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Thread: Housbreaking with occupants at home growing

  1. #1

    Housbreaking with occupants at home growing

    Incidents of house breakings where residents are surprised by perpetrators while they are relaxing at home are becoming more common. A Direct Insurer wrote as follows:

    “Robbers are becoming more brazen. We are noticing a definite upward trend in the number of incidents where houses are robbed when people are home. Typically, people are surprised at night, just before bedtime, or while sleeping. This modus operandi was apparent in the recent spate of house robberies in KwaZulu-Natal,”.

    “Insurance claims information is often a good indicator of what’s happening out there. Our claims data also shows that the value of losses has increased steadily in the past two years. Commonly, it is easily-portable goods that are stolen such as jewellery, electronics, computers, laptops, money and firearms. In some instances, vehicles are also stolen during a house robbery.

    “Reports suggest that criminals work in organised gangs. In one incident, the residents of the home were held hostage by a few perpetrators while the rest of the gang made off with stolen goods and the family car. It was only once the hostage takers had been notified by their accomplices that the vehicle had crossed the border that the residents of the home were freed.

    Insurers believe that burglars face a number of obstacles during conventional burglaries such as activated alarms, locked security gates and beams. When people are home, their guard is down, and security is sometimes neglected – making it easier for robbers to gain entry.

    “Just as car thieves have taken to hi-jacking vehicles because it’s easier to overpower car occupants than it is steal a locked car fitted with all the latest security devices, so house robbers seem to consider it easier and less risky to break into a home when people are there than when the house is securely locked up and the alarms are on,” they say.

    SAPS information points to this criminal mindset. According to analyses by the police, and published in SAPS annual reports, 75% of home robberies occur at night. In 56% of cases, robbers gained access to the homes by forcing the victims to let them in. In over 40% of cases, the perpetrators gained access to the premises and surprised the victims, and in 4% of cases, the victims were tricked into allowing the robbers into the home, not realizing they were criminals.

    Insurers urge people to remain security conscious at all times – even when they are relaxing at home, and when they retire for the day. The most vulnerable time is between 21:00 and midnight.

    “Invest in the best security you can afford such as electric fencing, beams, security gates, and an alarm system. Use them! They are good deterrents. Make sure all windows throughout your home are closed and that security gates are locked at night. For your safety and the safety of your loved ones, fit a strong security gate so as to block off the sleeping quarters from the rest of the house,” he advises.

    They also recommend the following:

    · Fit all access doors with security gates and install burglar bars on windows.
    · Cutaway tree branches and remove other things that could be used as leverage for getting into the house.
    · Install an alarm system to provide an early warning of a security breach.
    · Sign up with a reputable armed response company if you aren’t signed up with one already.
    · Make panic buttons (linked to your security provider) readily available around your home.
    · Install motion detection security lighting on the outside of your home and in your garden.
    · Get to know your neighbours and exchange phone numbers. Be in contact with them should you see or hear anything suspicious.
    · Conduct thorough checks on the domestic workers and gardeners your employ. Ask for IDs so that you can make copies. Check their previous employment references and do security clearances at the police. House robberies are very often based on inside information.
    · Never open the door to anyone you are not expecting. Robbers are known to use a ruse or impersonation to get you to open the door.
    · Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places - burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
    · If you are surprised by a robber in your home, try to stay calm and don’t resist. The 2012 National Victims of Crime Survey (NVCS) survey found that people who resist are more likely to suffer injuries. Your possessions can be replaced but your life cannot be. Hit the panic button and call the police as soon as you are safely able to do so.
    PHIL COOPER
    Phil Cooper Insurance Brokers (Pty) Limited
    198 Jutlander Road, Beaulieu, Midrand.
    PO Box 31114. Kyalami, 1684.
    (P) 011-702-1328 (F) 011-702-1360 (C) 082-903-4754
    www.philcooper.co.za
    Authorised Financial Services Provider - Licence No. 17239

  2. #2
    Senior Member Subscriber Sharon's Avatar
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    Last week I went to my other home in KZN to address a SARS ‘issue’.. and watch a couple of tests etc

    I went to sleep around 1am on Monday morning and was not happy to be woken up by Fluffy barking just after 3. I yelled ‘SHUTUP!!!’ and lay in bed resisting the idea of letting them out and as my brain was registering that this was ‘not happy’ barking I heard a thud in front of my bedroom window.. footsteps and saw lights (torch) flashing around.

    I got to the window just in time to see a figure and dog vanishing around the corner of the bottom flat. Fluffy and Dexter were going crazy – they sleep inside in the sleeping section of the house (we lock down). Craig and I met in the passage – I said : There’s someone in the yard; he said : Did you hear the shots?

    We didn’t see or hear anything else. Twenty minutes later, my tenant sms’d to ask if I was awake. He had let the guy and dog – cop – out the main gate. En route they had found the top flat door and lock bashed in, and the place ransacked. A window onto the driveway was open so they must have been checking to see if it was safe to leave. The flat is used for lighting and storage. They smashed open an old petty cash tin that had a few coppers in it. The key was lost years ago.

    In the morning we found that they’d been inside the bottom flat (empty) and defecated on the floor using the Yellow Pages to wipe their butts.. ignoring the perfectly sound wc and 2ply babysoft roll. PIGS!!!! Sub-humans!!!

    Apparently 14 shots were fired in total and besides the criminals and cops, the entire neighbourhood watch had been through our garden! One suspect shot and caught, 3 escaped.

