Burglars ‘jiggle’ doorknobs, then leave their mark

Burglars aren’t dumb: They’re apparently enlisting the help of accomplices to seek out homes that are easy targets, then marking them with stickers.The stickers are small and inconspicuous, placed on front doors, being missed by the actual residents.

3BBut in case the resident notices the sticker, the burglars are thinking ahead: The stickers say “24 hour locksmith,” and have a phone number (fake), and thus masquerade as an advertisement for a fictitious business.It’s not known how many of these stickers have been linked to burglaries, but for sure, there’s something fishy here.

The theory by detectives is that the accomplice scouts for vulnerable homes, and this includes inspecting the locks on doors and windows. One of the methods the would-be burglars must be using to determine if a home is a good target is to simply jiggle a door knob and if it’s unlocked, then the property is immediately tagged with a sticker.

If questioned by a police officer, the scout simply says he or she is distributing locksmith marketing.

MailOnline reports “There is growing evidence that some organized teams of burglars may be using this method to target homes in south London,” says the council’s crime prevention spokesman, Cllr Jonathan Cook.

Cook’s advice is to immediately discard such a sticker if discovered, then report it to the police.“It also goes without saying that if people can beef up their home security by fitting sturdy locks to doors and windows and alarms, then this will always reduce the chances of them falling victim to thieves and burglars,” adds Cook.

Agreed. Certainly Schlage’s Touchscreen Deadbolt would be my recommendation.

The holiday time means longer evening darkness. “There have been a number of front doors found with stickers, giving details of a locksmith, which enquires reveal is not a genuine company,” says Inspector David Bannister from the Wandsworth police.

He says the stickers are placed by the main lock. “It is assessed that these markers are being used by potential burglars to mark potential targets which are then returned to subsequently.”

Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Drug-addicted Teen Burglar Sentenced to Prison

Burglars aren’t the people you see in the movies driving expensive cars, living lavish lifestyles and vacationing in the Caribbean. Burglars are usually addicted to drugs, unemployed because of their habit, and have sucked the lives and savings out of their families and so must turn to crime to get their fix.

You’ve heard “desperate people do desperate things,” and that statement can be directly equated to the mindset of a drug addict. People under the influence are sick and irrational and will stop at nothing to get what they need. Often, their illness has such a grip on them that in their minds, scenarios that actually result in violence leading to murder begin to seem normal. To them, it makes perfect sense that such things are what they need to do to get high.

People often ask, “Why?” “Why would anyone do that?” Because drugs have such a grip on them that the ability to make sound, rational decisions is no longer a part of their psyche.

It’s even worse when a teenager is the addict and perpetrator. At a young age, his reality isn’t quite developed. Leo Ray and his wife were victims of an invasion at their Idaho home. Ray told the Times-News in an interview that he answered the door at about 6 a.m. the day of the robbery to three guns in his face, then two men held guns to his head while another—whom he later identified as a 16-year-old boy—stood across the room with a rope and another gun. The men tied up the Rays and ransacked their home, stealing guns, computers and other valuables.

The prosecutor stated, “The teen has had significant substance abuse treatment and significant opportunities for counseling in the juvenile justice system.” But he obviously was beyond repair.

Bad, sick, dysfunctional people are everywhere. This doesn’t mean you should hide under your bed and worry; it means you need to keep your head up, be aware, know your options, live your life and invest in your personal and home security.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Church Burglar Busted, Held on $50K Bond

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.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Famous Burglar Caught, Another Killed

Yet another reason to invest in home security systems.

Some people work in a building, others on construction sites. Some work in banks and some in people’s homes. Burglars and bandits go to work to rob banks and homes and that’s a normal days work for them.

A dude named Robert James Neese famous for burglarizing Dan Quayle the former Vice President under Bush Sr is known as the “Rock Burglar” and got his name by tossing rocks through a glass door or windows to gain entry to his victim’s homes. How original.

Neese racked up a reported 337 break-ins over 17 years and stole an estimated $10 million in cash and jewels. He was busted in Arizona and now instead of throwing rocks he’ll be breaking them on a chain gang.

Another famous burglar in Georgia known as the Grandma Bandit wasn’t a grandma at all, but just another (more than likely) drug addicted dude who donned a grandma disguise and posed as a cancer patient at numerous drug stores and would ask for drugs, then demand money.

After a string of robberies police released security surveillance video and photos of the robber who was eventually identified by a concerned citizen who called the police. And unfortunately for the Grandma Bandit, that police chase ended badly. He was eventually shot and killed by police.

Unfortunately there will be someone to take these burglars place. Invest in your home security and adhere to the home security tips below:

Install signage. “Beware of Dog” and “This House is Alarmed” neon signs for $1.98. One for the front door and one for the back door.

Go to the pet store. Get 2 big dog bowls, one for the front porch and one for the back. Write “Killer” in permanent marker on it. This gives the impression you have a big dog. You can even buy a barking dog alarm.

