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Burglary Victim in Sacramento, CA Warns Neighbors in Unique Way

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March 27, 2012
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Burglary Victim in Sacramento, CA Warns Neighbors in Unique Way

When I posted on the rise in copper theft just last week, I mentioned that FrontPoint systems protect many homes undergoing construction or renovation – especially since FrontPoint uses safer cellular monitoring, so no phone line is required. In addition to copper, thieves are after appliances, tools, and even building materials.

And when burglars do hit your home while you are remodeling, what’s the best way to let your neighbors know? Seems a man in the Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California has a novel approach:

Seven words on a yard sign have started neighbors talking. After appliances and tools were stolen last weekend from the Land Park house he is remodeling on Freeport Boulevard just south of Broadway, Paul Kreutz put up a large plywood sign in the front yard. Painted on it is the message: "Caution. Our home was robbed. Be aware!"

Victim Wants to Raise Awareness

"Our thinking was to: one, warn neighbors, and two, maybe to be a nice deterrent," said Kreutz, who began work on the house, a repo, last summer. He left the house about 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 with the intention of installing a new washer and dryer in the utility room the next day. When he returned the following morning, the appliances, along with a tarp and some tools, were missing.

How They Got in

A kitchen window had been pried open to gain entry after the burglars apparently were unable to open another window at the rear of the house. Kreutz said it would have taken at least two people to move the appliances, and he estimated his loss was about $2,000.

Here’s my very popular blog that describes where burglars break in: you may want to read it and think about how vulnerable your own might be.

Lights Help – but They’re not Enough

The house is vacant, there are no window coverings and Kreutz said he leaves the lights on inside at night. That means burglars can see what is inside, but neighbors and passers-by can observe any suspicious activity.

Police Need to Know

After Kreutz posted the sign, neighbors told him of a burglary at another home down the street. Other residents reported the theft of porch furniture and tools from a toolbox in a truck. But several people told Kreutz that they had not reported the thefts to police. "I told them, 'You have to report it,' " Kreutz said. Police concur. It is important to report even what might be considered minor thefts, said Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit. "If they don't report them, when we run our stats, those numbers don't come up and we don't know where to put our resources," Pettit said. Often, he said, one person is responsible for a number of thefts or burglaries, and catching that individual can greatly reduce crime in a neighborhood, he said.

The Sign Worked

The yard sign attracted the attention of a Sacramento police officer who stopped by to talk about the burglary. Kreutz said the officer told him police would try to provide extra patrols in the neighborhood.

It’s rare that a burglary victim makes the kind of statement that Mr. Kreutz shared with his neighbors, but we like his style and sense of community spirit. Of course, it would be nice if the story made some mention of a burglar alarm system – since we also know that burglars come back to steal again, unless there is a strong deterrent. With a home intrusion taking place every 14 seconds in the US, we could all benefit from more peace of mind – especially if it comes with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. You can even set up your FrontPoint system yourself, in about half an hour, and move it when you move. FrontPoint systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat.

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