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Old 01-19-2016, 05:51 PM
 
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The ADT service does not include video cameras, just alerting PD after something happens. I want to keep criminals from even trying in the first place. We had motion detector lights at our old house, and that is one thing we will add here. I am interested in also adding two or three videocams to record who comes sniffing around when they think nobody is here.

Again, the neighbors are decent people. They are not the type to watch the neighborhood for shady types, though. It is a touristy area, with not only car-based tourists visiting the park nearby, but people both tourist and local walking daily through the local paths and streets. I wish we had some of those infamous nosy old neighbors watching who goes by! No need to do much except give the streets a rep for keeping eyes on hinky stuff.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:55 PM
 
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I should add in reply to the insinuations this is a nasty community, you are wrong on that count. It is, however, a heavily-visited, liberal community that is far too forgiving of behaviors that would not be tolerated elsewhere. The part of town where I live has had very little crime but in the last few months there were three homes hit in one small area. Probably all done by the same criminal(s), but so far nobody has been arrested for those.

Meanwhile, yet another transient from out of state did get caught for some other crimes.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:07 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
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You can also leave a radio on and keep it tuned to talk radio. Supposedly that's better than playing music, since it'll sound like there are people in the house having a conversation.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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We stay at our vacation house three or four months out of the year. That means one house is empty eight or nine months out of the year, and the other three or four months of the year. Both houses have:

1) Neighbors at both locations and home watch service at vacation house who watch out for us, pick up flyers left on driveway, door or doorstep, mistakenly delivered packages, etc. Neighbors at primary residence also use our garbage and recycle bins while we're gone to make it look like we're home
2) Honeywell alarm systems with remote access, and alarm company stickers near at all perimeter locations. Exterior siren/strobe visible from street along with visible arming status light. I arm with zero delay when we leave for extended periods, since I can disarm with my phone or a key fob.
3) Ring video doorbells
4) Multiple visible security cameras and warning stickers
5) Exterior dusk-to-dawn lights plus motion-activated security lights
6) Interior light and "Fake TV" on timers, with some added randomness of +/- a few minutes
7) Zip-tie the garage door opener emergency release so it can't be released w/o cutting the zip tie, plus stick a rod through the track when we're gone for extended periods.

I try to make our homes look less attractive to burglars than neighboring homes. I don't agree with the theory that it makes us more of a target, because it makes potential burglars think we have things worth stealing.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,672 posts, read 3,649,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
I should add in reply to the insinuations this is a nasty community, you are wrong on that count. It is, however, a heavily-visited, liberal community that is far too forgiving of behaviors that would not be tolerated elsewhere. The part of town where I live has had very little crime but in the last few months there were three homes hit in one small area. Probably all done by the same criminal(s), but so far nobody has been arrested for those.

Meanwhile, yet another transient from out of state did get caught for some other crimes.

Your neighbors may well be good, decent people. But if they are the type who believe that the police are racist oppressive agents of The Man, while the thieves are nothing more than poor, misunderstood youth who are just trying to turn their lives around, then they (the neighbors) are basically worthless as crime deterrents.

Short of moving, and doing what you've already done, there's really not much more you can do. If you are leaving your car behind when you travel, make sure to hide the keys, so the thieves don't drive off with your car. Perhaps something like this could help:

2 Pack of Book Safes, Diversion Safes made with Real Books - Hollow Book - Amazon.com
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:42 AM
 
5,436 posts, read 2,830,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Zero View Post
You can also leave a radio on and keep it tuned to talk radio. Supposedly that's better than playing music, since it'll sound like there are people in the house having a conversation.
Good idea, if it is on a timer.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:11 PM
 
5,436 posts, read 2,830,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediocreButArrogant View Post
We stay at our vacation house three or four months out of the year. That means one house is empty eight or nine months out of the year, and the other three or four months of the year. Both houses have:

1) Neighbors at both locations and home watch service at vacation house who watch out for us, pick up flyers left on driveway, door or doorstep, mistakenly delivered packages, etc. Neighbors at primary residence also use our garbage and recycle bins while we're gone to make it look like we're home
2) Honeywell alarm systems with remote access, and alarm company stickers near at all perimeter locations. Exterior siren/strobe visible from street along with visible arming status light. I arm with zero delay when we leave for extended periods, since I can disarm with my phone or a key fob.
3) Ring video doorbells
4) Multiple visible security cameras and warning stickers
5) Exterior dusk-to-dawn lights plus motion-activated security lights
6) Interior light and "Fake TV" on timers, with some added randomness of +/- a few minutes
7) Zip-tie the garage door opener emergency release so it can't be released w/o cutting the zip tie, plus stick a rod through the track when we're gone for extended periods.

