Every year when the FBI releases crime stats for the U.S., we learn that some types of crime go down, while others either stay constant, or even go up. And it’s been shown in recent years that the form of crime least likely to drop is residential crime, such as home burglaries.
There is some good news: we do keep learning more about how burglars operate, such as what they steal, how they gain entry, and even how they think. Using this valuable knowledge, there is hope that we can reduce residential crime rates -- which today show that a burglary happens roughly every 14 seconds in the U.S.
Today’s post addresses an increasingly common burglar tactic: knocking on doors to see if anyone is home, then breaking in. And this happens in all kinds of neighborhoods, as reported in this news report from Mesa County, Colorado.
Will your house be the target of thieves this year? Data from the FBI 2012 Crime Report shows there were over 2 million burglaries in the United States, with nearly 75% occurring on residential properties. And there's a new tactic right here in the valley, burglars may be using to break into your home.
What Burglars Are Up To
Angel Lobato was alarmed when she saw something out of the ordinary in her neighborhood. “A black blazer that drove in the cul de sac, very slowly and I was watching him through the window, and he was looking at the houses and he did that three times," said Lobato. Lobato never saw the driver of the suspicious vehicle, but his actions were enough to make her wary. “I made sure all the doors were locked and all the window were locked, because some of them were left open," said Lobato.
Burglars Using New Tactic
Burglars are using a new tactic to rob homes. The way it works is, they drive around looking for houses to break into, then one of the suspects approaches the house and rings the doorbell or knocks, waits a second or two to see if a dog barks or anyone responds and then returns to their car. “They'll knock at the door and if you don't answer, then they mark your house somehow and then come back and rob it," said Lobato.
Police Make Recommendations
Mesa County Sheriff's Office Officials recommend not answering your door for anyone you don't know. Lobato says she's taking extra caution around her home, and will report any suspicious activity in her neighborhood. “I'm definitely watching who's walking outside, what cars are driving by, and when I go to the mailbox now I'm definitely taking my phone just in case anything does happen," said Lobato.
Also Beware Thieves Posing as Sales Reps
In Mesa County, there have been recent reports of suspicious salesman, who knock on people's doors and try to sell them something. We also spoke with some people who say the ‘self-proclaimed salesmen’ have come to their door, they're very aggressive and don't carry personal identification. At this time, Fruita Police Department Officials say the suspicious salesman haven't been tied to any area burglaries, but has asked them to stop. Still, they recommend you call police if you see any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
What You Can Do
I wish there were a reference to monitored home security in this article. When you are at work or away, and even when you are at home, you still want to know that your home is protected. It’s hard for us to understand why only one in five US homes has a monitored home security system – especially when today’s technology allows these systems to do so much more.
Protected… and Connected
For instance, with a wireless system you can have safer cellular monitoring, remote arm/disarm, text and email notifications on events in the home, video services, free mobile apps, and even home automation, for controlling lights, locks and thermostats.
It’s logical to do everything you can so your home is not a target, even to the random intruder. You can start with installing a monitored alarm system. Your peace of mind is worth a lot. Don’t worry about who might be knocking on your door when you’re not home!