A break-in is putting it mildly. The burglar who chose our house two weeks ago KICKED-IN, breaking our door in half. We had our alarm on when the criminal came in. And while the police were there within a few minutes, the scum bag squeaked in enough time to break a lamp, gouge our hardwood floors, destroy a beautiful door, and escape with both of our Mac laptops and their chargers. He also decided to poke around in my panty hose and spanx drawer and a few closets.
Since the incident, everyone keeps asking me how I feel about it: Did I feel violated?
No. I don’t at all. Violated is too strong a word for how I feel. What I do feel is VULNERABLE.
And that is a far cry from invincible, which I guess I didn’t realize is how I used to feel.
You see, sometimes you don’t realize you feel invincible or immune. I didn’t think I felt immune to this sort of thing ever happening, but it never happened to me before so that was enough to keep the reality of it totally out of my realm of possibility. It’s hard to articulate. But I am sharing this for 1 reason, to maybe help you fortify against this in your home/neighborhoods.
TIPS FOR SAFE GUARDING AGAINST BURGLARIES
1) Always set your alarm. Always. I was the last to leave that morning and I did set it. I have hesitated out of pure laziness before, but it’s ALWAYS set. Now, even when we’re in the house just hanging out, we’re going to set it.
2) Give your alarm company a close neighbor’s phone number (SOMEONE WHO WORKS FROM HOME OR IS HOME ALMOST ALL DAY) … when you’re out of town or in general. Most of our neighbors are stay-at-homes or work-at-homes and if ADT had called one of them at 10:06 (like they called us and we didn’t answer), our neighbor could’ve maybe done something to catch the suspect for the police or to have scared the criminal off without taking anything. Instead, we didn’t answer our phones, so ADT dispatched the police and they showed up just a little too late … the crook was gone. No witnesses. (Fortunately, there were lots of clues!)
3) Don’t keep valuables in plain sight, if you can avoid it. My laptop might as well have been sitting on the backdoor steps waiting for the guy with a red ribbon and note saying, “TAKE ME!” It was literally the first thing the guy prob saw when he kicked in the door and looked to his left and into the house.
4) Don’t keep valuables in the top drawers. Apparently, burglars are most likely to look in top drawers and night stands for valuables. Get creative when organizing … I know it’s a bit paranoid, but a fellow Little Rock woman who I met on a crime watch site after our breakin told me the person who broke in at her house only opened the top drawers, and she lost thousands of dollars in jewels.
5) Don’t be so obvious. If you can’t hide jewelry and guns in a gun safe or similar – something they really aren’t going to be able to get into or take – you need to get creative. Where is the last place a burglar would look for your jewels? Where is the last place they’d look for electronics?
6) Be aware of who and what is in your neighborhood. Watch out for your neighbors and help them. We have the best neighbors in the whole world. They are always keeping us and each other in the loop about car break-ins, suspicious activities and people … they’re very alert and aware. We’re going to be too going forward!
7) Don’t take your home’s location for granted. Just b/c you’re in a nice neighborhood, doesn’t mean you’re exempt. In fact, you’re more likely than those who are in worse neighborhoods.
8) Fortify. Walk the perimeter of your home. What are the easiest points of access for burglars? Where would they most likely choose to come in at based on not being seen by neighbors or you? Do you have alarm signs out in prominent places. We have 3 ADT signs in our yard. So, that clearly wasn’t enough. We’ll be adding video cameras, signs that we have video cameras and probably getting a new garage door. No more carport. We lock our gates … we don’t do hide-a-keys. And again, the ALARM is always set and the gun always loaded.
Have you ever been burglarized?
Do you have tips to share?