We had to make an intervention and beat a potential burglar this weekend. 

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Our customers are a perceptive bunch, and we are proud to be their first responders. It’s a shame that the police can’t be these days, but with all the local authority and police cuts across the country the ‘Bobby on the beat’ is a bastion of the past. Also, with police stations closing at a ridiculous rate, the police’s beat is becoming less and less patrolled and completely unfocused. 

Thus our community suffers.

So, one of our patrol customers noticed a car she had never seen before down her road with three men inside. The fact they were watching a particular house for most of the day concerned her. As she is a patrol customer we responded instantly. Our team approached the car and asked what they were up to, the men had no plausible response. We informed them that their number plate had been reported to the police, the neighbourhood was on watch and that we would be increasing our patrols in the area. The men drove off.

The moral of this blog: Burglars plan!

Hard to think about this one but if you were burgled, it probably wasn’t at random. People have watched your house and your movements. Scary.

Burglars are opportunists but they research the opportunity.

Burglars are smart, they research. Sometimes weeks, sometimes days.

There are certain things that burglars look for in particular: Jewellery, cash, latest gadgets. They’ll check your social media if they can. They’ll certainly eye your rubbish. They’ll eye up the car you drive, the watch you wear, even the bags you bring into your house. If you live in a affluent area they’ll assume your house is full of this anyway so they’ll strike quicker.

Once they know there are valuables inside  they will look for easy access through doors and windows. They’ll watch you as you lock up your house. Do you fully engage your front door locking system? Do you leave certain windows open? Are there particularly old or weak windows or doors that could be easily compromised?

They’ll also check for a CCTV or Intruder alarm system. 9/10 burglars would rather break into a property without Intruder alarm or CCTV system.

Probably most unsettling is that a burglar will study your daily routine to see when you leave the house unattended. What time you leave for work, when you return, what time you drop off the kids, when you pick them up. They do this in a variety of ways.

Between 10am-3pm is the most likely time a burglar will strike. Not at night which most people think.

This is all good to know, but what are the signs that someone is watching my house?

Well:

  • Keep an eye out for unknown cars on your street. That’s what our customer noticed and informed us straight away. Burglars will more often than not watch a property from a car as it affords them a degree of concealment. If you start to notice a pattern with people sitting  in an unknown car down your street, take note of the number plate and report the activity to the police or to your local patrol service like our customer did. If you’re not afraid to, approach them with caution yourself.
  • As much as community isn’t as common as it once was, we do know most people who live down our street by face. An unfamiliar face sticks out, especially if they are walking or riding a bike aimlessly up and down your road continually. Take note of these people, their appearance, actions, mannerisms and inform the police. Also, speak to your neighbours and let them know what you saw and get them to keep an eye out.
  • Sometimes a door to door salesman  isn’t a door to door salesman unfortunately, I never thought I’d write a statement like that haha. Knocking on doors is obviously the easiest way to ascertain if someone is in or not. Often burglars will dress up as a salesperson or in uniform to knock doors to scope out properties or to see what is inside if granted access (think about Joe Pesci at the start of Home Alone). If they get access they can see your security setup, what’s inside, and also identify weaknesses in your property which they can exploit. Never let someone in off the street without a pre booked appointment.
  • A particularly devious practise used by burglars is to fake an emergency to gain access to your property. What if someone came to your door with a flat tyre or a broken down car? You’d help, burglars know this. The minute you go to the garage to get that pump or go under the stairs they are in. They could use this opportunity to attack you in a smash and grab or they could use it to scope out whether you have an alarm system. Or if they have really scoped you out they could unlock a window whilst you search for that pump and then return later and gain access through that window when you go to pick up the kids from school. 
  • Someone taking photos of your house is never a good sign, especially multiple angles. Unless it is an estate agent of course. I’ve had it before, someone was taking a photo of my side alley. I ran out to confront him, when I asked why he was taking photos of my property he said he used to live there and made a quick getaway,he was my age and I was born and raised in that house.
  • Ever get home and see flyers on the floor outside your house? or hanging just out of the letter box? Burglars will take note of when these are brought inside or disposed of. Burglars use this to gauge whether someone is in the property and also to figure out what times people come and go from their properties. 
  • Burglars will use symbols or markings to mark out properties. A very recent example of this is cable ties being wrapped around street lights outside houses with dogs in which were being targeted for theft. Another was people throwing eggs at windows to  monitor if people were in the property, if the egg was cleaned off the window expediently  someone was in, if not, the property was unattended, cue burglaries.. Any unusual signs or markings near or on properties need to be reported to the police immediately.

I hope this can be some help. We never aim to scare, just protect. 

This isn’t a  blog to criticize the police either. They have a tough job and it gets harder daily with the cuts and a polarised society.

But community matters and it will continue to matter to us, we offer a 360 security service to protect our community, so please get in contact if you have any further questions.

A MATTER GROUP

 

Are you ready to feel secure?