Freaked out - our neighbor's house was broken into yesterday
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 11/26/2012 by MergeLeft in NSBR Board
 

MergeLeft
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Posted: 11/26/2012 8:36:25 AM
They live a couple of streets behind us. It was in the broad light of day on a Sunday morning - she and the kids were at church and he had gone out for a run, and came back to find the back door smashed through and all their TVs, computers, game systems, etc. were gone. Also some cash and jewelry. They were thorough and tossed the place pretty well, from what I hear.

They do have an alarm system but I guess didn't feel the need to arm it on a Sunday morning. The cops think the burglars were probably watching and waiting for them to leave. Imagine if they'd been wrong and someone had still been in the house. I'm freaked out because at that exact same time, DH was at church (he goes to the same church as the wife in that family) and I was at the grocery store, and my kids were home alone. Anyone watching our house would have seen both cars leave and maybe thought it was OK to go on in?

What the heck is wrong with people?

*eta - edited because I can't spell burglars!



Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 11/26/2012 9:17:25 AM
It IS frightening, but even with the very best alarm system, people will still try to break in if the prize on the other side of the door is tantalizing enough. I am glad you and your family and safe and also glad that while property was taken, no person was physically harmed at your neighbor's home.

The police offered a really great seminar after there were a rash of post Christmas thefts in our old neighborhood. They gave us some great tips, the top ones (IMO) were:

NEVER leave a box for an expensive item at the curb (TV, computer, iAnything) or something as simple as a Tiffany bag used to hold extra recycling that won't fit in the curbside bins. They said even if you cut it down and had it IN the bins, it is easy enough for people to come by and night and see what is inside the bins.

If you are home and someone rings the bell, let them know you are home, but are not letting them in. Some people think they are better off pretending not to be home. They said this was a DEADLY mistake. You don't even have to open the door, just say through it that you are not able to meet with anyone and walk away.

They discouraged people from having visible tracking of residents at the front door. We put up opaque sheers the next day on our full length sidelights and over our transom, since you could see people going up and down the stairs from that.

For women living alone or children home without a parent, they said you could use a pre-recorded device of an adult male voice to say "I don't have time to meet with anyone right now, please leave my property" if an unidentified person came to the door and knocked. My husband recorded that message on an inexpensive digital recording device and it 'lived' in the niche by the front door. The boys could play it when they were home alone by simply touching a button and holding it up to the door. At 12 my son did not sound like an adult and I did not want him to be victimized.

Letting neighbors know when you ARE doing something like getting new furniture or having workmen there will alert them that something is not right should they see such a vehicle there at other times. My next door neighbors (both sides) and my across the street neighbor all get a quick email if I have any service people or deliveries happening beyond standard UPS/FedEx. Two of them do the same with me.

When our children were home alone, we always closed the front draperies. True, someone could have scaled our fence and looked in the back windows, but our dog would have gone berserk and the boys knew where to go if our alpha Lab went to the back door and growled. He has NEVER done that except when someone (usually a damned golfer) had gone over the fence. It is not like he growls willy nilly. They were NOT to investigate, they were to go to the safe room and call me or their dad ASAP! Twice we had club security out there within minutes and sure enough, GOLFER in our yard! But still, they were safe!

For less than 20 dollars per door, you can have devices installed that prevent most 'break down' entries. Won't work on a glass door of course, but they basically drill a little hole in the floor, put a brass holder in it and then when you are home you put this device in and it will prevent something like 3500 lbs of pressure from knocking your door down. We use ours when we are gone as well, but because we go through our garage door and we do lock the door from the garage to the house instead of leaving it unlocked as so many people do. You cannot do it with radiant floors, but otherwise, it works on every type of floor we had in our home and the homes of our parents and siblings.

You might want to consider asking your HOA board to invite the local police to provide a seminar in your neighborhood as well. It helped quell a lot of fears and provide us with workable tips and techniques to do what we could to better protect our families and homes.

Hugs--it IS unnerving!!



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WingNut
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Posted: 11/26/2012 9:30:02 AM
This happened to us two years ago in October. They absolutely watch houses to see patterns of absence and then strike when the best opportunity arises. We were lucky on two fronts: they didn't get much and they ran instead of confronting our two kids who arrived home from school by bus (middle and high school). The police feel that's why it seems they only made it to a couple of rooms and completely missed things like my camera equipment, our other laptop, the Wii and Xbox, etc.

Because of the nature of the crime, it is pretty rare that these bastards get caught or they are given such light sentences, these break-ins seem to happen in cycles. Ours came toward the end of a cycle. Another cycle broke out again a few weeks ago and my BIL (lives 1 mile to our east) got hit WHILE HIS 14 YR OLD WAS HOME! I'm still fuzzy on the details of why the boy didn't call 911 or at least his father when he realized it was NOT his dad who arrived home unexpectedly early. The boy was home due to a school "holiday" (election day...we use schools as polling places).

In addition to the house breakins, there's usually an accompaning rash of car breakins too.

