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A gentle reminder to lock your doors....

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Kaleigh, Dec 13, 2005.

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  1. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    A policeman came to our door tonight to tell us our new neighbor up the street was robbed today. All her jewelry was stolen!![​IMG] Every last piece. They moved in just last week. I had my doors locked today. Don''t always do that, but I was home alone. My doggies were at the groomers. I drove by their house a bunch of times today and didn''t notice anything peculiar. I feel so bad for them. Ughhh.[​IMG]
     
    


    


  2. researcher
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    by researcher » Dec 13, 2005
    Was anything else taken? My heart goes out to her. I hope that the criminals are caught so you and your neighbors can feel safe again!
     
  3. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    As far as I know right now, it was just the jewelry. Taken from the master bedroom. Many things are still in boxes. The police think it was the movers, and I pray they get caught soon. [​IMG]
     
  4. perry
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    by perry » Dec 13, 2005
    I note that the moovers had the keys.... Locked doors would not have stopped them.

    Also, in most cases.... Home doors, locks, and windows are quite easily entered at will by someone with a criminal intent - regardless of them being locked. Fact is, most doors, locks, and windows are not very secure at all. They are good for the person who is relatively honest. Real theives go through most of them so fast it would make your head spin (actually heart drop).

    Real security in these items typically cost real money. Homes are typically built with the lowest cost componenets.

    You typically cannot go by product manufacturer in most cases (except for some premium priced manufacturers). For example: Schlage company has 3 product lines. What is sold in the lumberyards, hardware stores, and home centers is the lowest cost least secure and sturdy of them (residential grade). Good locksmiths might have some hardware on display for the middle of the road line (commercial grade). The best grade (Industrial) must be ordered through a locksmith or industrial supply center. Sad to say, that great doorknob that you remember from your parents/grandparents house - that was so sturdy and works so well - is now part of the industrial line - and you will never get it at a local home center.

    There are whole brands that I would not touch for door hardware (all in the local homecenters and hardware stores).

    My general recomendation for secure windows and doors: Thermal Guard. I admit that there are a few other regional brands; but in most cases you are not getting security. Thermal Guard also has the best "enforcable" warranty out there that I have ever seen. But they are not cheap. I do have half of my house outfitted with Thermal Guard windows - and am waiting on having about $10,000 in cash to do the other half.

    Perry
     
    


    


  5. Sparkster
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    by Sparkster » Dec 13, 2005
    What an awful thing to happen. I hope they had insurance - I know it''s only a small consolation as the sentimental value can''t be replaced.

    As for always locking the door, we don''t need to as we have dead locks installed on all our doors. When the doors are closed, the only way to get in is by using a key. When we go out, we also lock the doors from the inside. So if anyone were to break in through the window, they will have to get back out through the window as they cannot open the door from the inside without a key. We NEVER EVER lock the doors from the inside when we are at home because this is a very dangerous thing to do.


    Everyone should have deadlocks installed.
     
  6. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    When I'm home I lock the front door from the inside. I shouldn't do that?? How else do I lock it when I'm home. It's a deadbolt. Yikes I am scared to death. Ughhh. I need me a Storm worthy baseball bat.[​IMG]
     
  7. curlygirl
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    by curlygirl » Dec 13, 2005
    Kaleigh, I think Sparkster is talking about those locks that need a key to be locked, even from the inside. Those can be dangerous in case of fire, etc. You''re ok if you use the deadbolt, don''t worry!

    I feel awful for your new neighbors. What a horrible way to start out in a house. I''m a New Yorker so I''m just programmed to always lock my door and I have 2 locks and a chain. And I live in a doorman building! You can never be too safe![​IMG]
     
  8. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    Phew, thanks curly!!
     
  9. strmrdr
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    by strmrdr » Dec 13, 2005
    that sux.

    The good news was that it was a targeted theft.
    They knew what they wanted and where to get it and how.
    They are the least dangerous type.
    They are also the easiest to catch.
    Someone should tell them to pass out copies of any photos they have of the stolen stuff to local pawnshops.
    It can take 2 weeks for the police theft report to them to get updated.
     
