Preventing Home Invasion

Predator: Craig P., Virginia State Prison System, Professional Burglar

Discussion: Preventing Home Invasion and Burglary

We had the opportunity to interview Craig via his lawyer this month – the dates kept sliding to the right and why you didn’t get this before months end. We apologize – we were the last task on the attorneys list…

Craig successfully broke into homes, businesses and even one foreign embassy in Washington, DC – which is something to applaud. He is a little mild mannered man that enjoyed the thrill more than the loot. As a kid, he walked out of department stores with large items like home stereo systems, lawn mowers and barbecues (items that didn’t require a bag) as if he had paid for them. Employees never questioned him – they all assumed he had paid for them. He realized that if you act like you belong – people think you belong. If you act like you own it – people think you own it. And even more important: If you act like you’re a good person – people will think you are a good person. Human error, emotions and complacency became his biggest weapons. Over time he developed his skills and was able to get in and out of just about anything with and without tools.

We specifically asked him to provide home security tips that kept him away from certain homes – here they are:

a.     “Security starts well outside the front door”. If you have a security system, advertise it with signage in your yard. If you don’t have a security system, steal your neighbor’s signage and put it in your yard. “Even though I was successful at bypassing most alarm systems – I hated those ADT signs because it added to an already complicated effort of breaking into someone’s property. I much rather hit a house with no alarms for obvious reasons”. The appearance of security is security – if your property looks secure then it must be. “A house with all windows covered, yard groomed and illuminated; is not the house for me”.

b.     “No one likes a haunted house”. “It drove me nuts to see closed mini-blinds with one bent, as if someone was peering out at me”. Take time to alter the appearance of your blinds and window dressings, if bad guys feel you can observe them then they wont even stop to look. This applies to your neighborhood – if everyone has blind bent or stuck creating a porthole for observation – then bad guys will steer clear – and go somewhere else.

c.      Alternate your lighting with timers. “Timers shouldn’t all be set to turn on and off at the same time on the same days – all that does is confirm that you are not home and your lights are on timers and Ill get in your house before lights go on – package up everything while the lights are on, then leave once lights shut off”.  Put your TV’s on timers as well – the blue glow emitting through the windows at night due to the TV drives bad guys away.

d.     “It takes a village to keep the wolves away”. Have neighbors check the mail, pick up the newspaper and watch your property. Tell trusted neighbors that you have timers turning lights on and off and when you’ll be home. If you get home early or late – let them know.

e.     “Put size 12’s at the front door”. We have heard this before – especially if you’re a single female – put a pair of size 12 shoes at the just outside the front door to scare off sexual predators.

f.      “Park your car in the garage!” he said with aggravation. “I don’t get it, if you use your garage and leave your driveway empty – then I could never truly determine if key holders (home owners) were gone or not”.

g.     “Lock your doors, believe or not, most homes and businesses – someone forgets to lock a door”. “If I see that a home has pets, the odds are the kids didn’t lock the back door after letting the dogs out in the morning”. Also, if you have doggy doors – they can provide burglars easy access.

Craig provided invaluable information  – we will be providing more throughout the holiday season. Next time, learn his entry methods – better than James Bond. More to follow!

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