Saturday, April 3, 2010

Things A Burglar Won't Tell You
a PSA by Grandma J

 1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week
 cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

 2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

 3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if  it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink.  And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

 9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.) Kind of like the giant Ortho bug!

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you  can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at

14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

16. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If  your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

17. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting  it?

18. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're  home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd  like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close  the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page.  It's easier  than you think to look up your address.

20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during  the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

21. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door.  Occasionally, I  hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky, security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs, and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

 Protection for you and your home If you don't have a gun, here's a more  humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you. (I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.)

 Wasp Spray.

A friend, who is a receptionist in a  church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection.

She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.  The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a  lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you.

The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote.  She keeps a can  on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention  from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby  at home for  home protection...


Connie said...

Thank you for this list and the excellent advice, Grandma J. It is good to know this information. You really can't be too careful in this day and age.

Wishing you and yours a joyous Easter weekend!

Busy Bee Suz said...

What an excellent PSA.
I never understood people who leave their doors unlocked or NOT setting their alarm. Crazy.

I really love the idea about the wasp spray...that is a fantastic idea!!!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi There, Great post with some really good info... We can do SO much more to stay safe if we just THINK....

Happy Easter.

Daryl said...

Fabulous! And let me tell you sometime about the SERIES of robberies we had in my tiny brownstone bldg ... we believe the culprit was a moron who didnt listen when the scoper-outer told him which apartment to hit ...

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Wow. Would never have thought of most of these.

You don't want to know how lax we are around here, to the point of leaving the keys in the ignition with the car running to run into the convenience store real quick...

Unknown said...

Seriously great advice. I won't tell you that I ALWAYS leave our door unlocked. Oh yes I do. Gary gets SO mad at me. I would do a post about it, but I am a little afraid that a robber would come then. I will ust tell you instead : )

Unknown said...

CBW is not joking either! At Blogfest I got dressed in her oversized shower because her big bathroom window faces the street (which is about a half a mile away) and didn't have a shade or curtain. Oh how wonderful it must be to live where you don't have to lock your doors. Can you tell I'm paranoid? LOL. said...

Wow! Wasp Spray! I have never heard of that. What a great idea!
We live in an area with little to no crime, but if it ever starts creeping in here I will remember that!

Mental P Mama said...

Great advice!

Debbie said...

Great post!! Thanks for the good advice!!!

God Bless~
Debbie Jean

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

A few days ago I blogged about my grandkids being out of town. They aren't identified by last name, but as soon as I posted it, I realized that I'm forever telling people not to post their travels on Facebook. So Blogger's okay? NO!

hollywood said...

Great post! I thought you were going to say you were robbed though! I am always amazed at what I see in the MLS on the Realtor comments here---people hand these things out to their clients and it has things like "don't show between 3&5 kids home alone" or 'show anytime 4/5-4/20 Sellers are on a cruise".......Ridiculous & dangerous. I never ever take pictures of kids bedrooms, because I post these pictures online and I always feel like it is a roadmap through someones home.

Happy Easter!

hollywood said...

To Blissed Out Grandma---I have a friend in my town, who posts her 'schedule' on Facebook. She is active in the mortgage industry, big in BNI and a few other organizations. She is a major networker. She said someone in her office told her to quit doing that because someone could so easily stalk her --- she said last week she was at a wine tasting downtown and the co-worker showed up and she asked what they were doing here and they told her, it was on your FB page where you would be----easy easy to find you. She told me their point was scarey and she has removed her schedule.

Unknown said...

One more thing...I never ask the Post Office to hold my mail when I go on vacation. Years ago I read an article about a postal worker who targeted people on vacation, and they weren't necessarily on his route. Those little slips you submit asking the PO to hold your mail are accessable to more than one person. Now I have someone check my mailbox when I'm on vacation.

Susannah said...

Excellent post here, J. I never would have thought about 'bad guys' not going to kids' rooms. for thought next time we go out of town.