Lock your doors and windows. Install a monitored alarm system. Consider ADT Pulse that comes with a battery backup even when the poser goes out.

Give your home that lived in look. Leave the TV on LOUD while you are gone.

Install timers on your lights both indoor and outdoor. Close the shades to prevent peeping inside.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source

Custom Fitting A Home Security System

There is no such thing as one size fits all. Today, we have more variety and choice than in the first 1950 years of modernity combined. Why? Because we want it! Transportation fueled by oil and gasoline along with big box retailers and suburbia all transformed life as we know it and choice became an option.

My ADT Pulse system is no different. When the sales person showed me my options, it was like I was 10 years old and he was Santa and I was able to go right in his big red bag of tricks and pick out all the stuff that had been on my list since I was 5!

You wouldn’t think one would get all giddy about a home security system but this is not just home security. It’s home automation that secures your home. We walked through my home and he asked me all kinds of pertinent questions about our comings and goings to help decide on what options would suit us and secure us best.

We discussed all the light switches that I’d want replaced with home automation to be able to turn on remotely and have set to go on when we came home or timed to give the impression we were home when we weren’t.

Next  was all the areas of the home I wanted to install surveillance cameras that would allow me to record and drop in on sections of the house while I’m traveling or even home.

Most importantly, we went through a whole process of thinking like a burglar and determined all the vulnerable areas of the home that needed sensors on doors and windows such as motion and glass break. For me, that was the funniest part. Thinking like a burglar is necessary to prevent a burglar from getting in.

You’d be amazed at the lengths a burglar will go through to get in. And, scaling a 3 story porch and busting through a door or window on a ledge is a welcome challenge for a burglar. I’ve got that covered!

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston

Burglar Hits County Sheriff’s Home

In these posts I often point out what people do wrong and reverse engineer the scenario so we can learn from 20/20 hindsight what to do right next time. I’m happy to say, this post is about what was done right the first time.

There are many reasons why homes are broken into. Money is generally the primary motivation. Sometimes kids may be looking for a place to party or someone may be seeking out drugs or alcohol. But when someone breaks into the Sheriffs home, one has to wonder why.

Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen is used to investigating break-ins, but this time it was his own home. The sheriff is offering a $1,000 reward from his own pocket for information leading to an arrest. Nothing was taken in the break-in on Sunday at the sheriff’s home on Wacker Drive, which makes the incident even more mysterious, Phalen said. “I would almost feel better if something had been taken,” he said. The burglar came between 5 and 6 p.m., while Phalen and his wife were out for a walk. Phalen said that the alarm system triggered and the burglar apparently tried to disable it. The alarm was beeping when Phalen and his wife returned.

The motivation here may simply be for money, but if they knew it was the Sheriffs house, then more than likely someone was after information or they simply wanted to have bragging rights to say “I broke into the Sheriffs house.

What pleases me about this story is the home security alarm that was triggered in the break in. Any one who reads this will see that the Sheriff, knowing that crime happens when someone least expects it, locked his doors and set his home alarm system while he and his wife were out for a quick walk.

Even though he was only gone for a short time he took full responsibility for his families security and enabled the home security system. One thing missing is why wasn’t their any data about the alarm being monitored by a service and a call made to the “Sheriffs Department.” Seems there is a lesson to be learned here.

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

Thieves Stealing Your GPS Can Track You Back Home

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

GPS is the single greatest invention since the wheel. Well, it is for me. Admittedly, I’m not a great driver. I don’t pay attention as much as I should. I day dream and I miss exits. I’m safe, but I just don’t like to drive. GPS gets me there.

I’ve messed with all kinds of GPS devices to get me from A to B. I’ve used iPhone Apps, Google Maps and the GPS that came built into me vehicles dashboard. My dashboard GPS is frustrating and less than user friendly. So I went out and picked up one of the name brand portable models. I LOVE IT!

Out of the box, it brought me through a set up wizard. The set up wizard prompted me to plug in my home address into a field appropriately called “Home.” This thing is so user friendly it allows you to press this one button from wherever you are at the time and it gets you home!

What a fantastic feature; for a car thief or a burglar!. As soon as I saw this feature I was like, ahhhh NO! I’m not plugging my home address in this thing. If my vehicle was ever stolen, the thief would know where I lived and have the remote control to my garage too! And if you ever valet a car at a restaurant or function, the valet has a buddy who then goes to your home and burgles it! With your keys! So I plugged “Home” as the address where city hall is. Plus I never give my house keys to a valet.

Some of you reading this might be saying “The thief still has your address on your vehicle registration” Ahhhh, NO! Not mine. First, you’re supposed to carry your registration in your wallet and not leave it in the car. I learned this after the cop who I reported my stolen car told me this 20 years ago.  And my registration is listed as a PO Box. I use a PO Box as a corresponding address for almost every transaction that allows it. I have a barrier between my home life and every thing else.

Remember, you have to think like a burglar to prevent a burglary.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Tracking on the Tyra Banks Show