me. She friended two of my buddies and apparently they accepted because they showed as “2 Friends in Common”. I never automatically friend anyone, so I contacted each bud and neither knew who she was. Go figure.

What got my attention besides the fact that I don’t know her was that she had photos on her page on a bed, scantily clad with belts and Playboy bunny stuff in the room. Red flag anyone? But to my buds, they didn’t seem to see it the way I did.

I sent here a note, “Hi! Where did you learn of me?”

And “her” response: “I am simply online looking for the Love of my life….someone to make my heart skip a beat…shake my whole being. A fairy tale that lasts a life time. Someone to adore and cherish….want to look at his face in the morning. That! A Man who is going to show me true love and passion. Respectful and serious intentions for a long relations and marriage. Trust is everything, honesty. Someone who I can share my day with and hold in my arms forever. THANKS HAVE A NICE DAY I HOPE YOU REPLY ME”

When she contacted me she had 12 friends. Now she has 18. All “dumb” dudes that have no idea that “she” is a scammer in an internet café in Nigeria. Why would anyone facilitate a scam by providing this scammer legitimacy by friending them?

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing social media Facebook scammers on CNN. Disclosures.

Using a Honeypot to Snare Home Invaders

What do you get when you cross a dozen federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and the nation’s top city for home invasions with the myth of large quantities of cocaine? Answer: 70 arrested gun toting vicious home invaders.

The term Honeypot in technology refers to a trap set to detect, deflect, or in some manner counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. In simpler terms a honeypot is a trap set for the bad guy that is so tempting, they can’t help themselves but attack.

Phoenix Arizona has had the distinction of being that famed city where home invasions are a massive problem.

ATF agents set a trap where they “leaked” word of homes with drugs and armed guards that never existed. But the suspects showed up with guns, duct tape and zip ties, ready to steal the cocaine. Instead, they were arrested.

One man had served an eight-year sentence for aggravated assault before he was released in March 2009. Three months later, he was in a car with four other armed men preparing to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of cocaine when ATF agents arrested him.

Obviously if you are reading this you probably don’t need to worry about your home being invaded because you don’t have 10 kilos of cocaine under your bed. But, the fact remains there are wacky people out there that think nothing of taking advantage of regular folk for a lot less.

Every family must have a plan for home security and home security alarm.

  • Get a trained German shepherd.
  • Another consideration is a home safe-room also known as a “panic room” where families can hide out in a relatively bullet proof, well stocked room equipped with wireless communications and wait for law enforcement to show up.
  • Never talk to strangers via an open or screen door. Always talk to them through a locked door.
  • NEVER let children open the doors. Always require and adult to do it.
  • Not all home invaders knock, some break in without warning.  Just another reason to have that home alarm on.
  • Install a 24-hour camera surveillance system. Security cameras are a great deterrent.  Have them pointed to every door and access point.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams. Disclosures

10 of the Dumbest Criminals

It’s impossible to write about home security and personal safety and not to come across with dumb criminal stories. Listverse did a great job of compiling the following; I did a decent job of summing it up:

1. – Dumb criminal robs a store at knifepoint and stole a pair of boots, gets away and then gets caught. At court he arrogantly puts his feet up on the defense table, wearing the same boots. Busted.

2. – Dumb criminal guy and two dumb criminal women in a department store stuffed their bags with curtains. As they all headed to separate exits they were busted. The store was having a convention of detectives.

3- Dumb criminal breaks into a woman’s house and robs it then assaults her. She had only a few dollars so he demanded she write him a check, to his given name.

4. – Dumb criminal walks into a store, gets groceries and plunks down $10.00 on the counter. When the clerk opened the register he grabbed the tray and ran. Apparently the clerks were changing shifts because he got $4.37. Which meant the shorted himself $5.63.

5. – Dumb criminals descend on a safe and use what they think are cutting torches in the form of a welder. They welded the safe shut.

6. – Dumb criminal on a motorcycle robs store with his helmet on. Clerk gives him the money and he leaves. He forgot his name was inscribed on the face of his helmet.

7. – Dumb criminal steal a woman’s purse and is caught. At trial he forgoes his lawyer and represents himself. When cross examining the victim he says “Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?”

8. – Dumb criminal is arrested for armed robbery and pleads not guilty. At trial as a witness is being questioned he gets up and accuses her of lying and says “I should have blown your head off!” “If I’d been the one that was there.”

9. – Dumb criminals try to steal a car then get chased off by the owner. Owner hails a police car and the criminals hop a fence. The fence surrounded the property of San Quentin prison.

10. – Dumb criminal breaks into a bar and accidently shoots himself in the foot. He leaves the bar and also leaves a trail of blood right to his house.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Home Invasion Was ‘Worst of the Worst’

A woman and her boyfriend and 2 other people robbed 5 people during a home-invasion robbery. The woman was given the maximum sentence of 19 years and four months in prison.

She was convicted of robbery, burglary, making a criminal threat and assault with caustic chemicals. The judge said “As robberies go this case is the worst of the worst,” The judge called it a cruel and callous, said the Prosecutor.

The boyfriend tied up five victims, doused them in lighter fluid and threatened to set them ablaze. One of the victims was sexually assaulted.

