Burglar Real Estate Agent caught on Surveillance Camera

A homeowner’s video surveillance caught a 60-year-old man—a real estate agent—stealing women’s clothes from the house for sale while the owner and his wife were out of town.

5HThe homeowner presented police with the video, leading to the arrest of and burglary charge for Stephen Brumme. Brumme had arrived at the house in advance of a showing, but rummaged through the homeowner’s wife’s wardrobe in a bedroom closet and dresser, pocketing some shirts.

Police believe that this type of crime happens more often than people consider, and that Brumme has likely stolen women’s attire from other homes.

How can something like this be prevented? Here are tips:

  • Install security cameras as part of your home security system. Not only can they trigger an alarm that sets off additional lighting and loud sounds, but they can notify the homeowner with a phone call or text message.
  • Surveillance systems such as Dropcam allow the homeowner to view what’s going on in the house in real time.
  • The cost of a surveillance system will add value to your house. Plus, some homeowners’ insurance plans give discounts if your property is equipped with a solid security system.
  • A camera that’s in plain sight provides a hefty deterrent to potential intruders or vandals. Imagine the peace of mind this will give you when you’re away—or even at home overnight.
  • And even if someone does break in while you’re home, despite the video surveillance system in place, the crime will be caught on tape. This will prove invaluable in a lawsuit.

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

Security Cameras Capture Vandal

Back when man was scraping his knuckles on the ground security cameras were the size of mail boxes and were only affordable to businesses.  Banks, retail and convenience stores were the primary consumers of “Closed Circuit TV”.

Today security cameras are as small as a dime and some don’t cost much more. Everyone is installing cameras today and for good reason: They see more than you can, and they see it when you can’t.

WOWT reports a family had their ADT security system installed a little over a year and it has already solved a vandalism problem and given them peace of mind.

“The family’s husband would see a neighbor boy damage their property but every time he called the sheriff’s department he would get the same answer, without proof deputies couldn’t do a thing. The husband said, “I can’t do a thing about it unless you have proof. My camcorder didn’t help that much, you can’t catch them at night or anytime but this (his security cameras) is what captured somebody doing something to the house.”

“One time the siding was damaged, another time the mailbox was knocked over; someone even threw chemicals on their lawn, burning the grass. The security cameras provided pictures for deputies to identify the vandal. It was the next door neighbor kid. There was never another incident of vandalism.”

I have 16 security cameras in and around my home. Seven cameras are inside the home and are connected to my ADT Pulse™ System and I can access them on the internet and with my iPhone.

Recently In my yard a spotlight was broke off its mount. My immediate suspicion was a particular neighborhood kid. I reviewed the video footage from that past week and saw that it was a tree branch that knocked it down. That camera saved me from yelling at someone and looking like a jerk!

Besides the uber cool factor when I whip out my security camera apps at a party, the peace of mind is fantastic.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing ADT Pulse™ on Fox News.

15 Break-ins at Boston Area Churches – Nothing is Sacred

Last year around the holidays I wrote about burglars preying on churches.

This year is no different. The Boston Globe reports You know things are bad when they start knocking off churches. And judging by the number of churches knocked off recently, things are very bad indeed.”

“I’m seeing levels of desperation out there I haven’t seen for a long while,’’ said the churches Priest. “Like most priests and ministers, he sees a lot of people who live on the margins. They come to the three churches he oversees for food and laundry money and help with the rent. They come because they don’t belong anywhere else.

And sometimes they come to steal. There have been 15 break-ins at Boston area churches in the last few months. And that’s just the Catholic ones.”

It doesn’t matter where, when or who, a burglar will go where there is easy access and easy money, or goods to be resold.

Often, it is those on the inside that have knowledge of how things work and where they are. So, it is important to beef up security to protect from the inside-out and from the outside-in.

In some cases burglars enter through unlocked doors; in others, broken windows and they will even bust doors off of their frames.

Theft happens. Protect against it.

  1. Lock up. Even if it’s an “open access” environment
  2. Have someone always watching the door
  3. Install visible motion sensitive security cameras everywhere recorded by a DVR
  4. Install hidden motion sensitive security cameras everywhere recorded by a DVR
  5. Install “Monitored by Video Surveillance” signs everywhere
  6. Lock doors and windows always
  7. Install glass break prevention film
  8. Install a monitored alarm system

9.     Be proactive with the help of wireless home security systems and new interactive smart home solutions that go beyond traditional security to a new level of control, accessibility and connection with the property.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing  Home Security and Identity Theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover.

