Break and Enters
note: I am intentionally leaving out alot of preventative measures one can take to avoid thefts from occurring like get a dog or purchase motion sensor lights. This is because everyone has likely read much relating to such things already and thus there would be little knew to learn as I write this.
Seems we are a predictable species as we do alot of things in a predetermined fashion while often assuming we are doing something original. This is the aspect that I figured is worth mentioning as this logic is what many thieves and desperados are counting on. As you often see in the movies, a thief will study the location or suspect first. They will note the time you leave for work and the time you come home. They will study the obvious patterns you have in your daily routines and plan their move around such patterns.
Now I'm not suggesting that you alter all such aspects to your daily routine as that would disrupt your daily life too much. Instead I'm suggesting that you note your daily routine and try to imagine how a thief would work around your schedule. This is how you catch a thief!
I liked the story where a senior in High River had set a trail cam in his garage which captured photos of the RCMP going thru his garage at various times and returning again and again until they located all his weapons. These time/date stamped photos are considered "real evidence" in a court of law and these photos sealed their fate to prove intent when officers proclaimed otherwise as stated it was just random search protocol they were following. It also showed that they were likely using a copy of the discontinued gun registry which if proven so would be unconstitutional and thus the RCMP would have been given a spanking they deserved for this illegal police action.
Now that camera wasn't placed there to catch officers initially. But the fact that it was there (and was something no one had considered) allowed evidence to be collected of a serious crime, and if our system was better, the culprits would have been charged here too. Your not going to stop most B&E's from being committed, but when you can break from basic human routines, your actions might prevent loss and maybe capture the criminal before he strikes others.
Those RCMP headed straight for the closets in the master bedroom. Why? Because that is the most obvious location for a gun cabinet. Many think their original when they place it here and I point this obvious trait out even though putting it elsewhere doesn't really work well otherwise. You just have to understand that your guns are in a predictable location and most burglars will assume such things as a given. And for those who don't bolt the cabinet to the floor, they will soon discover the thieves even took their gun cabinet along for a ride upon exiting. The next predictable human pattern is placing the key in close proximity to that which it locks up. Thieves are counting on this basic behavior too!
Many of the richer middle class presently rely upon alarm systems to scare away the culprits. Often just the presence of an alarm system sticker will deter most amateurs so shop elsewhere. So for those who can't afford such systems, the stickers are still cheap and you'll have burglars edgy looking for that which isn't there. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/6-Alarm-Stickers ... 418db05b30
Now hiding a trail cam in your house would not be so easy as they are big and their camo is often designed to blend with the bark of a tree. But there are alternatives and her are just a few possibilities http://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?_from=R40 ... a&_sacat=0 .
These ingenious ideas of concealing cameras shows man's ability to try and deceive one another. Since other's won't play fair, you in turn might want to invest in a few such gadgets to level the playing field somewhat. In this way, if your home is invaded, you have proof of intent and such evidence may even lead to the return of stolen property. Now there are moral boundaries that you should consider such as not placing cameras in washrooms or guestrooms. But a camera such as this one http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Mini-Portable-Th ... 1718587534 has potential for many uses as it is motion sensitive and works in the dark. It has the trailcam options and thus doesn't need to be recharged as often as many others would. Most IP cameras that are wireless still need access to an outlet for continual power. Thus the power cord becomes the giveaway to the cameras location and many thieves would be looking for such things in their daily routine.
Books like "The Big Book of Secret Hiding Places" (http://torrentz.eu/search?q=secret+hiding+places) has some cool ideas where to stash your valuables. It shows simple places in the home to stash stuff and a criminal usually just doesn't have the time to be thorough enough to check anything but the usual locations.
Seems you can even store your firearms outside of a gun safe as long as they remain secured by a trigger lock. This allows you to store weapons in multiple locations and remain legal and thus less predictable ( Of course logic dictates that having children or other unqualified individuals discover such things is a factor one should seriously consider first). Finding a key to these locks in a time of crisis is not a good thing and another alternative is purchasing a trigger lock with a combination lock instead. (Leaving such locks ready to open by just being a single number off is also a predictable tactic so don't think your the first with this thought either).
