It’s Halloween: a time for trick-or-treating, fall festivals, haunted houses, and fun! Despite the jovial nature of this holiday, some people – like burglars – leverage it to trick unsuspecting victims.
Hidden by darkness and increased activity in residential and business areas, a burglar can sneak by undetected. It’s difficult to spot suspicious activity with little goblins, ghosts and masked crusaders running around, but paying extra attention tonight is beneficial to the safety of others and yourself.
Despite the advantages that Halloween may give burglars, petty criminals are not the brightest bunch. We've rounded up a few costumed criminals that weren't able to squeak by unnoticed.
The Ghost Burglar
Anniston, Alabama: A “ghost” broke into a liquor store and was caught on tape running around. While he was attempting to rob the store, nothing was believed to have been stolen.
The intrusion seemed harmless -- the cops were even humorous about it, referring to the criminal as from the spirit realm. However, the incident shows how a simple costume was able to thwart the police from identifying a potential burglar. Multiple images from security cameras captured the intruder running around, but were unable to get a distinct look at a face. On Halloween, it’s incredibly easy for costumed burglars to walk around without drawing attention as wearing a mask is not suspicious.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A college student wearing a Spider-Man costume entered a store and yelled, “How much money you got?” The store clerk brought out a stun gun and Spider-Man ran. He was arrested shortly after.
Although nothing was stolen and it didn't appear to be a planned robbery, it’s not smart to yell out potential threats, especially while masked. Many store-owners or employees may be extra cautious on Halloween, anticipating antics like these.
While costumes are the main theme of Halloween, some burglars ignore them and choose to emulate their favorite characters through action. A masked man in Manhattan was inspired by Spider-Man as he used fire escapes and air conditioning units to climb into windows of apartments.
We've cautioned before and we’ll continue to warn you: lock all windows, including those not on the ground level. Whether it’s the top floor of a high-rise or a garden apartment, it pays to make sure all windows are locked and secured. For the ultimate protection, a wireless security system with door and window sensors is best.
Thor to the Rescue
Burglars aren't the only ones that can benefit from a costume. In 2009, a man in Scotland dressed up as Thor for a party and came back to find a burglar in his house. Fortunately, the man was still wearing his costume, and the burglar was terrified. He quickly fled the premises.
It’s nice to see the tables turned! However, if it can be avoided, never confront a burglar. They are unpredictable and there’s no telling how they will react when they’re caught. Only your possessions are at risk; please don’t jeopardize your safety.
Have Fun, Be Safe
The best defense is often a good offense. While you’re enjoying yourself tonight, be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. You never know who or what could be creeping around the corner! In addition, remember to arm your home security system. A costume may fool the human eye, but it can’t a fool a home alarm system.
If you’d like a comprehensive list on how to keep others and yourself safe this Halloween, refer to our Top Halloween Home Safety Tips. There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that you, your family, and your home stay safe.
From everyone at the FrontPoint family, Happy Halloween! Try not to eat too much candy tonight.