I get pretty pissed every time I think of it. A couple of weeks ago, right after my BIL's house getting hit, there was going to be an hour long gap between my leaving and my son (high school) getting home. I hid the family laptop, my work laptop, the Xbox and the Wii. My camera equipment was going with me. Thanks to my lack of housekeeping skills I had a perfect place where I don't think the average smash and grab theif would take the time to figure out. It seems silly, I'm sure but that feeling of violation is so primal and deep...you just feel like you have to do SOMETHING.

P.S. we live in a rural area so no alarm system is going to do much because by the time someone responds or a neighbor might hear an alarm, the theives are long gone. Same thing with locking doors. They don't care...they smash through windows and whole sliding glass doors.

Nor do dogs of any stripe act as a deterrent (usually). They came through our basement and let our three dogs out. I envision the scene like this: Dogs, gleeful at the newcomers arrival and freedom from the basement, thank the theives and point them to the stairs saying "the good stuff's in the dining room!" as they run out the door.


Joy


MergeLeft
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Posted: 11/26/2012 10:17:10 AM
Yeah, our back door is glass and I hate it. I'm going to get on DH to change it out to a solid one. We do have glass break sensors on our alarm, but I still worry. Every break in in our neighborhood (not that there have been a lot, but a few) has been through the glass back door that we all have.

Our dog is useless as a watch dog - we joke that she's like the dog in the Mayhem commercial - she'd roll over to show her belly to the bad guys, thinking, "You guys are great!" LOL She loves everyone.



scrappinghappy
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Posted: 11/26/2012 11:14:53 AM
Yikes. We had a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood a few years ago. Now I always hide my laptop when I leave.


For less than 20 dollars per door, you can have devices installed that prevent most 'break down' entries


Can you provide a link? I'd like to install these.


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Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 11/26/2012 11:51:45 AM
ScrappingHappy here you go! They come in other metal finishes than the bright brass.



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SuzastampinCTMH
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:25:30 PM
I was pretty spooked when our neighbor walked into her house and a burglar was in there. I had been out back working in the yard and came around front to see a bunch of police cars at their house. While I was working in the front yard a police man came over to see if I had seen anything. I hadn't but he gave me something to think about. I'm often in the back yard or the barn, so somebody could easily come into our house. He suggested locking the door when I go into the barn. Our neighbor never locked their doors. We always do when we leave the house and always have, but not when we're around here.

Scary!



2boysandwill
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:28:30 PM

my kids were home alone. Anyone watching our house would have seen both cars leave and maybe thought it was OK to go on in?


that scares the bejeezus out of me too...

beachgurl
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:37:02 PM

I get pretty pissed every time I think of it. A couple of weeks ago, right after my BIL's house getting hit, there was going to be an hour long gap between my leaving and my son (high school) getting home. I hid the family laptop, my work laptop, the Xbox and the Wii. My camera equipment was going with me. Thanks to my lack of housekeeping skills I had a perfect place where I don't think the average smash and grab theif would take the time to figure out. It seems silly, I'm sure but that feeling of violation is so primal and deep...you just feel like you have to do SOMETHING.



Wow. You actually take the time to hide valuables when you will be away from your home for an hour?

I guess I am a real slaker about this. I rarely hide things if I won't be gone for at least 2 weeks.




batya
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:41:58 PM
I'm sorry! I know how scary that is.

When I was 9, my two family home was broken into while I was downstairs with my grandparents and I came up with my 4 y/o sister while the burglars were there. They never saw us, I sensed something was wrong and went back down. (My parents, sister and I lived upstairs and my parents were out.)




OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




Idahomom
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Posted: 11/26/2012 12:54:38 PM
Just before Halloween our neighbors across the street were robbed. They entered the garage and took several things from there, then they entered the downstairs and took more - all in the early morning hours while they were sleeping upstairs. Brave buglars...they assumed there wasn't an alarm, a dog (which there was, also sound asleep upstairs), the homeowner confronting them with a gun, etc. Very scary.


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MergeLeft
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Posted: 11/26/2012 1:01:35 PM
The worst is that I now don't feel safe leaving my kids home alone even during the day. They are old enough from a pure responsibility standpoint, but is there any age where you'd feel like they were able to handle a break in while they're there?



Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 11/26/2012 1:47:56 PM

The worst is that I now don't feel safe leaving my kids home alone even during the day. They are old enough from a pure responsibility standpoint, but is there any age where you'd feel like they were able to handle a break in while they're there?
Honestly, no. Because at what age can I handle a break in when I am home? But the fact of the matter is, at some point in their lives they WILL be alone and by starting when they are young and more 'jumpy' it helps cement things in their minds.

We have spent a LOT of time with our kids talking through escape plans, hiding plans (nearly impossible now that they are the sizes they are) and it all has the underlying theme of GET OUT ALIVE! We have a fire escape ladder stored in a chest in all upstairs bedrooms that don't have a first floor roof below them. They can go out a window and escape from literally any room in our homes except the hall bathroom in both homes. Windows are way too small for anyone bigger than a Shih Tzu to get out.




