We did complete change of locks, windows, deadlocks…. even a skylight lock on a house in St Kilda last April as the owner had had their keys stolen. Not only had they had their keys stolen… they had had almost all their valuable possessions stolen as well. By someone they had invited into their home. It happened like this.
They had recently bought a new entertainment system. One with the works. Large screen LED screen TV, high quality stereo and speakers, gaming centre – it sounded pretty awesome… and they said it also SOUNDED AWESOME!
Their old system was still serviceable, so they advertised it for sale in the local paper. They made the mistake of saying it was a good system they were only selling as they’d upgraded. Big mistake. Telling strangers you have two quality entertainment systems in your house and they are welcome to come and check them out. And your house too – to see how easy it is to break into.
A number of people came to look at the system, some seemed genuine, one seemed not so interested. He was more interested in looking at the roof and asking about the owners work. Day job? Out much? The house owners were immediately suspicious, and over the next few days ensured the house was properly locked, deadlocked doors, locked windows, Tv let on blaring to make it appear someone was at home etc,.
They still got robbed and lost both systems plus a lot more stuff.
The crook came back when they weren’t at home and entered the property through the roof. It was just a matter of pulling off a few tiles, then slipping through the manhole. Sure, all the windows and doors were deadlocked, but there was a spare set of keys hanging on a latch inside.
They emptied the house.
Someone must have seen them but no one questioned what appeared to be a genuine removalist about his business. In uniform, going in and out of the front door, all items nicely boxed up.
So what to learn from this?
- There is little point deadlocking your house if you leave a spare set of keys inside. Keys win over deadlocks every time.
- Deadlocks and window locks won’t stop a thief who enters through a ceiling. A motion activated alarm and video camera system is the best way to foil these types of thieves. No”removalist” is going to be able to empty your house with an alarm screaming at them drawing attention.
- Sell your unwanted items on Ebay rather than have people come to your house. If they MUST come to your house to see the items, place them in a garage. If you don’t have a garage, put them in the hallway near the front door. If it’s a lounge suite that they must come into the loungeroom to see? Well… make sure you comment about someone always being home during the day sitting on the couch and they can guarantee its super comfortable!
Our new St Kilda client took the opportunity to rekey their house leaving them with just two keys. One that fit all the doors, and another that fit all the windows, rather than the 10 or so they had before, that were always hanging in the kitchen.
The worst part for the ST Kilda people was they knew who had probably done it, they even gave his name (not sure if it was fake) and his mobile phone number to the police, but in the end nothing could be proved and the guy got away with it. Very frustrating.