Understanding the Law
September 23, 2005
Be prepared for the burglar

There has been a recent spate of burglaries in the Villa/ Prospect/Harmony Hall area. There are home owners who have suffered repeated break ins. The evidence suggests that the burglars are working in teams. It is suspected that these crimes are committed not only by adults but by juveniles in broad daylight especially when no one is at home. One juvenile has been particularly active and has chalked up some eight burglaries. If they get enough time they will ransack every room, take electronic items and especially money. They choose homes that are somewhat isolated and especially those belonging to persons who are at work all day. They scout around and will even knock on your door to see if anyone is at home. {{more}}

What is especially troublesome to peace loving citizens are the techniques of the burglars. Iron gates and dead bolts on doors no longer pose any problem. Crowbars are used to rip iron gates out of the walls and dead bolts out of wooden doors.

What are the options open to homeowners? You might think instantly about guard dogs but you would have to weigh the obligation of caring for them as against that of leaving your house at risk. Since locks and bars are no barriers to the burglars, you might need to consider installing an alarm or surveillance camera system if this is within your budget. If you are at home, a noisy motion detention alarm would alert you to the entrance of an intruder. If you have good neighbours then they could call you at work if your alarm goes off.

A neighborhood watch could be organized by concerned citizens in the area. If your home is in a secluded area then you might have to employ a security guard. An internet camera will allow you to constantly view your house while you are at work. Some cameras allow you to view outside or another room on your television screen. These may seem like luxuries that we can ill afford but these may become necessities.

You may want to install some motion detector lamps in strategic areas. These would be however ineffective if there are trees around because when the wind shakes the branches the light would be activated. This would be more of a nuisance than a help. Many people are now utilizing the ‘Dusk to Dawn’ lamps to light up dark areas. It is very convenient as you do not need to switch on and off on evenings and mornings respectively. One lamp costs around $250 and an electrician might charge you around $30 to install it. The lamps are said to be low energy users, but your electricity bill will certainly increase. You can place them in the very dark areas outside your house. You can also install spot lights at the four ends of your house. You would only need to use them if there is any noise outside at nights. You cannot use items that would pose a danger to you and your family but you can place obstacles in the way of the intruder – a transparent string across the room and chairs behind doors.

It is important for you to know the phone number of your nearest police station. You would not have time to check the number when an intruder is on your premises. Time is of the essence and quick action should bring results. You can keep your cell phone close to you at nights. This is important as the intruders may cut your land telephone lines.

You cannot take too much precaution. It is not a good feeling when your sanctuary is invaded. My little neighbour tells me that the thieves do not break into the small houses it is the big ones.

So be prepared!