A few weeks ago I was leaving my house when I noticed three male teenagers walking down the street. For some instinctive reason, I stopped, took a step back inside my home and watched them closely.
It was 3:15pm on a weekday and the street was relatively quiet. The boys proceeded to stop directly opposite my house and sit casually on the ledge of a garden bed.
Wearing shorts, t-shirts, hats, running shoes and carrying small light weight backpacks, the boys didn’t fit the description of your classic jogger, nor kids on their way home from school.
I immediately noticed that the boys were not talking to each other. Teenage boys are never this quiet I thought to myself. Looking side to side, I could tell they were making sure no one was watching them.
But I was.
After a minute of sitting there, one of the kids handed a phone to one of his accomplices and proceeded to walk down a neighbours side driveway. He then began to scale the fence while the other two stood guard. This was my chance to stop a home burglary.
“HEEEEY,” I yelled out.
The guy climbing the fence, who was by this stage on top of the fence, stopped and looked back while his two friends stood bolt upright.
Standing behind a dark fly screen the boys couldn’t see me, but I could see them.
“I”M WATCHING YOU,” I screamed out.
The two boys keeping guard were quick to run while the fence climber, clearly the leader of the pack, walked towards my house yelling “What?” in a act of bravado.
As the burglar approached my house, I wasn’t sure what else to say or do. It was then I thought about what burglars fear most.
“THE COPS ARE ON THEIR WAY,” I yelled hoping it would deter the burglar. It did. He turned and ran.
It was all over within a couple of minutes and a neighbours house had been saved from being burgled.
This experience of stopping a home burglary reinforced a few things I know about break ins.
Your house is most vulnerable during the day
All the statistics back this up but it’s not until you see a burglar brazenly operate during the day that you realise just how true it is. Weekdays between 9am-5pm is when most people are away from home so it makes sense.
But there’s also another reason.
You know your home back to front, but a burglar doesn’t, that’s why they like to operate during the day when they can see their way around.
Burglars don’t always act alone
This surprised me as most of the burglar footage I see online involves one person. Be wary that someone breaking in might have back up.
Burglars don’t like to be seen
This is no surprise but an important fact in preventing burglaries. A sounding alarm is one thing but confirmation that someone is watching is arguably more effective.
With a sounding alarm, a burglar knows they need to act quickly, grab what they can and get out of there. If however a burglar knows that someone is watching them (like I was that day), they’ll be less likely to enter the home in the first place. This is why visible security cameras are so effective in deterring burglars.
Burglars are amateurs
Movies portray burglars as ninja like characters who plan ahead and carry wire cutters and night vision googles. Maybe this is true for the art galleries out there where millions of dollars are on the line, but not your home.
According to veteran police offer Stg Mark Buschena and author of Kick Ass Home Security, burglars are often scared, drunk, high on drugs, mentally imbalanced, nervous or desperate individuals. Type “home burglar” into Google News search and see stories that back this up.
What does this mean for homeowners? It means a little home security can go a long way towards protecting your home. This includes having strong locks, closing windows, installing sensor lights and of course having an alarm.
In my case, I don’t think the trio of burglars I encountered will be back anytime soon, but if they do decide to return, I’ll be the first to know about it thanks to Cammy.