We live in a world where even our social media activity can make us a target for burglars. Whenever a burglar knows there’s an empty house he (or she) sees a great big bulls-eye. Whether it’s from a check-in somewhere on your social media account or from an obituary notice thieves are nothing if not inventive in finding those targets. Unfortunately, however, not all of them are dumb enough to catch themselves for us.
But social media is also being used to help people better protect themselves.
Take YouTube for example. Some homeowners are sharing the security camera footage on YouTube and other social platforms in an effort to catch the criminals and help others avoid being victimized.
Let’s take a look at some footage of actual and attempted break-ins that were captured on camera.
Break-in Video #1 – Thieves will look for easy access first. The burglars attempted to find an open door to get into the home, but the homeowner was automatically alerted when they tried to open the back door.
Break-in Video #2 – Broad daylight doesn’t stop four men from breaking in and ransacking a home. After two of the men get inside they signal for two more guys to help them burglarize a home in minutes.
Break-in Video #3 – Even with dogs this guy was able to break in due to a less than secure door. One good kick was all it took to get inside and grab a laptop along with other valuable items.
Break-in Video #4 – A knock at the front door tells this burglar he’s in the clear to go around and pry open the back door. Perfect example of why security camera placement is critical.
Break-in Video #5 – A security gate isn’t a guarantee of safety. These burglars are able to bypass the electronic gate and back their getaway car right up to the door. Just one more reason why multiple layers of security are needed.
Break-in Video #6 – Clearly these two burglars knew there was a dog in the house, but they didn’t realize the owner had a Nest camera that sent automatic alerts. The owner was able to call the police who got there in time to catch the crooks in action.
Break-in Video #7 – Persistent doorbell ringing is often a sign someone may be trying to break into your home. But now you can use doorbell cameras to catch burglars before they get in your home.
You may not need a company to make Facebook posts for you (since you could do it yourself), but there’s a lot we can learn from watching real break-ins that have happened to other people.
There are even instructional videos featuring former burglars that walk you through the steps of what happens during a typical break-in.
Here are the biggest security take-aways from the break-in videos above.
Security cameras have become more feature-rich now that they can be connected to Wi-Fi and live streaming services. That’s why the experts at Nortek Security & Control consider Wi-Fi capable cameras to be an essential part of a smart home security system. Live streaming your security footage assures that you’ll have evidence even if the camera gets stolen.
The sixth break-in video is a testament to how beneficial home automation can be. As long as you have Wi-Fi-enabled security devices, you can use home automation to keep tabs on your home from anywhere, activate security features remotely and know the moment there’s been a break-in.
Devices that allow you to turn your TV on, time lights and control other systems can make it seem as if someone is home when no one is there. As simple as it is, this could be the one thing that makes a burglar second-guess attempting a break-in.
Without proper precautions, a door can easily get kicked in and leave your home exposed. Security professionals and police recommend that you take steps to reinforce doors, among which are:
- Get solid wood or reinforced steel exterior doors.
- Use a strike plate with 3” long screws.
- Use 3” long screws to affix hinges.
- Switch to smart locks.
- Put a security camera at the front door and let others know they’re being recorded.
Understanding how burglars move through a home on their hunt for valuables helps us stay a step ahead. Keep valuables out of sight (aka away from windows) and hide expensive items where you wouldn’t normally find them.
Be very careful about what you post on social media. Pictures and videos from inside your home give burglars a look at the layout and where valuables are kept.
There is a silver lining to all of this. The latest crime reports from the FBI show that new home security measures and equipment may be helping. The FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report shows there was a decrease of 7.8% in home burglaries. Criminals are always going to be around, but at least homeowners are now better equipped to stop them in their tracks.