The risk of becoming a victim of a residential break-in is shockingly high. Police across the country respond to hundreds of these reports every single day. Regardless of the city, neighbourhood or season, everyone has a disturbingly large probability of returning home to a ransacked house. There are numerous guides on how to secure a property, including tips on locks, lighting and alarm systems. However, most fail to take into consideration a little-known fact about these crimes. A perpetrator just might know their victim. It sounds inconceivable but in reality, almost 66% of burglars targeted someone familiar to them.
How is this possible? Unlike in blockbuster movies, these types of crimes are not overly sophisticated and do not require a significant amount of skill. Additionally, most burglars spend as little time as possible, less than 15 minutes in most cases, to complete their robbery. Their speed is helped if they are already familiar with the home.
A family doesn’t have to mix with a group of hardened criminals to become a victim. In fact, the majority of offenses take place during the middle of the day, when it is most likely that a home will be empty. This reduces the likelihood that a burglar will stumble upon any residents. Still, a certain amount of reconnaissance is needed to ensure that the property has no stay-at-home mom, daily gardener, visiting relative, or other person that could interrupt the crime. Because lurking in an unknown neighbourhood could attract attention, most thieves actually live very close to their targets.
Some robberies are crimes of opportunity, meaning the crook noticed an easy access to the home and decided to act. For this reason, it’s important to properly secure doors and refrain from bragging about big ticket purchases on social media. In fact, some home security experts specifically warn about the dangers of a jealous neighbour.
Drug addiction is also a growing problem in a multitude of areas across the country. This affliction can cause desperation and lead a struggling family member to target their own social circle in an attempt to make a quick buck. This type of burglar is most likely to snatch money, smartphones and other items that can be easily sold for cash.
Just because a thief may be acquainted with their victims, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a close friend or family member. Any hired handyman or recent technician who had access to the property should be high on the suspect list following a break-in. These individuals were able to spend time in and around the house and learn the location of valuables, the quality of security and the general layout. Such information can make it easy for the person to return with a more sinister motive.
Teenage kids may unwittingly bring a future burglar into the house. Though they are less likely to do real damage, young men are common perpetrators of smaller property crimes. Because they are less cautious than more experienced criminals, they may impulsively return to a friend’s home with the sole intention of grabbing an item they admired earlier.
A lot of our customers contact us after their home has been broken into or when things go missing, we urge you to be proactive and prevent a burglary from happening in the first place, get an ADT Monitored security system in toronto today! Call Alarm Guard – ADT at 1844-299-3753
The old adage about buying a house is true – it’s all about location, location, location. In any major area, there’s many factors to consider: proximity to transit, school districts, nearby services and more. Every neighbourhood has its own personality, from desirable to dilapidated. The biggest challenge for new homebuyers in today’s market is cost. The booming housing market can make it impossible for the average couple to find a quality home without busting their budget.
Even when a young couple finds the perfect pocket of land, they might not be able to afford the high fees. This has led many to consider up-and-coming neighbourhoods as an alternative. Real estate experts are quick to predict the hottest regions where prices are set to skyrocket in the coming years.
Though choosing one of these locations can save on costs and make a smart investment, there are details to consider before making the gamble. Aside from the fact that future popularity isn’t guaranteed, a family would still have to live in the area for a significant period before it develops. Consider the following factors before loading up a moving truck:
Does your realtor swear that the boarded-up businesses on the street are going to become cute coffeeshops any day now? With little ones in the mix, a risk tolerance should be drastically lowered. Only select a developing neighbourhood if there’s already significant progress towards its transformation. Otherwise, paying a higher price for a family-friendly area is worth it.
Check out a property during multiple times of the day to really get a feel for it. A street may seem harmless during the day but after dark it could have a completely different mood. Do online research about area crime and if possible, talk to local cops about their experience.
If you think it’s hard to buy a house, consider that it’s even tougher to buy a business. If attractive stores are thriving, it’s a good sign for the whole area. In particular, experts say to look out for a Starbucks. The presence of the caffeine giant is a sure-fire way to know a neighbourhood is thriving.
Not all popular shops are a good sign. Liquor stores, discount retailers and shelters may not attract the type of neighbours you want. In fact, some businesses lower the property value of the surrounding area. Also, a wide array of boarded up storefronts is a key indicator that ret ail can’t thrive in the area and your nearby home likely won’t rise in value at a high speed.
If a large company is breaking ground or a college is opening, you can be sure that housing prices will soon be rising. However, keep in mind that some projects – like a stadium or student housing – also come with noise and transient populations. If you’re not keen to live in that environment but still want to buy, consider making the home a rental investment property.
Home experts HGTV remind homebuyers that every real estate purchase is a risk. Betting on an up-and-coming area might not pay off and buyers should be comfortable living in the area no matter what happens in the future.
For any homeowner victimized by a burglar, the crime, aside from being terrifying, was also likely a complete surprise. The family most probably returned to their house to find damage and disarray. In fact, it may take some time to move past the shock and itemize the stolen and damaged property. Though the break-in is unexpected for the residents, the crook was likely monitoring the location and waiting for the optimal time to strike. The signs are subtle, but there are a few ways to predict if a potential-burglar is watching a home.
If an old screen door was jimmied open or outright smashed, consider it a warning from a lurking criminal. Odds are, they’re testing to see if the home has a security system or nosy neighbours. A screeching alarm or responsive crowd means it’s not a good spot to rob.
It’s unlikely you’re on a first name basis with everyone on the block, but a suspicious character sticks out like a sore thumb. Dog walkers, joggers and moms with strollers all move with purpose and will likely greet any passersby. A prowler’s aim is to remain unseen so take note of anyone peering into homes or acting jumpy. Perps may also take photographs in order to study houses in greater detail while in private. Don’t be afraid to phone police and even snap your own pictures of the stranger. The same goes for idle cars parked outside your property. Take note of the license plate and voice suspicions by calling the non-emergency police line.
Is your porch light out, even though you just changed the bulb? This is also a sign your home is on a burglar’s list. A sneaky crook knows that it’s unlikely you’ll attend to a burnt-out light right away. They have loosened or swapped the bulb in order to use a shadowy cover while entering your home. This is especially noteworthy in the winter months when the sun sets in the early afternoon.
A sudden burst in social media interest:
Today’s criminals love social media. Often, people post personal tidbits without strengthening their privacy settings, meaning anyone can view their photos and information. It’s common to publicize an upcoming jealousy-inducing vacation or celebrate a new house. A quick scan of any social platform shows endless strangers advertising a countdown to their holiday or a video tour of their new property. It may seem harmless but these posts provide a blueprint for criminals hoping to invade your house. Keep online security tight and be wary of a stranger’s sudden interest.
Knocks on the door:
In nearly all cases, a burglar will tap on the front door to confirm that no one is home. Those with doorbell cameras can monitor repeat guests with no reason to visit. In fact, these homeowners have shared the images with police and the public, to warn others.
Stop criminals before they start! Visit www.alarmguardsecurity.ca or call 1-866-282-3331.