Strengthen your Entry way Security

Did you know that often, burglars gain entry by simply kicking open locked doors? You just would not believe how easy this is. This is why it’s crucial to beef up the strength of your house’s doors. And this can be done several ways.

2BDeadbolt Strike Plate

  • It’s ironic that this piece of hardware is called a strike plate, because an inferior type can be struck by the burglar’s foot and blasted apart.
  • The strike plate is that metal piece that’s on the door frame, where the deadbolt latches into.
  • A low grade strike plate serves the purpose of holding the door shut. Period. It’s no match for a burglar’s foot.
  • In addition to a sturdier strike plate, you need a full metal enclosure and longer screws. The burglar will then worry about breaking his ankle as he continues to try to budge this hardware—which is possible, if he’s persistent, has a decent kick and doesn’t tire easily.

Door and Door Jamb

  • So to stop a persistent burglar who doesn’t mind repeatedly kicking, you must reinforce the door and door jamb.
  • Sturdy door reinforcement can be found at Door Devil.

Solid Wood or Metal Doors

  • A hollow wood construction has no place in an exterior door.
  • A solid wood door would ideally be made of a hardwood variety. It’s not cheap, but it will buy you peace of mind.
  • A steel door is even more secure.
  • The ultimate door may be a hurricane-resistant steel door.


  • Burglars have been known to remove the hinge pins and lift the door up and out of the frame.
  • A door that swings out and exposes the hinges is not secure.
  • Safety studs, crimped pins and a setscrew in the hinge will prevent a burglar from removing the hinge pin.

Still More…

  • A door that’s highlighted with a motion detecting light (out of reach from an adult) will help deter intruders.
  • A fake surveillance camera (again, out of reach) is an effective deterrent.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

Summer of Home Invasions

Even three men in a house aren’t immune to a home invasion, as was the case in Bedford, Massachusetts recently, says a report at

2BThree men broke into the apartment’s second floor at 2 a.m. and attacked the three male occupants. Three men, especially when one has a gun, really don’t care what gender the occupants are. In fact, one of the residents was shot in the leg, and the three intruders are on the loose.

However, police report that at least one of the intruders knew the victims, who might have been targeted for a bad drug deal or just for a robbery. This is the first shooting in Bedford in at least 10 years.

Another home invasion recently took place in Minneapolis, says This one had a far more tragic outcome than the one above. Susan Spiller, an artist and community activist, was killed by her home intruder, who apparently forced his way in. The thug, however, spared the life of Spiller’s greyhound.

Police may never know how he got in or if he even knew the victim. It’s not known if she answered the door and that’s when he forced his way in, or if in some other way forced open a door or window.

In Spencer Township of Michigan, a man invaded a home and murdered a man, says Recently, the killer, Isaac Fezzey, 22, was convicted of his crime and will get life locked up. Fezzey and several other masked men forced their entry upon the home, seeking thousands of dollars related to a drug deal that they thought was inside.

They forced Brent Luttrell, 34, into a vehicle, then shot and stabbed him, then dumped his body onto a road. One of the invaders was sentenced last month, and two are facing trial in the near future.

Though two of these invasions may have been related to drugs, that in no way takes away from the brutality of home invasions. A drug dealer or buyer who’s owed money for a drug deal, who shoots and stabs someone involved with the deal and then dumps the body along a road, is certainly quite capable of forcing himself into your grandmother’s home, tying her up, robbing her and then shooting.

Lock up. Get a home security system.

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

Man Breaks into Home, hides under Bed for Days

Wow, it’s true: The monster under the bed really does exist!

5HRecently in New Jersey a man broke into a home and hid under a bed in a spare room for possibly five days before being arrested. Margaret Adamcewicz reportedly stated that the man, Jason Hubbard, had dated her daughter five years ago, and it didn’t end well, and he decided to live under her bed.

Hubbard slithered his way into the home when one of its residents left a door open to take out the garbage. He slipped his way upstairs to the spare bedroom and made camp under the bed, even charging several cell phones using an outlet under the bed.

He was discovered when Adamcewicz’ husband heard a noise in the room, peeked under the bed and saw the freeloader. An adult son restrained him until the police arrived.

Not only was Hubbard charged with burglary, but he was also charged with stealing electricity.

