Have you had that uncanny feeling of late that burglars are targeting your house? Instead of taking any chances, it is advisable to do something concrete about it. However, how to tell if someone is casing your house? Are there any tell-tale signs to look for?
Today’s burglars are no ordinary cat burglars; they are a lot smarter. Before zeroing in on a target, they do a lot of research and “case the house” and spot the weak points to make their entry. They want to find out your routine and break in when you are not at home.
Did you know that as early as 2015, a break-in occurred every 13 seconds in the United States? That works out to a whopping 2.5 million burglaries per year. Burglars find it easy to let themselves in the front door; that’s probably why 34 percent of the burglaries took place by entering through the front door. Entering from a front door is unobtrusive, and a burglar is least likely to be detected.
Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for if you suspect someone is casing your home:
New Persons or Vehicles near your Home
Have you noticed strange people loitering in front of your house or unknown vehicles parked close by? It could be a burglar watching your home. If you see the same vehicle on more than a couple of occasions, installing security cameras to monitor such vehicles when you are not home is advisable. Such strange vehicles usually have tinted windows, which prevent you from identifying anyone inside. When in doubt, call the police to be on the safe side. Never mind if it turns out to be a false alarm; it is better to be safe than sorry. Similarly, if you’ve been noticing strange persons around your house too often, who may go under the guise of jogging or walking by your home, such suspicious activity also needs to be watched and recorded.
On many occasions, burglars pose as representatives of a genuine business, the government, or a plumber or electrician at the wrong address. All this false solicitation is to get a closer look at your house, check if you have installed any security cameras, have a dog, or any impediment that can stop a burglary. If they manage to convince you and enter your home under some pretext, they will get a good look at the windows’ layout, which comes in handy while breaking in. Hence, never entertain strangers unless you are sure of their identity.
False Emergency Claims
Any emergency can leave us confused. This is an age-old ploy criminals use to divert your attention or confuse you. They may claim to have lost their way, or that their car broke down, may feign sickness (heart attack), and ask permission to use your phone or ask for a glass of water. Criminals are experts at cooking up sob stories and take undue advantage of people’s kindness. They can divert your attention and grab whatever they can lay their hands on, or get a closer look at your home and note vital details like the type of lock on the front door, and the number of windows, etc. Be wary of strangers walking up to your front door asking for emergency help.
Stickers and Flyers
It could be a genuine gospel tract or an innocent-looking flyer or sticker stuck on your front door or letterbox. It could also be smart burglars marking your home to steal later in the night. Many burglars follow this ploy of sticking flyers on front doors to signal their associates of a potential target.
If you find any flyers sticking to your front door or strewn around your porch, remove them immediately. If you plan to be out of town for a few days, inform the newspaper and milk delivery people to stop deliveries for the specified period or further notice. Newspaper piling up unpicked is an open invitation to burglars that there is no one at home. Unoccupied/unguarded homes are prime targets. It doesn’t cost much to install a home security system to guard and protect your home during your absence.
Going by Instinct
If your gut instinct tells you something is amiss, it is advisable to go by your instincts. If you suspect suspicious movement of activity near your home, report it to the authorities to be on the safe side. While all strangers passing by are not real threats, persistent suspicious activity needs to be investigated.
Summing it Up
The above are some pointers on how to tell if someone is casing your house. Today’s burglars are advanced and tech-savvy, and only an advanced security system can keep them at bay. It is worth investing in an excellent security system, which is a one-time investment that’s worth it.