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Home Security Update – Old Burglar's Trick is Coming Back

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May 3, 2011
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Home Security Update – Old Burglar's Trick is Coming Back

You know you’re getting on in years when something you remember from long ago circulates back into the news. It somewhat like the cycle of fashion – I’ve been wearing my “aviator” sunglasses for so long, they’ve come back into style. In this case, the topic that has come around again is a ploy once used by burglars in my childhood neighborhood to gain access to a neighbor’s home: the “ruse” method. And I have just the story, from this recent report out of a Chicago, IL suburb, to illustrate my point.

A man had his home in northwest suburban Buffalo Grove ransacked by a burglar while he was distracted by a second man posing as a new neighbor. Buffalo Grove police are warning residents about “ruse burglaries” in which two or more conmen work together to create a distraction while a crime is committed.

How it Works

The resident said he was approached by a man around noon Monday at his Twin Oaks Court home, according to a police release. The conman told the resident his parents had purchased an adjacent home, and he wanted to build a fence between the homes, police said. He kept the resident distracted for about 10 minutes talking about the fence while a burglar entered the house.

Most of us are trusting souls, so we want to take what we are told at face value. The sad truth is that we need to be extra-vigilant these days, when burglaries are on the rise in so many jurisdictions, and the bad guys are using new (or old) methods to separate you from your property. In our own neighborhood in DC, my wife and I regularly remind each other that some of the people coming to our door are probably not who they say they are – and thus we are more careful, even though we do have a state-of-the-art monitored alarm system.

What was Stolen

About 30 minutes after the man left, the resident walked up to the second-floor bedroom and found the bed covers in disarray and jewelry boxes scattered on the bed. Several pieces of jewelry were missing, police said.

In this case the perps were long gone, the police had no leads, and the crime remains unsolved. And it makes sense that the bedroom is what was targeted, since that’s where jewelry is usually kept. Remember the big three: cash, jewelry, and electronics. Add in guns and prescription medicines, and you have the perfect list of what burglars target.

Since we track crime reports and statistics from all across the country, it’s easy for us to recognize repeated tactics when they occur. The ruse burglary is just the latest such trend, with reported incidents from coast to coast (and plenty of locales in between). It could be a tradesman offering to do work, who takes you around the house to look at the foundation. It could be someone knocking on your door to ask directions, or asking for a fictitious person at your address – anything to distract you for as long as it takes the other person to rob you.

Being wise to the ways of the burglar is important – and while protecting against the ruse may not be one of FrontPoint’s Top 10 Home Security Tips, it’s still a good tactic to know. Anything that increases your safety, security, and peace of mind is important to us. We’re the #1 ranked alarm company in the US – and we earned that top spot with best technology, value, and customer satisfaction that leaves the others far behind. These days, you even have to worry about some of the alarm salesman coming to your door! That’s why smart shoppers choose FrontPoint – just read the reviews, and you’ll want a FrontPoint system too.

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