If you have been thinking about getting a camera system at home but aren’t really sure if you need it, let me give you a couple scenarios that are happening in my neighborhood. I have worked in this field for quite some time now and have previous military and law enforcement experience yet what we see today honestly appalls me. A detective with the county sheriff where I live keeps me up to speed on current ways criminals are breaking in to homes so we can keep customers prepared and informed on how to protect themselves.
A major problem we face right now is how to protect people from an organized group who prey on the large amount of older retirees we have in our part of the country. Being hard of hearing really can be a detriment. Here is the story:
A gentleman walks to the front door of a house and rings the doorbell or knocks. They start with a simple “Ma’am I am Joe Smith from Random Company and we need to speak to your husband regarding the water lines” If she says he’s not available, a second man standing off to the side so he can overhear the conversation but not be seen by the homeowner makes his way around to the back of the house. Most people have a back door or sliding glass patio door that is left unlocked. The second man goes right to the kitchen counter and takes whatever he wants from the ladies purse. Most women walk into the house and set their purse right on the kitchen counter and never think it is vulnerable.
Once the man has made his way back outside he gives a little whistle or some sign to the man at the door who has been keeping her occupied with a bunch of meaningless conversation, he says thank you have a nice day and they make off with what could just be a few hundred dollars or could be a copy of car and house keys and precious jewelry. They save the keys and come back when no one is home and have whatever they want. They may even wait until the middle of the night and just drive away in a car.
This sort of crime happens daily and has been prevalent in retirement communities where the criminals drive in posing as a landscaping companies and literally go house to house. By the time anyone knows what happened 15 houses have been robbed and no one has a good description because the guys rotate who goes to the door between three or four people so the descriptions contradict each other. If the husband does come to the door, they simply talk their way out of anything and leave.
There is a second group in our area that has become more prevalent since the housing market has imploded. We have quite a few neighborhoods that are less that seventy percent sold and most of those houses are people who only “snowbird” to them during season. This leaves a prime target for theft.
Here again a landscaping company is the cover because they can use a truck or carry a trailer and it doesn’t raise suspicion or even cause the security guards to stop them at the gate. Just a simple polite wave will get you in to a lot of communities around here if you try.
A man will go the front door of a house that has no cars in front and knock or ring the doorbell. If no one answers they go to the back and throw a break a window then leave. After a while they return to see if the cops came because of an alarm or if a neighbor called them. If the coast is clear the go in and take whatever they want. They have even came back to houses with a rental moving truck and back right up to the garage and completely empty the house out. This rarely attracts any attention because right now there is no description of the individuals doing this or what they were driving. The cops are sure how they are doing it but have no idea who is doing it.
This type of stuff is really just two of the hundreds of ways criminals are robbing houses in the daytime right in front of neighbors and no one even realizes what is happening.
Are you asking yourself what can you do to protect yourself? I know I did.
If you have a second home it only seems like an absolute must to have a security system alongside a camera system so you know exactly what is happening at your house any day or anytime you need. Quality cameras and a quality video recording device are essential for having footage to show the police if anything happens. If you don’t have cameras and only an alarm system you may not even be able stop this. Most of the criminals out there can bypass those very quickly.
Also cameras alone won’t stop them. It only deters them and if they do come it keeps evidence to help in identification. If you can’t make out someone’s face you probably won’t be any good to the police. A quality alarm system, alongside a high quality camera system gives you the ability to be notified in two separate ways. The alarm system goes off and they call you to ask if everything is ok, at the same time your NVR sends you an email alert letting you know there is motion on a camera that shouldn’t have motion. You look at your cameras from your phone and see the criminals in action.
This article wasn’t meant to scare you, more importantly this is meant to help you know what can be done to protect your house and your family from some problems that are becoming more prevalent every day.