How can you prevent a person from sneaking into your house and “living” under a bed? The same way you can help prevent someone from breaking in and stealing your valuables or abducting your child:

  • Keep doors locked at all times. If you can’t keep an eye on the door that you go through to get outside to take out the garbage or collect the mail, then lock it, even though you’ll be back in less than a minute.
  • Use “door reinforcement technology” (google it) for your door or some other beefed-up device to reinforce door security and prevent kick-throughs.
  • Never leave a note on your door that indicates you’re not home.
  • Keep windows locked, at least overnight and when you’re not home, and use a bar or special device that’s placed in the track to prevent horizontal-sliding windows from being slid open by intruders.
  • Keep your shades and curtains lowered and closed as much as possible so nobody can peer inside.
  • Before leaving the house for even short errands, turn the phone’s ringer to mute so prowlers don’t hear an unanswered phone.

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

Learning to trust your Intuition

The old TV show “Star Trek” has and episode where Spock is telling Kirk of a human flaw called intuition. Spock was all about analysis and logic, while Kirk often relied upon intuition to solve problems. Intuition is a complex human sense that isn’t entirely understood or even believed to be real by some. Some call it mothers intuition or women’s intuition. But I believe everyone has it even though some don’t know how to properly cultivate it for their benefit.

12DIntuition vs. Analysis

A Rice University research team wanted to know if intuition was more effective than analysis. The team also set out to discover if the intuitive approach was better if a person had related knowledge of the matters surrounding their choice.

For the first study, subjects viewed videos of 13 basketball shots, then rated them in difficulty based on a numerical scale. There were two groups of subjects. One group (analytical) was allowed time—prior to the actual viewing—to ponder any details to be considered, such as the athlete’s particular stance.

The other group was the intuitive group who did not have this time to reflect. Both groups had 10 seconds to give their rating. Their assessments were then compared to those of a basketball coach and his assistants.

Whether or not the analytical-group subjects had any basketball knowledge was irrelevant to how well they rated the shots. However, experience with basketball was indeed a relevant factor for the intuitive group. In summary, the most accurate ratings came from subjects with basketball skills in the intuition group.

The second study had subjects viewing 10 designer handbags and determining which were authentic and which were phony. The intuition group had five seconds to give their answer. The analytical group was allowed to look at details and then had half a minute to assess the handbags. The highest scores came from owners of at least three designer handbags—in the intuition group.

So what does any of this really prove?

Let’s apply this to a somewhat risky situation. An adult is learning to ski for the first time. Too much analysis hampers their efforts: “I’ve never done this before,” “I’m way off-balance,” “I might fall,” “If I fall I’ll injure my knee,” etc. As a result, it takes a good while for the analytical adult to actually be skiing.

However, put skis on a three-year-old for the first time, and what happens? It’s not long before the preschooler is zipping past the adult, even though from a neuromuscular standpoint, the adult is far superior to the preschooler. What’s going on? The preschooler’s brain isn’t developed enough to analyze. They have no fear.

Let’s take this a step further: self-defense. Hannah is approached by a much bigger man intent on assaulting her. Immediately she’s thinking, “I can’t fight him off; he’s a foot taller; he might have a knife; he’ll strangle me with his big hands; his eyes look glazed—he’s crazed on drugs…” She gets assaulted.

This same man approaches Kaytie, who’s the same size as Hannah. Kaytie has no self-defense training, facing the same situation by this disgusting being, it doesn’t register to Kaytie that he’s bigger or that he might have a knife.

She’s not logical. She doesn’t analyze. She’s pure raw emotion—and intuitively knows her desire to protect herself is far greater than his desire to violate her. She goes wild on him, resists and she flees.

This same principle can be applied to situations like getting into an elevator with a strange man. A woman should trust her intuition or gut feeling, rather than analyze: “I’ll seem rude if I tell him I’ll wait for the next elevator,” “I must be imagining he’s dangerous; after all, he’s well-dressed.”

Too much cerebral cortex can put women (and men) in danger. An animal in the wild relies upon gut instinct. We can learn from wild animals.

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

Protect your Home post Holidays

After Santa has gone back to the North Pole to take a long rest, don’t think for a second that burglars too will be resting in January.

1HTrue, the holidays are a prime time for many burglaries, knowing that underneath that gargantuan Christmas tree in the picture window is surely a pile of expensive gifts. But people give burglars easy entry to their houses year-round.

The prowler will ring the bell. If nobody answers, he tests the door knob. If he does this enough times, this numbers game will pay off, because there’s always some lunkhead who will leave a door unlocked when they’re not home or overnight while they sleep.

