Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Breaking News: Someone tried to break into my house!

The police officer said I did everything I could to prevent a burglar from breaking into my home yesterday. Knowing that should have made me feel better, but it's going to be days before I feel truly safe in my home again.

My ADT security alarm went off Tuesday at 2:59 p.m. I got a call from the company that someone had tried to enter my home through a basement window and that the police and my emergency contact, aka my neighbors, had been notified. A few minutes after that, I got a call from my neighbor who was checking out the scene with two patrol officers. The would-be burglar had disappeared, but I had a cut window screen, a pried open basement window and some highly agitated dogs to prove a stranger had been there.

Nothing was stolen, save for my sense of security. It stops my heart to think about how close I came to having someone take all of my camera equipment, my laptop, my computer and anything else deemed valuable.

Here's want the officer said I had going for me:

1) An active alarm system: Economic woes have made many people shave off costs anywhere they can...including the monthly service fee for a security system, according to the officer. Even more troubling is the fact that many homeowners may have an active system, but don't set it when they leave.

2) Keep doors and windows locked: Stats show that thieves enter through an unlocked door or window in more than 30% of all residential burglaries. While this won’t prevent all burglaries from occurring, it certainly will deter the opportunistic burglar from making your home his next target.

3) A stick in the window track: The stick I have in both of my basement windows tracks detered the criminal. My sliding glass door has a locking mechanism at the base, but placing another stick there will be helpful too. Also, place a security pin (a large nail will also work) through the frame.

4) Two large dogs: My dogs will bark relentlessly at ANYONE who gets into my backyard or even near the locked back gate. Although it makes me wonder who would be willing to leap a gate into a backyard with two dogs unless the dogs already knew them to begin with....hmmmm

5) Vigilante neighbors: It may seem as though I live alone and am vulnerable, but people in my neighbohrood have banded to create an informal watch group. I've been taken under at least two sets of neighbor wings who keep a watch out for one of the single females living in a house on the block.

The officer said it was typical that a break-in would occur in the middle of the day because it's less likely that someone will be in the home. Colorado's "Make My Day Law" (shoot first ask questions later) gives homeowners the legal right to use deadly force to defend their home from violent attack or intrusion. So no thief wants to be confronted by a gun-packing homeowner. The officer said he thought it might have been a teenager since the attempt took place right around the time school lets out. Thank goodness I also have insurance covering not only my home but my photography business equipment as well so that I could have made a claim had the thief been successful. But who wants to go through the headache of having to replace so much that they've spent hard money and time trying to be able to afford?

Need more household security tips? Check out this link at


Lisa Piellusch said...

So sorry to hear that someone tried to break in!! I'm glad nothing was stolen.

Thanks for posting the 'tips'.

-- Lisa P.

Sheba Wheeler said...

Thanks Lisa! I hate feeling so insecure. :(

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