Subdivsion Residents Fighting for Security Camera

Condominium Association, Subdivision Association, or Neighborhood Association, whatever the name is, if you live in one and pay dues and have a board of directors that makes decisions for the community in regards to what you can and can’t do on a property, you probably feel my pain.

I like that bush, I hate that bush, no swing-sets, I want a swing-set, no pets, I want a cat BLAH BLAH BLAH!!

In Atlanta in what the residents of the subdivision considered a “safe neighborhood” a group of men climbed into a basement window of a woman’s home and stole every piece of jewelry, cash and electronics. She now has double deadlocks and door jams. She lives in fear and her home is not the same.

She was quoted saying “As a result, now I literally live like a hermit, with the lights off. I have security cameras up, bars on my windows. I have to go, literally, with a key room to room in my house, because they continue to affect my neighborhood.”

The neighborhood has had 2 burglaries in the past month. One neighbor took a bullet during a breaking.  If this is a “safe neighborhood” then my neighborhood is Fort Knox safe.

“Some residents said that they want home security cameras, but the president of the homeowners association says that’s not going to happen. In a lot of ways, the battle is over what is more important, personal safety or personal privacy.”

Privacy does you no good when you are shot dead by an intruder.

“The camera won’t be any, any good for the security, as far as safety for the community, just one camera,” said the association president.

One home security camera is better than zero cameras. It’s all about layers of security. The more proactive layers in place the more secure you will be. Wake up Mr. President.

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

Home Invasions on the Rise During Summer

“Home invasions are especially frightening because the robber may not care who is home or who gets hurt,” states News 12.

We’ve often discussed how the home invader lacks a certain gene that many of us have called “compassion”. A home invader thrives on the chaos, fear and panic of a home invasion and ultimately the invader doesn’t care if anyone gets hurt.  Home invaders often take their act to another level and go far beyond “theft” and escalate to physical violence that involves beatings, rape and torture often resulting in murder.

In Richmond City GA, Richmond County reports at least fifteen robberies or burglaries in the past two weeks during which the victims were at home. Sometimes it seems like the suspect intended to meet the victim; other times they were surprised to find them home. Usually, there is no way to predict a home invasion. Their Lieutenant stated “there’s two main reasons why a criminal actually would want to meet his victim: “The main motivations are drugs and money.” One of the victim also said “I was shaking. I was scared. I wasn’t crying but I had tears in my eyes…I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m about to die.'”

Wow. Very powerful words, and all too real. Listen to me: I’m a realist. I believe I see things pretty much for what they are. I don’t think things are getting “worse’, but they are definitely getting a little out of hand here and there. There is no reason to live in fear, and you also need to put systems in place so you don’t end up in this situation.

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

Police: Supermarket Owner ‘Specifically Targeted’ in Home Invasion

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Everyday I see dozens of stories on home invasions. And there are unfortunately dozens of ways  and reasons why home invasions occur.  But one thing they all have in common is violence.

Targets of home invasions vary from the homeowner who just happened to be home all the way to the executive and his family who were purposefully targeted.

Moneyed individuals need to take additional precautions due to their stature in society and bank accounts. High profile individuals often have access to secure facilities, keys to the safe, passwords to databases and power that puts them and their families at risk.

“Several law enforcement agencies are pooling resources to solve the murder of a supermarket owner found gunned down at this home after an apparent robbery. According to police reports, family members said two men entered the house late Saturday and took them in the back, keeping them separated. Police have said the family members did not know the suspects. “In my opinion, he was specifically targeted,” police said. “It was pre-planned.”

However, the most vulnerable people are not the executives, but their spouses and kids who are more accessible and often the path of least resistance to “get to” the executive. For most people this isn’t much of a concern, but for all you c-level company officers and heads of corporations, security isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.

Security details in some cases at the executive’s home may be necessary. Evaluations should be made to determine whether family members should receive any personal security training or additional protection of their own.

In the least, all company officers must have a home alarm system that is monitored, surveillance cameras and one of my personal favorites, a trained German Shepherd. Another consideration is a home safe-room also known as a “panic room” where executives and their 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 NBC Boston