  10. VegasAngel
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    by VegasAngel » Dec 13, 2005
    I always keep my doors locked. I even lock my bedroom door at night (Ok, so maybe this is a little over cautious) I just feel better, I guess. We don''t live in a day & age where it is wise to leave doors & windows open. my husband''s mother lives in a small exclusive gated community and 4 houses have been robbed in the past month. All gained entry through unlocked doors & windows. All they took was jewelry. They think it may be the landscapers/maintence men.
     
    


    


  11. laney
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    by laney » Dec 13, 2005
    That''s awful. That''s the 3rd buglary I''ve heard of in as many weeks. Another friend was at Jury Duty. Police think it was some sort of set up as they sat and opened her safe. They were there for a while. Only papers were in the safe (it was a fire safe for them). They did pick up laptops and other valuables.

    We lock our doors and have bars in the sliding doors. We have an alarm system but we don''t use it regularly. We are planning to set it again shortly. We also have two large great danes. That bark when a truck turns onto our block.

    When we set of our alarm accidentlaly a while ago - the police came and were sitting in front of our house when we pulled up. They were kind of chuckling when we walked up. They saw our great dane going crazy in our front window (due to the alarm noise). They looked at us and said "there''s no one in there"... smiling at us.

    Now we have TWO. So we know at least our doggies will scare away the casual burgler - but I know professionals have way around dogs too. We don''t live in a "professional" neighborhood though.. lol...maybe one day.. :razz:
     
  12. Sparkster
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    by Sparkster » Dec 13, 2005
    The type of lock is pictured below (the one one the right, not left). The picture you are looking at is the lock from inside. On the outside of the door, it's just a key hole. As soon as you close the door, you need a key to open it from the outside, To open it from the inside you just turn the knob. You will note that there is a keyhole on the knob. You can lock it from the inside and the only way to unlock it is by using a key (either from the inside or outside)

    You should never lock the doors when you are at home because if there is a fire, the time it takes to locate the key can be fatal. You should only use the 'inside' lock when you are not home. You simply lock it from the inside and then close the door behind you as you leave. If someone were to break into your house through a window, the only way they can leave is through the window. Because you locked the door from the inside, they cannot turn the knob - they need to unlock it. This prevents would be burglars taking large items as it would be too difficult to carry them through the window.

    Hope this makes sense

    lock.jpg
     
  13. perry
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    by perry » Dec 13, 2005
    I am not going to describe the tricks on a public forum: But many ground level windows can be entered even if locked in much less than a minute - without breaking the glass (there are several possible ways - depending on the window manufacturer).

    Deadbolt locks do not necessarily make your door more secure. I have personally gone through 3 such locked doors when it was needed (all for legal reasons) - it took only a few seconds. I do admit that it was obvious that I had gone though the door as they or the frame was smashed. The coolest one was the steel door with a steel frame that the entier thing and wall section crashed in. I have seen a demonstraton on how to jack a steel frame door with 1" deadbolts when you cannot just batter it in - took about 30 seconds.

    The police and fire departments carry "special" rams that usually open most doors in about 5 seconds or less.

    As for keys... Most thiefs can gain entry without tampering with the lock. However, most locks can be picked by someone with the right tools very quickly (for the thief who wishes to go that route). TV does not actually show you how it is done; but it can be quite simple. As a apartment complex maintenance person we were able to buy a lock picking kit from the Mfr of our locks. It took less than 15 minutes to learn how to use the kit, then less than a minute to pick any of that Mfr''s locks in the building. Of couse, certain locks are harder to pick and things can be done with the pins to make it a bit more difficult. There are also pick resistant locks (that take many minutes to pick even with the right tools). Of course, it cost $$$ to get pick resistant locks.

    Fortunate for most people - most theives are lazy and only hit the easiest targets (unlocked doors and windows). Typically the ones who work in gated communites tend to be a bit more sophisticated.

    One other thing. Most thieves are in and out of your house in less than a minute (they go specifically for jewelry in the bedrooms). These people do not care much about alarm systems as they are long gone by the time anyone can respond to the alarm. In fact, some thieves specifically target alarmed residences because the typical owner is less cautious with their valuables when they have an expensive alarm system.

    The truth can be painfull; but there it is.