Dog people are a special breed!

mapchic
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Posted: 11/26/2012 2:00:48 PM

The worst is that I now don't feel safe leaving my kids home alone even during the day. They are old enough from a pure responsibility standpoint, but is there any age where you'd feel like they were able to handle a break in while they're there?
I have no idea what that age would be.

Last fall there was a case where a teenager came home from HS and was killed by a burglar in her home. He then took the girls cell phone and texted messages taunting her parents. It was a terrible case. It happened in an area that would be considered very much 'safe suburban'.

It really makes us realize that no place is truly 'safe' and that when seconds count... the police are just minutes away. I think we all have to be alert and be prepared to defend ourselves if possible.




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WingNut
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Posted: 11/26/2012 2:01:03 PM

Wow. You actually take the time to hide valuables when you will be away from your home for an hour?


In this case, 3 days post the burglary at my BIL's house only 1 mile away? Yes. Was it rational? No. Do I do it all the time? No. Will I do it again? Maybe.


Joy


beachgurl
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Posted: 11/26/2012 2:06:17 PM
Wingnut, Gotcha.




mumzcuddles
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Posted: 11/26/2012 3:27:29 PM

We have spent a LOT of time with our kids talking through escape plans, hiding plans (nearly impossible now that they are the sizes they are) and it all has the underlying theme of GET OUT ALIVE!


I've always done this, especially on holiday.

It's not just for this case, but for emergencies. Know where the exits are and if anything happens , make noise, alert anyone else who is in the house if it's safe to do so but the only job for my son is GET OUT, GET HELP. I also drum into him that stuff can be replaced

grammanisi
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Posted: 11/26/2012 3:35:01 PM
Several years ago our cars were broke into. 2 days later our garage was broke into. They broke into the garage between the time my DH went to work and the time I went to work. We are sure that they knew our schedules.

I was creeped out for a long time.


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**JoJam**
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Posted: 11/26/2012 5:23:08 PM
The burglars will be back to that house in a couple of months. The owners will replace what what stolen with all new stuff, and the burglars will come back. Your neighbors need to be aware of this.


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yfzmommy
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Posted: 11/26/2012 5:53:32 PM
Guns, our alarm system and we currently have a dog being trained in Personal Protection....we don't take chances around here.


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LippyMans
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Posted: 11/26/2012 8:49:02 PM
This is going on in our neighborhood right now. The neighbor to the side of me was broken into about a year ago, middle of the day, on a Sunday (they only took his guns, but they had to know where they were). The other neighbor two houses down was just broken into last month. Again middle of the day, they kicked in a basement window that was hidden behind a large pine tree, and they most likely had been watching her house (she is a single lady and gone during the day). They took almost everything that wasn't heavy (even food out of the pantry and shampoo out of the shower...but they left her Jesus picture). Then we found out some condos by us and another house a street over were broken into (they are breaking windows and sliding glass doors, but they are doing it mid day when people aren't home....so whoever it is knows peoples patterns).

Then about a week ago I went to take the kids to school, there were lots of police cars in our neighborhood and surrounding area (my husband had heard something earlier that morning and got up to check the noise, but didn't see anything). Apparently a neighbor had seen someone dressed in camo and walking around looking suspicious, so they called it in. When the police tried to talk to the man he took off running. He still hasn't been found, but I am hoping it scared him off (we haven't heard of any other break ins yet). The police were able to get prints from one of the break ins, so I am hopeful they can catch whoever it is.

It is scary because you really don't want to leave your house empty.

Kittens
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Posted: 11/26/2012 9:05:26 PM
My mom's house was just broken into last week, in the middle of the day. They broke the glass doors in the back. She has an alarm and works 5 minutes from her house..I think she may have scared them off by getting there so fast and luckily they didnt trash the place...my brother's house was broken into a few years ago in Oct..again they went thru the glass doors, but didnt shatter them...managed to get them off track and walked out the front door with a 52" tv! Bastards! Makes me so mad to see people violated in this way by low life scum who feel entitled to things that others have. And I can relate to hiding things when you leave...I don't do it all the time, but I have been since this happened to my mom...just makes me so nervous to leave the house..


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pennyring
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Posted: 11/26/2012 9:12:04 PM
That is scary. We had some things stolen when I was a kid. One of my Dad's employees had his garage broken into multiple times too.

I just think though, it isn't anything I would bother planning for or stressing out over. If somebody wants to rip you off, they're going to do it.

We don't have any kind of security system other than noisy/barking dogs. I figure, if someone wants to break in, they're going to do it. We just keep our stuff locked up as much as possible.

One creepy thing: Our neighbors on the right don't have a fence. People cut through their yard to get to the park all the time.

One day, DH and I were standing on the porch with the dogs. Some lady cut through their yard, so my dogs run to the fence and start barking at her.

She says, "Oh! So these are the dogs I always hear barking!"

WTF lady. Why are you FREQUENTLY so close to my house that you can hear my dogs barking?

I do think the dogs barking if someone steps on the porch does dissuade people from trying anything though.


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