Colligan writes of a new show on the Discovery Channel called It Takes a Thief. Here is the basic layout of the show; a homeowner gives permission to two rehabilitated burglars to try to break and enter into their home. The production crew place cameras all around the premises, both inside and outside the house, and the burglars are to break into the house sometime within the next several days, with the homeowners unknowledgeable of exactly when the break in will occur. After they break in, the show’s host helps the family realize just what went wrong. Douglas Rainey (a reformed burglar) has attempted almost 60 burglaries through the show and has successfully executed every one. According to the FBI, in every 15 seconds in the United States, a burglary is committed, most of these being residential burglaries. This common crime can create a financial burden too, with the average loss around $1,600.00, and most of these valuables are never recovered. What is even more disturbing is just how sinister these burglars can be. Often times, break-ins occur during the daytime, with July and August being the most popular months of the year. Let’s not forget that these are months when most children are home on summer vacation. According to Frank Santamoreana, the security advisor of It Takes a Thief, Burglars will target the houses that seem to be unoccupied. He advises homeowners to take your name off of your mailbox. It is all too easy for a burglar to get your number through information, call your house, and know when you are usually home or not, giving them a window of opportunity to break in. Often times, burglars will ring the doorbell. Try setting a radio or a television to a timer to create sound effects in the house if you are not going to be there. Also, if you are going on vacation, have someone such as a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
Another security measure to take is not to keep expensive items that you might own at a visible distance. The nice car or boat you have, keep in the garage. Any boxes or cartons from expensive appliances break down and dispose of. Another precaution homeowners often overlook is locking their windows or leaving a spare key under the door matt or “fake” rock by the front door. About one-third of all break- ins occur through an unlocked door or window. For about $60.00 to $ 100.00 you can switch your standard lock and key door knobs for keyless entry. Also, be sure and adjust the code of your electric garage door from the code set by the manufacture, making it difficult for someone to break in using a widely used brand of opener.Some final bits of advice; be sure and get an alarm. If you don’t have one, your house has a three times greater chance of being burglarized. Also, be sure and have a powerful lock, such as a deadbolt. And, if you have a safe, make sure that it is secured to the floor with bolts. At the end of the show, the participating homeowners are given another chance to secure their home. Still, the reformed burglars succeed in breaking in yet another 40 percent of the time. What really matters in the end is the homeowners’ attitude change. It does not register with many residents that they are susceptible to burglary.