    The scariest part is not knowing when they were in the flats and for how long? The main geyser in the house was leaking and tripping the DB so Craig had been showering in the bottom flat. Last thing at night I stand on the patio checking out the stars and the quiet and utter darkness compared to Jhb while the dogs do their thing.. For the rest of the week I stood inside the lounge door holding the security gate and ready to slam it!

    The geyser was fixed that Monday, then on Thursday my tenant reversed into a tap and the water was switched off for the day until we could fix that. The pressure change/something? took out the geyser again!!! We then linked the 2 two geysers, added 3 stopcocks and now if one goes, we can switch and feed off the other so it’s an intelligent setup.

    My biggest fear is criminals in the house when we’re there. If they want my stuff, they must take it when we’re not there!

    We tried to setup a neighbourhood watch some years ago.. no-one was interested! With the increase in crime – house breakings – we apparently have an EXCELLENT group running now, all linked on whatsapp.

    Who woulda thunk I’d feel safer in Jhb!! (not on the roads, but in my little home in an estate - altho there have been breakins here too.. but unoccupied houses) Just worry about my children..
    Sharon

    Courage is not about having the strength to go on.. it's about going on when you DON'T have the strength!

  3. #3
    The speed with which the b&ggers do it is breathtaking. My son had a break in at his small suburban house in Upper Primrose. With armed alarm and beams in the garden. At 0900 hrs on a weekday. The burglars obviously triggered the beams iin the garden, but carried on regardless, jimmed a security gate, kicked in the front door, grabbed the goodies (huge flat-screen TV, decoder and a couple of other bits and bobs) and scarpered back over the wall and into a getaway car. Five minutes at most? The neighbour, on hearing the alarm, roused himself to take a look, and managed only to see the getaway car haring down the road. Luckily nobody was home.....

  4. #4
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    They are also accessing houses through the roof, so beams in your roof are a good idea. Palisade fencing is a better option than high walls as then the property is visible to passers by
    Judith
    Software Africa Sales Director
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Subscriber Sharon's Avatar
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    Well now that I get all the neighbourhoodwatch notices - holy cow!!!

    It's not causing me to panic, but makes me grateful that people are so observant. Guys are hopping walls.. on roofs . The response is incredible.

    5 dogs were poisoned in 2 days - we were immediately sent details of the poison and pictures of what it looks like. So sad! I hope someone shoots the bastards!!
    Sharon

    Courage is not about having the strength to go on.. it's about going on when you DON'T have the strength!

  6. #6
    In Irene, Pretoria, they have 'wall runners'!

    The garden walls in Irene are mostly built from stone and are therefore so thick they are wide enough to run on. Enterprising thieves therefore hop on a wall on the outskirts of Irene and can cross the entire village avoiding dog's, alarms, etc!
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  7. #7
    Yep had my break in on the 27th while I was overseas.
    Broke the gear rack of my sliding gate with a crow bar, as they could not lift the gate, cos the idiot who made the gate simply welded a few flat bars from the gate to the rail, so a strong fellow with a crow bar was able to break the flat bar and slide the gate open.
    They then proceeded to break the lock on the front door security gate, but decided not to enter via the front door - duno why. They inserted a crow bar between the gate and frame, and proceed to bend the gate against the frame and outward. Ensure that the area in which the lock is situated, has at least 500mm up and down of the lock position a flat bar on the outside of the gate to ensure they can not do this, my one was only a few centimeters long, allowing enough leverage to break the lock.

    They then proceeded to break through the wooden side door of the house, again by using the crow bar to break through the wood, then damaged the security door on the kitchen, same method as described above, and through mu thick kitchen wooden door.

    Once they opened the kitchen door, my alarm went off, but they still proceeded into the house and grabbed my Samsung 46inch LCD TV, and rushed out damaging the fridge door in their rush.

    We have a security look out in our street, and when he heard the alarm he came running from down the street, to see them speeding away in a blue golf.Chubb pitched up a couple of minutes later, with the cops just behind them.
    That same morning around the same time 11H00, there was another 3 break ins around the neighborhood.

    Oh well, it gave me an opportunity to get a later version TV.
    Total damage, around R30K, waiting for insurance to send me papers to fill in.

    I think this is a planned attack, as the monitoring companies can not attend to all the alarms.
    Victor

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Vine View Post

    I think this is a planned attack, as the monitoring companies can not attend to all the alarms.
    And yet burglar alarms go off all day long with no attention paid to them. When did you last look up when an alarm went off?

    All these false alarms make the jobs of security companies and the police very difficult.

  9. #9
    I only pay attention to the alarms of my immediate neighbours.

    Except the alarms of my neighbour across the road whose alarm goes off every hour at least and whose alarm I completely ignore...
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  10. #10
    A few months ago our new neighbours were burgled in the middle of the day. I heard loud thuds and reacted immediately, and so did the people on the other side of their property. Their alarm wasn't on so the security company was phoned to come and assist which they did....fairly quickly. We all then stayed at the gate of the property to wait for the owners to return and assisted with securing the damaged gates and security doors with locks and chains from our own doors, leaving us vulnerable...but it was done for their peace of mind. Their repayment for the prompt assistance of all of us.......their alarm now goes off several times a day and night, they trigger the alarm every time they leave and re-enter their property. Their dogs bark all day and all night.......The mind boggles!!!

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