Predators don’t play by the same rules as you or I do. Their thought process is one that revolves around controlling others and manipulation. They take and take and what they give back is misery.

Locking your doors isn’t enough. Locking your windows isn’t enough. In order to prevent a crime like this the homeowner needs a comprehensive home security review. Bring in the local police to give your home a once over. Invite a local locksmith to determine what the best locks for your doors are.

Call a home alarm installer to discuss your home security. Consider taking it up a notch and installing home security cameras. Consider a do it yourself wireless home alarm system or hire a professional. But please, whatever you do, do something. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Gordon Elliot Show. Disclosures

“Grim Sleeper” Gets Nabbed

In La La Land aka Los Angeles where everyone is a waiter or waitress and wants to be Tom Cruise  or Julia Roberts, they captured a serial killer dubbed “Grim Sleeper” named as such due to the fact there was a lull in his murderous killing spree.

The Los Angeles Police Department had been hunting the man who had stalked South Los Angeles since 1985, killing at least 10 women. Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was at one time was an employee for the LAPD. Detectives pulled DNA from the crime scenes and had the information for years.

Recently the LAPD arrested his son for an unrelated charge. From that arrest they pulled his DNA, (I don’t know why) and it was a partial match to the DNA found at the crime scenes in the 80’s. This is called “familial DNA”, like father/son, mother/daughter or twins. However the son was too young to commit the crimes back then so detectives searched out his social network and on a hunch determined his father would more than likely be the closest match to the sons DNA. Based on where dad lived in proximity to the murders, dad fit the killers profile.

Detectives followed him to a pizza joint and let him finish up then went in and grabbed a few hunks of crust and a drinking glass and did a DNA test on it and they found their match.

Real life “crime scene investigation” stuff. Law enforcement got their man. Nice to see the good guys win one.

The chance of you ever coming face to face with a serial killer is extremely slim. However, there is an extremely slim chance you’d ever get struck by lightning too. But I’ll bet you wouldn’t go climbing a metal flag pole in a lightning storm.

The key is to understand your options and know your strengths if you’re ever faced with an attacker. My favorite form of self defense is running away. Like Muhammad Ali would say “I’m too pretty”. Do you really want to get punched in the face? RUN!

Also take a self defense training program. The best self defense training technique is called “adrenal stress training”, learn as much about it as you can and find a course in your area.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing self defense on some cool station in Virginia. Disclosures.

Highway Killer” Gets Life

Evil takes many forms. One of its forms is as Adam Leroy Lane. Lane was a truck driver from North Carolina whose route traveled up and down the east coast and attacked or murdered women in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Apparently when the urge struck, he’d veer off the highway and stalk neighborhoods and jiggle door knobs until he found one unlocked with a woman inside. In all the cases, the killer picked his victims at random and attacked them at their homes near interstate highways that he traveled.

In July of 2007 Lane was arrested after he broke into a 15-year-old girl’s room in Chelmsford Massachusetts in the middle of the night and tried to rape her. The girl’s father heard her scream and held the masked and gloved Lane in a headlock until police arrived, authorities said.

Nice job Dad. Who knows how many more he would have killed.

Lane was carrying knives, a belt with Chinese throwing stars and choke wire during the attack. Police also allegedly found in the cab of his truck a copy of the movie, “Hunting Humans,” which is about a serial killer. “I study them until I’ve got their pattern and it’s easy to do the rest,” says a line from the movie Hunting Humans.

He was recently sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the attacks in Pennsylvania under a deal that spared him from Pennsylvania’s death penalty. Too bad.

This is exactly the breed of predator I’ve been screaming about my entire life. The always has been, there is, and there always will be Adam Leroy Lane’s jiggling another door knob.

Live your life and don’t worry about it.


  • Lock your doors and windows day and night because you are smart.
  • Beef up the lighting outside your home because you are aware.
  • Install home security cameras because you want a layer of protection.
  • Install a home security alarm because you want your 15 year old to sleep through the night without some freak coming into her room and attacking her.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.

Police Arrest Six People in Ritzy Robbery Ring

Burglars broke into more than 50 homes in the high end areas of Miami and Palm Beach. Most of the victims were out to dinner and some were victims of home invasions.

The perps may have had a network in place of valets, waiters/waitresses or others who had an idea of who the victims were, their addresses and what their schedules were. Most importantly, someone on the inside of this network would inform the thieves when the victims would be gone from the home.

The thieves would enter the homes through locked or unlocked sliding doors generally in the back of the home. Their targets included high end jewelry, watches, gold and diamonds. Losses could be as high as 2 million dollars.

Getting the stolen jewelry back is often next to impossible. Jewelry is the quickest and easiest to fence.

“Police have dubbed the six people arrested for their participation in a burglary ring spanning three counties as the “Dinner Crew Set.”  Home surveillance video captured one of the thieves in action — a masked man with a two way radio.”

It’s obvious that most of these homes did not have home alarms or home security cameras. Many of these burglaries could have been prevented with simple investments that equate to a dollar a day for your family home security.

It’s amazing to me how people go out and spend all this money on expensive items but don’t lock them in a safe or protect them with a home security system.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel. Disclosures.