From time to time I meet people who offer a plethora of reasons why they don’t believe they need a home security system. In most cases, this faulty thinking stems from a false sense of security ranging from those who believe that they live in a nice neighborhood and that a burglary can’t happen to them, to those who pride themselves on having a dog or a gun for protection. We’ve made a great deal of effort to debunk these myths in the hopes of educating people on how to protect themselves at home. One excuse that I’ve also encountered a number of times– and that deserves further exploration– is the notion that many people share of not having anything of value worth stealing in the first place.
Burglars Aren’t Always Looking For a Big Score
Unless you reside in a cardboard box, you have items that are attractive to burglars. Bear in mind that most aren’t in the business with the hopes of getting rich. A great majority of burglars are, in fact, drug addicts looking for items that they can sell quickly for a few bucks or even trade for their next fix. Burglars also tend to be young people, many of which do not have high overhead costs, but burglarize homes in order to gain a little recreational money or even because they covet items such as mp3 players, cell phones and other items which are useful, but that aren’t considered to be high-end merchandise. Then, there’s also the group of burglars who break into homes just for the thrill of doing so.
Common, Everyday Items Attract Thieves
For many burglars, stealing household fixtures such as faucets, copper piping or even kitchen appliances will do the trick. As previously mentioned, mp3 players and smartphones are popular items targeted for theft, as are television sets, DVD players and, of course, video game consoles and the games that they accommodate. When my own home was burglarized, the thieves made away with a handful of jewelry and, before they were interrupted by my son who walked in on them, they’d loaded up laundry baskets filled with DVDs. Our stereo equipment, personal computers and televisions were all left untouched…and perhaps the thieves intended to take these things before they were caught in the act, but prior to being burglarized, I would never have thought that our collection of DVDs would be the first items loaded up for heist ahead of our electronic devices.
Perhaps you’re a minimalist who doesn’t own a television set and who doesn’t spend money on anything beyond your barest essentials. Still, don’t count yourself out as a future burglary target. By the mere fact that you’re reading this blog post means that you own a personal computing device, which automatically places you squarely in the running for a home break-in.
Some Intruders Aren’t After ‘Things’ at All
Beyond material items, let’s be mindful that there are other far more valuable things that a thief can steal from your home. It pains me to have to write this, but children and small pets are sometimes the main targets in a break-in. In fact, a popular scam for some thieves is to steal a family pet, wait for the animal’s owners to post a reward for it and then return the animal and collect the cash reward.
And, unless you’ve completely and deliberately tuned out of society, undoubtedly you’ve heard about children being stolen from their homes. The cases of Jon Benet Ramsey and Elizabeth Smart immediately come to most people’s minds when referring to these type of home break-ins, but they unfortunately do not end there. Several other children have been abducted from their homes even with other family members present at the time. Just this summer in Philadelphia, a 9-year old girl was abducted by a naked man who entered through the front door of her home at 4:30a as she lay sleeping in her own bed. Thankfully, she is safe at home once again, but this is only after being sexually assaulted by the man.
Are You Playing Into a Criminal’s Plan?
Be seriously aware that burglars, kidnappers and the like count on people feeling a false sense of security. Believing that home security advice does not apply to you and that you have no need to take active steps to protect yourself from a break-in plays perfectly into a criminal’s plan to violate your home…or to even physically violate you or a family member. Dogs can be sedated or poisoned and a sleeping gun owner isn’t much of a threat to a sneaky intruder. For sure, we’re not big on blaming victims, but in just about every case of burglary or home invasion, there were things that could have been done beforehand to prevent these things from occurring. Everyone can do more and everyone must do more to stop thieves from stealing our peace of mind as a society.
Enlighten Us All
Has your home ever been broken into? Did you believe that your house wasn’t a target for burglary? In the comments’ section below, we’d really appreciate it if you’d share your story with our readers along with your home security lessons that were learned in the process.