I try to make our homes look less attractive to burglars than neighboring homes. I don't agree with the theory that it makes us more of a target, because it makes potential burglars think we have things worth stealing.
Thank you for that thoughtful reply.

This is our only home, so the risk of being burglarized is less due to more time occupying it. One troubling factor is that a new house with out-of-state "immigrants" tends to be lumped into the category of "rich" even though we are not, and even though it is not a second home. (There are plenty in this town.) I have actually heard comments made that "All YOU people coming here from X and Y are rich", which was ridiculous since he knows nothing about either our assets or the other couple he alluded to.

I only recently put on two ADT stickers despite having had them a long time ago. We prefer to not stick out (most people do not have any alarm system) but I have decided it is better to warn away intruders in the first place. The outdoor lights can be set for dusk to dawn with auto activation but I detest all-night lighting, so it will be motion detectors instead. I know those things at a neighbor's garage get MY attention when they are triggered.

One thing I wish we had done was to get the ADT outdoor siren instead of just the indoor one. We had an outdoor one at our old (rural) home and I worried that a false alarm in this more closely settled neighborhood would be too annoying here. I am beginning to not care about that, frankly.

Sticking a rod in the garage door track is a great idea! We already do that for a sliding porch door, in addition to the normal lock. That site would be a prime location for both motion detector lights and videocam.

OK, so set a radio on a timer, add 4 MD lights, add 2 or 3 videocams, put rods in garage door tracks. I'll keep stuyding what else to do that doesn't cost a lot.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:29 PM
 
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bus man, we NEVER leave keys in the cars or outside or in view indoors. There is one car parked outside, and if we take a road trip no cars are outside. Sometimes people would ask if we had been away when my husband took it for a business trip. Hopefully, I have disabused them of that assumption by being obviously here when no car is in the driveway. I walk a lot anyway, so nobody can assume absence or presence based on cars or lights alone. The garage doors lack windows, something I had to practically fight the architect over.

The neighbors themselves probably do not have the anti-police attitude. I don't think most people in town do. But the kneejerk types are loud, strident, and demanding, so it would not surprise me if law enforcement treads very carefully to avoid getting screamed at about "harrassing the unfortunate." A park ranger was evicting a bum camper from an illegal camp when she saw us approaching to see what was going on. Her immediate greeting was, "Please don't give him things or help him. I know people here want to be nice to them..." We told her we were GLAD they were evicting him and we would never interfere.

This is the negative aspect of being nonconfrontational. Some behaviors should be confronted (or reported to LE), and without fear of revenge.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:40 PM
 
389 posts, read 270,074 times
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A gal I know used to volunteer at the regional prison, working with inmates to improve literacy.

She related that the first thing a burglar looks for is signs of a teenage boy. Raging male hormones mean totally unpredictable behavior. Thieves do not want to tangle with teenage boys. Signs include
*a basketball hoop
*large, worn, smelly sneakers near the back door (where mum puts the shoes out with the cat at night)
*other sports equipment appropriate for older boys

The second thing burglars look for is evidence of a large dog. A "beware of dog" sign is OK. Huge choke collars, large water dishes, and big metal chains are better. Place at front and back doors and move around frequently.

I have an "in case of fire" animal alert sign on my door for firefighters. I checked "dog." I want firefighters to save my pug. I want burglars to assume I have a doberman or rottie.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:51 PM
 
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Maybe a MD unit that triggers a recording of a big barking dog combined with your bowls?

I went by a house elsewhere with a sign that prompted, SMILE! You're being recorded.
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