    Might I suggest a simple wall safe for your jewelry - it at least stops the 1 minute grab artist. May I also suggest investing in several nice CZ jewelry peices and other "junk" jewelry to leave arround just so the thief has something to grab (they will not know it is not real untill later), and will run as soon as they have something that looks good.

    Of course, should some thief be looking to break into those wall safes (and hotel room safes) - Typically less than 10 munites with the proper tools (in some cases - just a couple of minutes).


    Perry
     
  14. larussel03
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    by larussel03 » Dec 13, 2005
    Did you all hear about that girl who had the man sneaking into her apartment daily? She is 24, and she'd come home and feel like things weren't where she left them. She bought a hidden camera and found out that a man breaks into her apartment every day, puts on her lingere, does other bad things and then leaves. It's a good thing she caught him on tape (he was caught by police shortly after) b/c the police said that's the type of thing that can escalate...

    ETA: and she LOCKED the door every day, and it wasnt forced..
     
  15. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    I wish I felt better, but now you guys have me scared stiff. My front door isn''t locked from the inside with a key. It''s a thingy you turn, does that make sense???[​IMG]
     
    


    


  16. Sparkster
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    by Sparkster » Dec 13, 2005
    I know the kind you''re talking about. We used to rent a house which had one. Because I used to live in dead lock houses, I was used to just closing the door behind me. When we rented, I had to remember to lock the door. 20 metres up the road I would think to myself, "did I remember to lock the door?" So I would run back home to check. Not a good thing as I was usually late for the train anyway so rushing back home to check didn''t help!!

    Unfortunately, even if you have top of the line security, it will not stop professional burglars as these people know how to get around it. It will stop the average burglar though.
     
  17. perry
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    by perry » Dec 13, 2005
    Kaleigh:

    I suggest you relax a bit.

    I do not recommend the inside key at all. nor do I belive it is even legal in all states due to the problems with emergency escape (except in certain institutinal settings).

    You want a door where you turn a knob or a lever to get out. That is normal. That by itself does not make your place less secure.

    Most crime is somewhat randome; which is what most of us in fact count on (my house is not that secure - even though I know it). My plans are to improve security as I go; and I have my valuables in odd places (too much time to look for most theives); and have theft protected my handgun safe (I bolted it to a 2" thick piece of plate steel - it weighs about 70 lb; most thieves will not carry it far).

    From a long term - I do suggest that you find out who the local "thermal gard" rep is and let them tell you about their windows and doors.

    I do not feel that alarm systems are in general worth much. At best they give you a warning that their is an intruder in your house. That can be valuable; but it almost never stops the intrusion. Stickers on the window that you have an alarm are almost as good as having an alarm itself - and a lot more reliable and less expensive ($5). That keeps away the rif -raff who do not want to tangle with an alarm system.

    Spend your money on real security items. The good theives knows what a thermal gard window and door look like - and will pass them buy unless you are a specific target for a specific reason (nothing can reaonably stop a professional). The less knowegable will quickly determine that the normal tricks of the trade do not work.

    Oh, you will also get some of the most thermally efficient windows and doors available to boot.

    As far as your jewelry: A good hidden safe in an unusual location is best; especially with a jewerly box full of impressive faux rings and pearls that the theif can easily grab (wink jones can help you with these).

    Do not buy an older safe - they look impressive but are usually very easy to open.

    If you have a lot of valuable jewelry (some people have $50,000 - $100,000 of jewerly) - I would consider buying the type of safe that a new jewelry store buy''s (a small one).

    Hope this helps.

    Perry
     
  18. mrs jam
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    by mrs jam » Dec 13, 2005
    oh dear lord. I knew I shouldn''t haved peeked in here. I''m home alone for the next few days because my husband is visiting family in NY. Every door and window in my house is always locked when I''m inside it; the alarm is on, and I have every single light on. I will have to distract myself later on tonight with a fresh batch of warm brownies drowning in caramel.
     
  19. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » Dec 13, 2005
    Thanks Perry,
    Very good advice as usual. Not just for me but for everyone that reads this. Thanks!!!
     
  20. Mara
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    by Mara » Dec 13, 2005
    I'm always paranoid about people coming up behind me or near me at night, or breaking into the house or whatnot...I figure at least I am aware of my surroundings and what is around me and typical noises in our house etc. They always say at least be aware...and smart!

