Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Burglar Reveals 15 Trade Secrets

Kevin Raposo covers home security, crime, safety, and consumer issues for SimpliSafe and InfobiaBlog.  He has graciously allowed us to share with our readers his great piece that gives an  in-depth look into the mind of a burglar. Thanks, Kevin!

Burglar Reveals 15 Trade Secrets - A Look Into The Mind of a Burglar by Kevin Raposo, February 20, 2012 at SimpliSafe

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a burglar? Well, SimpliSafe home security sent a team of us out to hit the streets for some raw data. We got the chance to sit down with burglary professionals and ask them some real tough questions. It wasn't easy getting these questions answered but we got them! We gathered the most common answers and assembled them to give you an inside look into the mind of a burglar. It's time for you to meet Bob, your local burglar.

Hello, my name is Bob and I'm your local neighborhood burglar!

First I'm going to tell you what I look for before breaking into your home, and then I'm going to tell you how I can break into your home. I'll even tell you what I'm doing and looking for inside your home.

A lot of people ask me why I do what I do, and why I haven't been caught yet. Do you know what I tell them? Because people don't realize how easy they make it for me. I shouldn't be doing this but I need a challenge!

Here's what I'm looking for to make your house my next target:

Before picking a house I have to scope the whole neighborhood. To do this I'm not going to be walking in the traditional cat burglar uniform. I'm going to be walking around with a rake, dressed up as the cable, electric, or phone repairman. In some cases I even post a flier on your door for a closer look. Usually my work hours are from 8AM-11AM. I want to avoid any kind of confrontation.
  • High privacy fences – This way your pesky neighbors can't sneak up on me or call the police
  • Any sort of high vegetation, like trees or shrubbery, covering your windows – this way they can't see me break your window. I prefer lots of cover.
  • Toys or playground equipment in your yard – Toys or playground equipment in your yard are signs that kids live there, which to me equals a mother lives there and "cha-ching" that means JEWELRY.
  • I'll post a flyer on your door to get a closer look of your home. I'm also checking to see if you have a burglar alarm.

Here's how I break into your home:

  • I'll knock on your door to see if anyone is home. If someone answers the door I'll just come up with some bogus story.
  • I'm going to check if the front or back door is unlocked. Sometimes people usually hide a key somewhere easy to access. If I can't find a key I will check the windows. If worse comes to worse I'll just smash a window.
  • I can also get into a home through your doors using my trusty crowbar.
  • If I can't make it into your house in one minute I just move onto the next one.

Now here's what I’m doing once I'm inside your home:

  • I always use the same search pattern. I go straight to the master bedroom. I look for cash, jewelry, or anything that might be valuable. People often make the mistake of leaving money or jewelry in the most common areas.
  • I'll even look under the bed and in your closets.
  • I'm always listening for outside noises. It's a 6th sense.
  • I check your bathroom medicine cabinets for any narcotic prescriptions. Pills are easy money.
  • I'm going to check your kitchen and living room for electronics, credit cards, car keys, and personal information.
  • After I have gathered everything I need, I call my backup driver to meet me so we can load up all the goods in the car or van.
  • Once I have loaded all the goods, my associate and I drive away to the next target. It's a never ending cycle.
  • And that's it folks. It usually takes me about 8-12 minutes to get in and out of your home. It's as easy as that!
In closing, there are a lot of things that you can do to avoid someone like me. A security system is a no brain-er. If that's not an option, leaving a TV or stereo on during the day usually helps someone like me avoid your home. This usually indicates someone is home. Also most burglars won't even attempt entry if they know there's a large dog in the home.

So now you know my methods and secrets. Hopefully this will help you avoid bad guys like me. If not, I'll be lurking around. So, once again, I'm Bob, your local Burglar, and I'll be coming to a city near you!

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation - alarm.net]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baton Rouge Fights Back Against Violence

In May, Mayor‐President Melvin "Kip" Holden announced an ambitious new project to fight back against Baton Rouge's staggering violent crime rate.  The program, which has local government and law enforcement teaming up with "juvenile services, probation and parole, social agencies, LSU and the faith‐based community", is based on similar successful programs, coined Operation Ceasefire, in crime-ridden areas of Boston and Los Angeles.

Titled BRAVE (Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project), the project incorporates the same Group Violence Reduction Strategies employed in Operation Ceasefire and recommended by the National Institute of Justice.  Per The Advocate:

The premise behind Operation Ceasefire, according to program literature, is that crime can be dramatically reduced when law enforcement, residents and social service providers engage with the street groups and gangs to communicate three messages:
  •  A law enforcement message that any future violence will be met with clear, predictable and certain consequences; 
  • A moral message against violence by the right community representatives; 
  • An offer of help for those who want it. 
 As part of BRAVE, on Monday five Baton Rouge police officers - part of the department's new BRAVE enforcement unit - took to the streets in the most crime-ridden area of Baton Rouge, located in the 70805 zip code.  The Adovcate has more, "Anti-violence team formed".

Whether the program will be successful remains to be seen, but the results in other cities implementing similar programs give us much reason to be hopeful.  Mayor Holden says that they hope to see a difference in the targeted areas in 90 to 120 days.

In the meantime, District Attorney Hillar Moore has reached out to the community to hear their concerns and try to answer some questions about the criminal justice process in the city.  The first such forum was held Tuesday, June 5 at Catholic High School and was attended by about 100 people.

We should all do our part to make sure that not only our homes and loved ones are safe, but also our communities and local businesses.  Working together, perhaps we can all create a future, safer Baton Rouge.

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation - alarm.net]

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just How Bad Is Crime in Louisiana?

In 2010, LPB's monthly public affairs program, Louisiana Public Square, did a comprehensive special on the staggering crime rate in Louisiana and, most specifically, Baton Rouge (their findings were published in a report titled "Combating Crime in Louisiana")The program covered what local government and law enforcement, along with average citizens, were doing to stem the tide.

It's a tide that needs stemming.  A 2008 Wikipedia entry on Crime in Louisiana stated:
Louisiana by far is the worst state for lethal violence. Its per capita murder rate has led all states annually for 22 consecutive years (1989–2010) according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. 
That was in 2008; surely things have improved, right?

Yes and no.  While overall crime - specifically violent crime - has seen a slight downward trend in Louisiana, the state continues to rank as one of the highest crime-rated states in the U.S.

In Baton Rouge, specifically, things are still far from "safe".  NeighborhoodScout gives Baton Rouge a score of 3 out of 100 (with 100 being the safest).  It goes on (emphasis mine):
With a crime rate of 67 per one thousand residents, Baton Rouge has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 15. Within Louisiana, more than 92% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Baton Rouge. 

In February 2012, the Baton Rouge Police Department issued their 2011 Crime Statistics.  While violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, assault) has declined by 2.6%, crimes against property (burglary, larceny, arson, motor vehicle theft) were up 1.6%.  NeighborhoodScout goes on (emphasis mine):
...a lot of the crime that takes place in Baton Rouge is property crime. Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Baton Rouge, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 18, which is a rate of 56 per one thousand population.
It is encouraging that our government and law enforcement officials are aware of this problem and are working together to try and make our state a safer place, but it is important that each of us takes the necessary steps to keep our home and property, and especially our loved ones, safe.  Visit Crime in America's informative post "Crime Prevention Tips That Work - Keeping You and Your Family Safe" for advice and tips on doing just that.  To view the full Louisiana Public Square broadcast "Combating Crime in Louisiana", click here.

[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation - alarm.net]