Dumb Bungling Home Burglar Jailed

Yeah, one for the good guys! A taxi driver would pick people up at their homes then drop them off somewhere, and then he would then go back to that person’s house and break into it. I’ve often thought that’s what would happen when I get dropped off at the airport.

So, whenever they ask me where I’m going and when I will be back, I always say “Hold on, I need to make a quick call.” Then I get on the phone and call nobody and say “Hey Jimmy listen, the dog bit another guy who came to the house to deliver a package, there was blood everywhere, Killer shredded him real good, don’t let the beast out of the house. I’ll be back home early tonight. Make sure you set the home security system if you go out and activate the home security cameras as well. And tell our roommate Rocco the police were at the house looking for him in regards to that kid he pummeled the other night, if he doesn’t smarten up he will be going back to prison.”

Then back to the taxi driver “What were you saying?” And the conversation usually goes somewhere else.

The burglar would break into the homes and steal credit and debit cards. Then go to the same ATM more than 50 times – to try and guess the PIN numbers of bank cards he had stolen. He thought he might strike lucky if he kept on putting in random sets of four numbers into the ATM machine. But with the odds of correctly guessing a card’s PIN number ranked at one in 10,000. He never managed to make a single withdrawal. His repeated failed attempts at the same ATM only served to arouse suspicion and he was filmed by police on a CCTV camera.

You can always get creative with your home security. But you need to do all the fundamental things like locking your doors and invest in home security systems.

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

Steel Bars Hamper Rescue from Burning House

In some parts of the country, generally in big cities where crimes are higher, steel bars are a significant part of the home security landscape. We don’t see many new installations of steel bars today. If you live on a fist floor or basement level apartment, steel bars may be a consideration for windows and sometimes doors. However, newer technologies are available that are not only close to as effective to prevent a burglar, but are also safer when it comes to fire rescue.

A  man remained in critical condition Tuesday, a day after firefighters sawed through a set of steel security bars to pull him from his burning home. Bars on doors typically slow down the rescue by a minute or two – about the time it takes to warm up the power tools and saw through the steel. Steel bars on doors and windows typically are required to lock from the inside. If someone is locked inside a barred house and can’t leave on their own, rescue efforts can take a minute or two longer than usual.”

“Everybody wants their home to be secure, and steel bars are a good way to do it,” he said. “But again, I look at it from a different angle because of what I do,” said the battalion commander for Fire Emergency Management.

Certainly steel bars are going to be a deterrent. But in this situation the results of a fortress like home can be deadly in the event of a fire. Here are a few considerations.

1. Install a home security system that also has carbon monoxide sensors and smoke detectors to alert you, alarm central, the police and fire departments in case of noxious gasses or fire.

2. Consider home security cameras that can be remotely monitored.

3. Instead of bars on the doors, install a fireproofed door that doesn’t require firefighters to crank up a saw to get through. A battering ram is quicker.

4. Instead of bars on windows install window security film which is a clean thin virtually invisible layer of protection and is easily applied to your glass windows.

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

Elderly Couple Assaulted During Home Invasion

Every day I scan the news for stories to report on. My job is to disseminate information in a way that is easily digestible and makes sense. Hopefully the reader will act on what they learn and make better decisions to protect themselves and their families.

It’s not easy to read stories every single day about horrible things happening to good people. The frustrating part is seeing the same awful crimes happening over and over and over again. I can write about “Elderly couple assaulted during home invasion” 20 times a day and each story will be worse than the next. If you are elderly or have elderly parents, please take heed:

The man’s wife, whom he’s been married to for almost six decades, lies in the hospital. The victim says the suspect broke a window in the bedroom and appeared in their living room around 10:30pm Sunday night as they watched television. “He grabbed me around the neck, and said he would cut my throat if I didn’t do what he said,” said the husband.


“He went through the drawers, getting jewelry and whatever else he saw he wanted,” said the husband. For four hours, the homeowner says the suspect tore through their belongings while they were forced to lie face down in their bedroom. “He was very comfortable with being in here.

Any time his wife made a noise showing her fear, the suspect came back to the bedroom. “She was making noise and he didn’t want her making noise, he would kick her hard.” The victim’s wife was transported to Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center due to brain swelling from being kicked by the suspect. Her husband tells us they will monitor her overnight and she may be able to go home on Tuesday.