    Alarms, locked doors, just be smart about things. People have sick minds, it's sad but true. I am always afraid too when I stay alone, but also what makes me feel better is knowing that I have a baseball bat with me in the room [​IMG] and I also have an escape route. The only thing that throws a wrench in it is Portia, I wouldn't want to leave her behind!! I will have to get a papoose or something to strap her onto me as I flee.

    Also, we are connected, 5 in a building so I figure I can always lean out the window upstairs and use the baseball bat to bang on my neighbor's window...HAAAA. A little bit of humor...just be smart and stay safe! We also have an alarm and our doors beep when people come in and go, so at least that is kind of like an alert. Plus I tend to think that households with dogs are usually not as targeted because many times they don't want to deal with hassles, aka a dog or a baseball bat or an alarm!

    Oh and SweetPea when I heard that story it was a landlord who had a key to her house that would come in and try on her stuff etc. I always am paranoid when the carpet cleaners come or something that they are going to map out the house or put a spycam in or something, we watch way too much CSI. Greg just rolls his eyes at me. Men!
     
  21. perry
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    by perry » Dec 13, 2005
    Here is the Thermal Gard link:

    www.thermal-gard.com/site/page.php?pageID=2

    These products are almost always sold as fully installed by company trained installers. This has the advantage that they can''t blame poor installation for the reason the window or door failed (a common warraty denial tactic is to blame the installation). Also, the security features may not work properly unless the windows and doors are properly installed.

    Their are some places in the US that does not have a close rep. Not sure how those situations are handled. Personnally; id just pay them travel time for the trip.

    These really are great products from a security feature, thermal performance, and longevity. You would have to be a security professional working with specificic security product companies to come up with more secure products (at a lot more money - and lot less themal efficiency) - which is fine if you are building a bank or an embasy.

    Oh, I will have to warn you that most people do not understand these products and why they are different from most windows and doors (which affects the price). Thus the reps will want to give you a presentation on them. Plan for an hour or two depending on your questions. Just like diamonds - you need to be educated before you understand what you are getting for your money. Thermal gard is not selling on price - they are selling on quality and features. Interestingly, I have seen some national companies who charge more for lessor quality products (Sears is one of them).

    Hope this helps.

    I should also mention for those so inclined. A short barreled shotgun makes a fine home defense weapon (with phenominal intimidation factor). You will have to have resolve to use it (body language) if appropriatly threatened. Handguns require more training.

    However, you are probably better off without a firearm if you are not convinced that you could shoot someone if really threatened. Takeaways are common amoung people who only think that they have to wave a weapon without the intent to use it. Then the weapon will probably be used on you.

    Perry
     
  22. MichelleCarmen
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    by MichelleCarmen » Dec 13, 2005
    A not exactly similar but still scary incident happened to me. . . a person affilated w/the apartment complex I lived in had keys and tried to get into my apartment while I was inside! This was when I was 22 years old. . .so, from then until my husband and I bought our first house five years ago, I ALWAYS changed the locks on the apartments and houses I/we rented.
     
  23. Sparkster
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    by Sparkster » Dec 13, 2005
    I don''t own a lot of jewellery. The pieces that I do, I wear and don''t leave at home.

    My mum is holding on to a lot of jewellery for when us girls get married. She keeps it in a safe deposit box in a bank, along with other valuable items and the title to her house. Mum''s really paranoid about stuff like that. When I lived with mum, we disturbed a burglar who broke into our house while we were sleeping. It was just mum, my sister and I (my father had passed away by then and my brother had moved out). The burglar hightailed it out of our home when my mum confronted them but it scared the living daylights out of us. Mum installed bars on all the windows because of it.

    My sister was in year 12 that year (Australian last year of high school) and it happened on the night before her English final exam.
     
  24. websailor
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    by websailor » Dec 13, 2005
    There is a great show on Discovery Channel about this very subject - It Takes A Thief

    I like watching this show, but it is kinda sickening to see how unsecure most peoples homes are. What is even more amazing is that some of the people don't learn/adjust even after the show.....

    Here is the synopsis:

    Enter It Takes a Thief, a unique new Discovery Channel series that offers viewers something they've never seen before: a home burglary performed by convicted former thieves that is taped as it happens, followed by a lesson in what steps to take to prevent such a violation from occurring again.