Catching the Criminals:
When you start this thought process of thinking as a thief might, you can allow your imagination to eventually create gauntlets to ensnare a thief too. Instead of making your place secure from all the basic angles just to have a thief show his creativity in defeating your defenses, why not present a vulnerability to more easily capture him in the act instead. This doesn't have to become a violent confrontation, just an evidence gathering mission. Even something that causes a scratch will often capture enough of a DNA sample to convict and verify that the masked figure in the photo is one and the same perp through such a collection of various types of evidence. Soft soil outside of windows to capture shoe imprints adds another piece for the puzzle. Finding something intricate to entice the thief to remove a glove and thus leave a fingerprint would be great but even a getting them to leave a lip imprint on a bottle or glass is also valuable evidence to collect.
The flaw with our criminal system today is there are too many loop holes to allow suspects to go free. Such things as previous reasons to have been in your premises earlier leaves room for the lie that DNA was left behind at that time and not during the crime in question. This means that a criminal could easily case your joint while volunteering for say a bottle drive for the local baseball team.
Many thieves strike at locations where they already know what is worth taking. This is the action of a supposed friend or neighbour, someone from yours or your kid's inner circle. This means they have already been in your house and spotted something that they want bad enough to attempt to covet or steal it when an opportunity presents itself. This is therefore the type of crime that occurs when your gone away for the weekend and not a random act, but a planned action using such inside information that someone outside your circle wouldn't usually be privy to. Seems many B&E's fall into this category.
Learning to Pay Attention:
Learning to turn up your senses is something that all should do but most don't really even understand the concept when I mention this. Proof of this line of thought is the mention of noting which men prefer to sit with their backs to the wall and how others are at ease without even a second thought to such things. About now, some of you are going "Wha"?
To have maintained this comfort level with no consideration to such basic instincts shows that individual has never had anything go wrong in their life so far to need to awaken such instincts. Good for you, you have lived a very sheltered life! Those of you in this category will likely have a tougher time understanding how to truly start paying attention as their trust factor is set to high and thus their sixth sense cannot function near as well as it should. That's the part of the brain that asks "What's wrong with this picture"!
Back in the 90's, my kids once came running in and told me while playing in the back yard in Calgary, a hand came over our high fence and took pictures. They looked and it was a man on a bicycle who instantly left. I was on my bike and cruising the neighborhood instantly for the next hour as this is the act of a thief. What they do is take quick shots and study them later. The camera allows them to take inventory of what to steal and from where. Noting the clothing color was enough for me to scout the individual (of which I never found), yet my oldest son's curiosity quickly scared the fellow away. Today, the cell phone makes this type of activity much harder to spot as a guy could easily pretend they're just texting as they case your neighborhood.
As you park your car in a parking lot, do you note those people just sitting in their cars, not shopping or playing with their phones, but instead watching what is going on around them. When you pay them attention, they then look busy at doing something when they weren't up to that point. It's these actions that are what make me wake up for they are the actions of someone casing their surroundings. Often they are car thieves which often steal contents from parked cars. They don't park close in to the stores and they often prey on the easier vehicles to access quickly (older North American cars). If they are of the smarter high tech class, they will likely have a short antenna on their roof for catching weak radio signals from your key fob when you use it to lock the doors upon exit. When I see what looks like a suspicious antenna, I pretend to text and take a picture of the plate and the driver before I go shopping, just in case police are attending a burglary victim when I leaving.
Yet there are many things that might give away a person's ill intentions. The most obvious is eyecontact and facial expression. Many look away when gazes meet just because it's a subconscious response of human nature to avoid confrontation. But during the act of looking away, often there is facial expression that we ourselves present and subconsciously measure in others without often scrutinizing the whole mental picture. And it's these minute details that signal our so-called sixth sense and alert us to possible potential threats. Those with their senses turned low rarely take note therefore when they are alerting them while others immediately start analyzing the situation further to bring the threat to the conscience level.
Overall, even for those who do listen to their sixth sense, you will have a hard time matching your pet as their senses don't seem to have this ability to turn down or off. Thus dogs are still the best deterrent today for an early warning system!
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