If the main doors are locked, the thief may still persist and try other portals and may even break a window.

For safety year-round but especially post-holiday security, here are tips:

  • Get a home security system. If you already have one, good, but not good enough.
  • Keep all portals locked, even when you’re home. Yes, intruders enter occupied homes—these are more likely to be violent sociopaths wanting fast cash for their next drug fix, or rapists.
  • When you’re away, even for just a shopping trip, make it look like someone is inside (leave a TV on so the flickering can be seen, or a loud stereo, and/or lights).
  • When you’re out of town, arrange to have your house look like it’s being very lived in by installing automatic timers for exterior and interior lights, and arranging for trusted people to mow your lawn and park their car in your driveway.
  • As for the boxes that expensive items came in, keep them in your garage, out of public view, for three months. Then demolish them before leaving them curbside. Better yet, stuff the remnants in a trash bag.
  • I know you don’t want to live like a vampire, but do your best to keep shades and curtains closed even when you’re home in broad daylight.
  • Whether or not you have an alarm system, post stickers on your windows and signs in your yards that you do have a system.

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

10 most prolific Serial Burglars…ever

Jack “Superthief” MacLean

MacLean stole in excess of $133 million in jewels, having robbed thousands of homes. By the time police nabbed him he was the owner of a helicopter and multi-million dollar mansion. His genius IQ failed to avoid his capture, but nevertheless, he was smart enough to have a police scanner with him during crimes.

1BHe never destroyed property to gain entry; victims often didn’t even know they’d been robbed or blamed family members on the thefts. His capture resulted from having an accomplice who tried selling the loot on the open market.

Colton Harris-Moore

At seven Harris-Moore ran away from home and lived in the forest, though made excursions into residential areas to steal food. At 13 he was sentenced to three years but ran away, committing over a hundred burglaries, eventually upgrading his thefts to valuables like computers and cars. Harris-Moore even stole single-engine airplanes. Finally he was caught trying to steal a boat.

Madhukar Mohandas Prabhakar

Prabhakar has been at thievery for over 40 years, never leaving enough evidence to get a conviction. This millionaire lives in Pune, India, and steals to fund the poor.

Prabhakar carries out his burglaries by flying to Mumbai, locating a wealthy area and pinpoints at least five possible targets. He comes back later to break in, stealing gold or silver valuables that he melts somewhere else. He sells the loot and launders the money through his hotel business.

Anthony Spilotro

Spilotro got a burglary ring going with his brother and the Mafia, and became rich. Typically, the burglars would drill through the outside wall of a business, locate its safe and crack it. The money that was made by selling stolen goods was laundered through Spilotro’s hardware store business.

During another drilling, the gang found themselves surrounded by cops; many went to prison, forcing Spilotro to retire from burglaries. Somehow, he evaded conviction, but was eventually killed by Mafia associates who were fed up by his arrogance.

The Hillside Gang

In the past three years, this gang has ransacked at least 150 celebrity mansions in Beverly Hills. One gangster would climb onto the balcony to enter the second floor, then deactivate the alarm. The accomplices then entered. They located the safe, then cracked it offsite.

In 2010 some old safes were discovered that had DNA evidence—leading to the arrest and conviction of Troy Thomas. This ended the burglaries.

Blane David Nordahl

Nordahl stole silver from perhaps 150 homes, coming away with $3 million. Nordahl broke into homes by removing panes of glass, taking hours to silently achieve this to avoid setting off alarms. He’d get past sleeping dogs and avoided tripping motion detectors once inside, then disabled them.

Nordahl was even brazen enough to stick around outside, testing the loot for its value with a silver test kit. Finally he was caught stealing cutlery and is in prison.

Leonardo Notarbartolo

Jewelry heist specialist Notarbartolo’s MO was to “shop” at a jewelry store with a woman and take photos with a camera inside a ballpoint pen. Once a target was decided upon with his gang, he’d arrange ahead of time for fencing to sell the loot as fast as possible post-burglary.

During one robbery he left a partially eaten sandwich; DNA led to his arrest. He served time, but once free, seemingly returned to crime; a jewel stash was discovered in his BMW, but was eventually returned to him due to lack of evidence. He’s still free.

Bill Mason

Mason wrote a book, “Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief.” During the 1970s and ‘80s he pilfered celebrity apartments, ultimately stealing $35 million worth of jewelry. Using climbing skills, he scaled high-rise apartments. Mason analyzed ahead of time his targets, though gives the errors of his victims most of the credit for his success.