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 a home security system. 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

Home Security Tips When Selling Your House

Selling a home is a big task requiring lots of time and effort. Most people use a professional real estate agent to help them sell (which I recommend), but many today are doing it themselves. When opening your home to strangers the risks to your families’ personal security increase dramatically.

First and foremost recognize that when you are placing ads and alerting the world to come inside and take a peek, you are going to have to make a few adjustments and begin to think differently in this process.

Secure valuables. Lock up or remove anything that you don’t want stolen. If you ever suspect or see someone steal something, let them have it. There is nothing material worth fighting over.

Be suspect of everyone. There isn’t any benefit in being paranoid; however, being a little guarded can keep you from getting into a vulnerable situation. Don’t just be wary of a man showing up unaccompanied. Expect them to show up in a nice car, well dressed, maybe with a wife and kids tagging along. They might have a business card saying they are a doctor or a lawyer. Don’t let your guard down.

When placing ads, all advertisements should state “Appointment only” “Drivers license required” and “Pre Approval Documentation Required.” There are all hoops the bad guy may not want to jump through and you vetting out those who are “just looking” at the same time.

Use the Buddy System. When you set appointments always schedule around a spouse or friends availability so they can join you. There is always strength in numbers. If you have to go it solo, when someone walks in, say, “I’d be happy to show you the benefits of this home! In a few minutes my friend Rocco will be along to assist me,” creating the illusion of the buddy system.

ID and pre-qualify at your first meeting. When you are meeting at your property, get some form of identification. Also, it is to your benefit that a potential client buying a home is pre-qualified. Someone who is pre-qualified by a lender is less likely to be a predator.

Safe open houses. Spend a few minutes considering all the vulnerable points within the home and how you would escape if necessary.

Dress for safety and success. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. A $3-5 thousand-dollar diamond buys a lot of drugs. Dress professionally instead of provocatively.

Pay attention to your intuition. Trust your gut, and don’t discount any troubling feelings you might have about your new prospect. The moment you sense danger leave the house.

Install a home security system. Home security cameras and a home alarm system are great selling points. Install these way ahead of time for security purposes. During showings carry a remote control for your alarm system that has a panic button and can alert law enforcement if you run into trouble.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Real Estate Agent Security on Inside Edition.

Home Invasions Are Ugly

I always do my best not to create fear. Fear based motivation and training stifles progress and turns people off.

Years ago I was invited to present a program at a persons home to their families and was asked a series of questions that devolved into a hopeless mess. At one point, the Mom’s voice cracked and I could see my answers crossed the lines and her whole body exuded fear.  I’ll never forget it.

Unfortunately, the reality of crime is real, and it’s scary. While trying to keep things light, and with a little perspective, try to learn from the following and brace yourself then acknowledge a few days worth of news reports depicting real stories of bad things happening to good people.

Pregnant Woman Shot During Home Invasion. Deputies said two men forced their way into the home and shot the woman twice, in the arm and upper torso. Two children were at the home at the time. They were not injured. Scary. Home with two kids and they witness this. Maybe she’s “lucky” it wasn’t worse?

Newark teen and grandmother are attacked in home invasion by men posing as police. Two men impersonating police officers were armed with handguns, barged into a home in Newark. The two men, who wore police-type badges around their necks, handcuffed the 18 year old forcing the man into a closet while pushing his 76-year-old grandmother to the floor. You never know who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. Just because they have a badge doesn’t mean you should immediately open the door.

Robbers beat paraplegic man, killing his dog in Parker County home invasion. A disabled man was pistol-whipped and his service dog was shot to death during a home invasion robbery. The man had just gotten into bed when two masked robbers kicked in the door of his rural home. The gunmen held the paraplegic man down on his bed and demanded cash. That’s when his 12-year-old German shepherd, Major, entered the room. The intruders shot and killed the dog, then fled with more than $500. “He was doing what he was supposed to do,” Hammons told Channel 8. “I feel like he saved mine and my wife’s life.”

Wow. Again, no fear based training here. This stuff is real and it needs to be acknowledged. Here are a few home safety tips:

Lock your doors day and night.

Don’t open for anyone without first calling a supervisor to confirm their legitimacy.

Every home must have a home security alarm that is also equipped with security cameras. And one of my personal favorites, 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.

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