    Hosted by reformed ex-cons Matt Johnston and Jon Douglas Rainey, It Takes a Thief exposes home-security flaws by unleashing these two uniquely qualified experts onto the properties of people interested in learning just how vulnerable their houses are, if at all. Watch along with the homeowners themselves as the burglars size up, break in, and ransack the home in search of valuables. And in so doing, discover what items are attractive — and why — to a burglar.

    Then, sit back as our experts give the property a full home-security makeover, reworking everything from locks to landscaping. How foolproof will these new measures be? Homeowners and viewers alike will find out when Matt and Jon pay an unannounced visit some weeks later to test them. Will they get in this time?

    Find out on It Takes a Thief on Discovery Channel, weekdays at 5 p.m. ET/PT. Because sometimes you have to rob a person blind in order to open their eyes.


    The link has the show schedule on it and a brief list of the episodes.
     
  25. perry
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    by perry » Dec 13, 2005
    One warning about changing locks in an appartment complex.

    You are probably not getting a new pin set with a new pattern. You are probably getting the lock that they took from appartment 211 when those people wanted to get rekeyed. That lock probably came from 107, which came from 345, etc.

    Appartment complexes do not like having to actually develope a new pinned lock, and cut new keys. What they want to do is just take the keys from tag and hang them on a tag with a differnt number. Much cheaper that way. Most appartment complexes have a couple of "spare" locksets just so they can continue with a constant swap program when people ask their lock to be rekeyed.

    Thus, if someone has copies of the keys.... They may well have your "newly rekeyed" lock.

    Being a resident manager was so educating... Since I worked in a property owned by one of the largest landlords in the City - I was able to go "rekey" locks in other properties too (including one of the most excusive appartmetn complexes in town - with really really nice appartments).

    I definietly recommend having a locksmith rekey your house when you move in. Who knows who has keys.

    Concerning the story of the person sneaking in and putting on cloths. Not that uncommon. In most properties I am sure I could do it without having a key. In many casses I would not even need to pick the lock (which I can do if needed on most locks).

    One thing I should warn people of - in older houses (most pre 1980). The tricks you see in movies about people opening doors with only a credit card or butter knife .... are true(Sometimes you need a piece of wire or a sharp pointed knife). Unless, of course - you have upgraded your hardware.


    Perry
     
  26. Momoftwo
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    by Momoftwo » Dec 13, 2005
    The fact is and police will tell you this, if someone wants to get into your home, they will. I''m alone a few days every month. I just set the alarm and go to sleep. You can only worry about so much and I have to get up for work at 5:30. I know a former neighbor who got into her house with a credit card. It was very easy. The best deterrents are trimmed bushes, nosy neighbors and a home that looks like someone''s there. Alarms are not a problem for professional thiefs. But, professionals are looking for high end items, i.e., expensive upper end jewelry, high end sound equipment, good silver, gold etc. Most people don''t own those items. That''s the kind of thefts that happen in upscale neighborhoods. Most of us, no matter how nice and large our homes are don''t fit this profile. You just have to do what you can by locking up and being aware by watching your area and being a "nosy" neighbor. That''s how a lot of thiefs are caught in the act.
     
  27. MichelleCarmen
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    by MichelleCarmen » Dec 13, 2005
    Back when I was renting, I always changed the locks on my own. I went to the hardware store, purchased a lock, had boyfriend/husband install. The point is to prevent the person renting to you from entering with a key, so you make sure this doesn''t happen by taking the initiative.
     
  28. Ann
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    by Ann » Dec 13, 2005
    this was in Houston, right?

    I keep all my doors locked when I''m alone at home and the alarm on most of the time. As far as I know we have never had a breakin in my area. I know golf clubs have been stolen out of open garages, but not robberies, or at least not yet!
    And being in the home building business, Perry is right on target with his suggestions. Most homes are built with (IMHO) substandard locks.
     
  29. strmrdr
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    by strmrdr » Dec 13, 2005
    nuff said.

    6861.jpg
     
  30. strmrdr
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    by strmrdr » Dec 13, 2005
    nuff said p2.

    safe101.jpg
     
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