Ignacio Del Rio

Del Rio specialized in committing home burglaries, training in climbing techniques and studying lock picking. Del Rio’s plan involved first studying the target house, including occupancy habits of the residents. He’d then scale to the second floor balcony, pick a lock and deactivate the alarm.

Del Rio was a tidy burglar, cleaning up so that the residents wouldn’t know right away they’d been victimized. He was captured only when someone came upon his stolen loot, worth $16 million, at a storage facility.

Charles Peace

Peace, born in 1832, broke into thousands of homes. Peace was violent, having murdered at least a few people along the way. He spent days as a concert violinist, but come nightfall he’d rob expensive homes. One night the owners awakened and had their bulldog go after Peace. He delivered a fatal punch to the dog’s face, then fled. Finally, while robbing a mansion he was caught. At 47 he was executed at a prison.

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

The most prolific Serial Killer…ever

Charles Cullen of New Jersey may have murdered up to 400 people, though around 35 murders have been confirmed. He’s currently serving a sentence of 127 years. As a nurse, he killed patients at the hospitals he worked at. A form or mercy killing as he believed his actions to be.

7HUnlike some serial killers who torture their victims, rape them and even have sex with the corpses, claiming “curiosity” or “fun” as the motives, Cullen claims he killed his victims to spare them from coding, which is dying as a result of cardiac or respiratory distress. His reasoning was he put them out of their misery first.

It’s not so much that Cullen didn’t want the patients to suffer. Instead, he told detectives he couldn’t stand to witness or even hear about resuscitation attempts. However, why was he a nurse in the first place, knowing that witnessing these events would be part of the job? Nut-job.

Nevertheless, this whack job also informed authorities that he indeed wanted to spare patients from suffering and perhaps prevent staff from keeping a vegetable alive after cardiac arrest damaged the brain. These motives are highly questionable because many of the victims were scheduled to be released from the hospital soon before they were killed (via drug overdoses).

Cullen admitted that each murder was a spontaneous event rather than a long, thought-out premeditation. He told authorities that much of his existence took place in a fog and that he lacked the memories of most of the killings. He said he couldn’t explain why he chose the particular victims. The killings spanned 16 years.

On December 12, 2003, Cullen was arrested. A few days later he told detectives that he killed Rev. Florian Gall and tried to kill Jin Kyung Han, both hospital patients. He then told them he had killed up to 40 people.

In April 2004, Cullen pleaded guilty to murdering 13 patients via lethal injection. The reason he never got the death penalty was due to a plea agreement to cooperate with authorities. Not long after he pleaded guilty to several more murders.

At present, Cullen remains at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.

Cullen doesn’t quite fit the bill of a classic psychopath. He apparently didn’t use any prowess with cunning and manipulation to murder his victims. Rather, his crimes were sneaky, and the victims likely had no idea what was happening to them.

Psychopaths don’t act crazy, but on March 10, 2006, Cullen exhibited really weird behavior in a courtroom for a sentencing hearing. He was upset with Judge William H. Platt. Cullen kept telling the judge over a 30 minute period, “Your honor, you need to step down.” After the judge ordered that he have his mouth stuffed with cloth and duct-taped shut, Cullen continued muttering under the gagging.

A psychopath is not someone who’d want to give up a kidney to another person, especially if the sick person was as far removed as the brother of a former girlfriend would be. But in August 2006, Cullen gave up a kidney for the brother.

Cullen is the youngest of eight kids. When he was born, his father was 58, and the father died when Cullen was an infant. When he was a teenager, his mother died in a car wreck. Cullen reported that his childhood was awful, but it’s not clear just how, especially since the death of his mother devastated him (versus relieved him, which in that case, would indicate she had abused him).

A very disturbing element of all of this is that his homicidal rampage went undetected for so long, but that also, the various medical facilities Cullen worked at turned a blind eye when they did suspect him of harming patients.

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

Keanu Reeves two Intruders in two Days

Keanu Reeves recently had a home intruder: a woman. It was 4:00 am when she got into his home and plopped in a chair. The 40-something nut-job told the movie star she was there to meet with him. He nonchalantly called 911. Police took the woman into custody.

3BWho’s nuttier: the intruder or the homeowner who leaves a highly valuable home left unlocked overnight, or at least, left in an easy-to-gain-entry state, while the owner sleeps? Maybe this woman is a kook, but it sounds like Reeves doesn’t have both oars in the water when it comes to home safety. She could have been waiting with a gun pointing at his head.

