As you might expect, this creeps me out completely and I'd like to make things as difficult as possible if these people are dumb enough to come back. Anyone who reads Obscure Store knows that you can't underestimate the stupidity of the average criminal.
Family members are helping her get a security system installed and she's going to borrow a dog. I'm wondering if there's anything else we can do with that computer to either put her mind at ease -- letting her see the house from work with a webcam -- or collect evidence that could be useful to the police upon a second theft. Software comparable to LapTrak, which makes surreptitious dial-up or Internet connections that can be used to find out where a stolen computer has ended up, seem like a relatively trivial application to set up.
I wonder if there's any deterrent value in putting this bumper sticker on the back door they kicked in to enter the house.
I saw a sign in the Wal-Mart here in Fleming Island:
Do you think you can make it to the gate faster then my dog?
Automatic lights, motion sensored. Dusk to dawn lights. Real or dummy cameras with professional/masculine looking signs. Beware of the dog signs. If someone routinely won't be there, this will be obvious to neighbors and quite often to passersby.
Places that look very feminine usually clue the punks/nuts that they can overpower the resident. This sounds extreme but for example an inexpensive, broken down, used motorcycle that is left in a visible place implies an aggressive male is present.
Many people have patriotic flags flying, still do two years later. Women tend to carefully place flags for a decorative effect but the masculine counterpart will boldy place a flag to express aggression and readiness.
The easiest thing is to get a big dog/dogs. Small dogs are good watchdogs, when you're there.
Securing a building is expensive, any weak link, like a basement window, will be found but any deterence slows down the enemy and reduces the risk. Thieves don't want to be seen, so lights inside and out are worth the electric bill. Once during a crime wave, I would never leave the house without leaving a radio on, on loud enough to just be heard from outside, it gave the impression someone was inside. P.S. I played a rock/metal station to imply the resident was nuts.
She should also notify every neighbor, this will create a little buzz but in general people don't get it, they don't communicate. They ignore strangers in a neighborhood. A few neighborhood friends could form a network.
The obscure areas of a property should be secured, with metal bars or steel doors cuz this is where the punks/pros will go for access and time. Non-traditional things, like the unattractive motorcycle idea, will unconciously and conciously gain the attention of others; large dog dishes, dog bones, heavy chains attached to posts. Even a second car in the driveway, it doesn't have to run.
Tweak the image of the property, every little thing slows the enemy which reduces the risk.
Why don't you move your bum cousin Rudy in with Mom, he'll be the guard dog.
The theory is criminals prey on weakness, or the appearence of weakness, and the like anonymity. Sounds like the fuckin' internet to me!
I had a creepy incident that happened at my own house just the other day and I am very nervous also so I can relate to what your mom is feeling. My house was 'scoped' out by some guy claiming he was a home appraiser. Funny, I don't remember talking to anyone about having my home appraised! This guy didn't have a business card, he mumbled some incoherent company name that he was with, he was dressed in shorts, a tshirt and the brim of his ball cap was on his head sideways. A REAL professional. UH HUH.
My son took the guys tag number and we are having it checked out.
Here's the really stupid part...
Before the guy came to the door, he had already opened my back gate and let himself in my yard. On the gate is a red and white sign that reads: WARNING
GAURD DOG PATROLLING PREMISES. There is a picture of a german shepherd on the sign. Luckily for the guy, the gaurd dog was in his crate on the porch, otherwise, the guy would have been hamburger for my dog.45
Well, after this incident, I decided that my dog needed to stay inside the house while I was at work. My dog is protective of the yard but MORE protective of the inside of the house. Not only is my dog a german shepherd, he is an extra large dog and doesn't like anyone walking near our house. He likes to look out the front windows which are near the front door and everyone that sees him and hears him tells me he scares the daylights out of them! GOOD!!!
Your mom would do well with a dog like mine who is trained. German Shepherds are very protective of their owners and their homes and they are loyal to the death. A security system is fine too but I would put my life in my dog's hands before I would rely on an electronic system that can be disarmed by a professional crook.
oh, I wanted to add that my dog was in his crate that day because we had just sprayed the yard for fleas. He normally has access to the yard at all times.
Your mom also could do what my mom does, she lives alone and keeps a used pair of men's work boots by the doors, front and back.
Crooks these days are brazen and they are always looking for an opportunity to strike. Don't give them the chance.
Luckily for us, we live in a cul-de-sac and at least one of our neighbors is retired so he's home most of the time. In fact, he saw the van the so-called appraiser was driving. We asked him to call the sheriff's office if he sees that van again.
Sounds to me like that appraiser was casing the place. Funny you should mention the muddy work boots idea. Several people told my mom she should do that after the burglary.