Secrets 2: More Secrets Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know
This is a second post about Secrets Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know. A link for the first post is provided at the end of this one.
Burglars, naturally, don't want to get caught. So their aim is to find places where they can get in and out easily and quickly. You may be doing things that make your burglar's job easier. Here are some tips that can help make you and your home safer.
Workers in Your Home (one of them could be your burglar)
Most of the workers who come to your home are law-abiding people who do good work and then go on their way.
Your burglar, however, is far from law-abiding. Remember when you hired some guys to mow your lawn last week? Or maybe it was to clean the snow off of your driveway. Or they offered to cut down a dead tree for a great price.
Did one of the guys ask to use your bathroom? And, being the nice person you are, did you let him in? That guy might have been your burglar. Or maybe you had some workers come into your home and clean your carpets or deliver a new fridge, and your burglar was among them.
No matter why he was there, once he got the chance, he unlocked one of your windows. He hoped you wouldn't notice so he could come back later and steal your stuff, or worse.
Anytime you have workers in your home, make sure to check ALL windows and doors after they leave. Make sure they are still closed and locked. And be very careful about who you hire!
When a Stranger Knocks on Your Door
Even though your house seems quiet and empty, your burglar will probably knock on the door, just to be sure. If no one answers, he'll figure it's safe for him to break in.
If you do answer (and by answer, I mean asking who it is), he'll use an excuse for being there. He might be carrying a rake or shovel (depending on the season) and offer to do yard work. He may have a clip board and say he's taking a survey.
The point is, he doesn't want to raise suspicion. He wants you to think that he has a legitimate reason for being in your neighborhood. He doesn't want you calling the Police or the Neighborhood Watch Block Captain to report a suspicious character hanging around. And, he wants to be able to come back later to steal your stuff.
Unfortunately, there are some burglars who don't care if you're home or not. If you open the door, they'll rush you and enter your home. If you ask who it is, they may say they're the police or a delivery guy, hoping to lull you into a false sense of safety so you'll open the door. And, again, if you open the door, they'll rush you and enter your home.
Don't let strangers into your home (unless you've verified that they're legit)
When someone rings the doorbell, do NOT open the door until you know who it is. If it isn't someone you know, ask who they are and what they want. If they say they're law enforcement, a utility worker, delivery person, etc., ask for their ID. Then call their work site and make sure they're legit. If they won't provide an ID, don't open the door.
If anything feels or looks odd or hinky to you, call 911 and report a suspicious person in your neighborhood.
One more thing: I know that it feels weird or even rude to ask someone for ID and then call their business for confirmation. But most people will understand. And if they don't, you probably don't want them in your house anyway.
Just remember, thieves and predators really do use this ruse to try to get people to open the door. Many of them have done this and, unfortunately, it has worked for them on lots of occasions. Don't regret letting a thug into your home just because you didn't want to seem rude.
Related Post: "Don't Want to Become a Participant in a Violent Home Invasion?"
Your Burglar Knows How to Hide from a Peephole or Viewer
Your burglar has learned how to outsmart door peepholes and viewers. He knows you have a limited view and that he can position himself so you can't see him. How? He'll most likely work with a partner. His partner will stand in front of the peephole, dressed like a delivery guy or utility worker (or whatever). In the meantime, your burglar will be kneeling down so you can't see him. The minute you open your door, both thugs rush in.
Of course, he could just ring the bell (or knock on the door) and hide. Some curious people will, after not seeing anyone in the viewer, open the door. And that could be a fatal mistake.
There are viewers/peepholes on the market now that give you a larger viewing area. But even if you buy one, please continue to be very, very careful about opening your door.
Never open your door for strangers unless and until you can verify that they are legit. Check for ID and check with their workplace. (I know that this is very similar to what I wrote in the previous section, but it just can't be emphasized enough.)
Your Burglar Appreciates it When You Tape a Note on Your Door
That note that you taped to the door telling the UPS guy to leave your package with your neighbor, or the one telling your friend or family member that you'll be back in a few minutes... that is very inviting to a burglar. It tells him that your house is probably empty. And, if he's good at his job, he'll only need a few minutes to grab stuff and leave. And if you come back while he's still there, he can always slip out the back.
Or, he might decide to stay and "keep you company." It's a whole lot easier to surprise and attack you when he's already inside the house.
Don't leave notes on your door. In this day and age, with cell phones and email, it's really not even necessary anymore. Call your friend or family member and tell them you'll be gone for a few minutes and to wait for you. Contact UPS or USPS to set up arrangements to pick up your package. Or ask them to deliver it to a friend's house. Don't advertise that your house is empty.
Frankly, I know it's hard to believe to that a burglar could be casing your home. I can't imagine it happening to my home either. But no home is absolutely safe from burglars or home invasions. Unfortunately! But, if you learn and use threat awareness skills, and you make some simple changes in your habits, you can make your home, and yourself, safer.
Check out our previous article: "Avoiding a Burglary: Secrets Your Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know"