People are always breaking into celebrities’ mansions. How are they getting past security? While Sandra Bullock was sleeping, it happened to her, too—right at her bedroom door. What—no motion detector to sound an alarm? People in middle class neighborhoods have these, but filthy rich movie stars don’t?

Actually, these over-paid movie stars usually DO have security, but don’t use it. Reeves has an alarm system, but it was turned off. What are the odds that this woman just happened to plan her intrusion the night he keeps the alarm off? Well, a better explanation is that Reeves probably never used it much in the first place.

And then another woman traipsed into Reeves’s home a day later—but this time he was out. His cleaning people left a front gate open—and just by chance, this coincided with the intruder’s presence.

This woman was a bit loonier than the first one: She was in his shower nude, then went into his pool (though she’d be crazier if she left her clothes on, right?). She did all this before the cleaning crew caught on; they eventually called Reeves, who dialed 911. This second woman was also hauled away for the customary psych evaluation. Maybe she’ll be roomed with the first woman.

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

Know your Options for Self-Defense

Most people don’t give good hard thinking to their capabilities in a physical assault situation. You need not be built like an MMA fighter to know effective self-defense.

1SDAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of safety.

Attackers look for unsuspecting targets. Walk and park only in well-lit areas. Never park right beside a van. In the parking lot, always keep your biggest key poking out between two fingers; it makes a great weapon.

If a thug demands your wallet or purse, hand it over. Your life isn’t worth that designer handbag. But what if it’s a situation where you must fight for your life?

The second he touches you or you can’t get away, holler in your most primal, pissed-off voice, “Get the F— Out of Here!” Sound like thug, not a lady. Push at the offender. The vocal noise alerts nearby people, and it, and the shoving, tell the offender you’re not easy game.

You have only a few seconds to scare off the attacker. You must inflict pain on the attacker, or be hurt by him or her. So go for the eyes, ears, nose, neck, knee, leg and of course, groin.

Strike a vulnerable body part from where you’re at, rather than moving in closer; kick a knee rather then stepping in to pull the ears. Upper body strikes are done with the hand: its outer edge, a palm, a knuckle hit or a tightly clenched fist. Don’t think for a single second that scratching the attacker’s cheeks will scare him off, use those fingers to poke an eye.


  • Poke, gouge, stab or dig long nails into. Ever got accidentally hit in the eye? It’s disabling for several moments. Imagine what full-out, angry poking or gouging would do.


  • Drive a palm upward into their nose. Put all your body weight into it.
  • Do the same with your elbow if the attacker is behind you; go for the nasal bones.


  • Aim for the sides, where major blood vessels are. A knife-hand (outside ridge) at the side of the neck will stun him long enough to let you escape. An elbow strike, with body weight behind it, to the neck can knock him out cold.


  • Even the biggest guy can be brought tumbling down with a strong kick to the knee. Drive your foot into the side of the knee, which is more vulnerable as far as losing balance.


  • Hit it with your hand open or closed. Use your knew or elbow. Kick it with your feet or even your head. Just hit it hard and often.

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

Home Invasion Task Force on high Alert

Florida’s Collier County residents have a new fear on the block: masked home invaders. But really, they’re more like home walker-inners, because in the five reported cases, they got in via an unlocked door.

1BA task force was assembled on April 7 to figure out anything about these home invasions that began mid-February in which residents are held at gunpoint and bound. It’s not clear if these crimes are related.

But apparently, the intruders prefer occupied homes, figuring they can get a lot more this way (e.g., being directed to the safe and given the combination). And they’re quite adept at evading authorities; no details on the masked intruders are out, even though investigators are really hammering away at figuring this out, meeting every morning.

Residents are being urged to contact the sheriff’s office about suspicious activity, such as an idling car in a street, and just to trust their gut instincts about something seeming out of place.

As long as people continue leaving their doors unlocked, these invaders will continue having a field day with their crimes. Police are adamant that residents keep their doors locked, and keeping their alarms on (if they have one) even when they’re home.

Residents should consider putting valuables in a safe-deposit box located at their bank, and put up security cameras, a proven deterrent to home invasions and burglaries.

Thus far, compliant occupants of the invaded homes have not been harmed, but one who tried to escape was injured enough to require hospitalization. The task force won’t give up until the perpetrators are stopped.

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