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A deterrent doesn't stop crime, that's impossible.
 It just prevents it from happening to you.
Your goal is to make it more trouble to steal 
from you than someone else.

Property crime

On this page:
Locks only keep honest people out | Know thy enemy | Pyramid of personal safety | burglarproofing your home | burglar proofing a business or shop | Home security on vacation | Car and other vehicle theft | theft from your car | Home defense | It Takes A Thief | Lunch Time Lectures: Crime Prevention | Further Resources

There are few things more violating than coming home and discovering you door has been kicked in and your personal belongings gone through. The sick, throat clenching terror when you look at the empty spot where your car was parked or the incredible anger and outrage to see a window smashed and items stolen from you. And that is exactly what it feels like to discover you have been the victim of a property crime.

Truth is property crimes make up an overwhelming majority of all crimes. Homes, garages, cars and businesses are all equally susceptible to the attentions of thieves. And mostly these crimes happen when you aren't there. Your absence is a critical component in planning for any security. It must stand alone against an all out siege.

Like everything else we believe in a "layered" approach to property crime prevention. We like to refer to this as "The Onion" if one layer doesn't stop the criminal, then the next one will and if not, then the next one. Unfortunately, most people's idea of security and property protection would be better likened to an egg. One hard layer and soft and gooey past that. And if you are willing to make a mess, it doesn't take much to get to the gooey part.

Locks only keep honest people out
The concept behind the old saying "Who is watching the watchers?" applies in spades to property crime.

"What is protecting the protection?"

Until this critical issue is addressed, then the statement that "locks only keep honest people" applies. That is because an honest person will look at a lock and see a barrier, a criminal will look and see something that he has to get around.

And unfortunately, most of what is around the locks/protections can be easily gotten through with ease. Which  totally undermines the effectiveness of the lock.

Despite the fact that thieves may not use violence on people, that doesn't mean they are not deeply involved in the criminal mindset and therefore willing to use whatever force is necessary. And that means they don't care how much damage they cause getting what they want. It makes perfect sense to them to bypass a lock by kicking the door in. Thereby causing the frame to collapse or to smash a car window to get to something.

The havoc they will wreck will cost you hundreds of dollars to repair on top of whatever else they will have taken. Unfortunately, often the amount of money the burglar will get for the object he stole, is only fractional to the costs of repair for the damage he caused getting to the item.

It is critical that you have an understanding of how thieves operate and why an "onion" approach is necessary. Layers of protection, rather than just one level. Otherwise the burglar is going to quickly and easily bypass your security measures, or just blast through them.

Know thy enemy (and what you are guarding against)
The twin enemies of a thief are time and attention. While there is no such thing as a home that is burglar proof, there is such a thing as knowing what you are commonly defending your home and property against. Before you can effectively keep the burglar out, you need to know how he operates. With this knowledge you can create a more comprehensive and effective security system.

Pyramid of personal safety
The pyramid of personal safety is a starting point for understanding how the "onion" works. Each level is built on the previous one and are interrelated. And each level adds another level onto your protection of self and property.

Burglarproofing your home
What are some thing you can do to make your home a less appealing target to burglars? Home security tips that don't destroy the looks of your home.

Burglar proofing a business, shop or garage
If there is something in there worth stealing, sooner or later someone is going to try to break-in. The following security tips are for high crime potential situations.

Home security on vacation
Most of what you can do to keep your home safe is on the burglar-proofing your home page. However, a few extra tips and tricks can keep your home safer while you're on vacation (or for your summer home).

Car theft
How to keep your car, motorcycle, bicycle or trailer from being stolen

Theft from your car
While theft makes up the majority of all crimes, stealing of and against automobiles make up the majority of thefts.

Home defense
There is no question more hotly debated than the issue of home defense. And well it should be by both sides.

It Takes A Thief
The legal wennies at Discovery Channel wouldn't allow their computer department to make a banner directing you to this show's Website, but agreed to a text link. Problem with text links we can say what we want. That point aside, we categorically recommend the show "It Takes A Thief"  on the Discovery Channel (USA). Jon and Matt are ex-burglars who demonstrate exactly how fast and effectively a "prowler" can enter, loot and trash your house. Pictures are worth a thousand words. You will see many of the issues discussed in the property crime section in action and learn many other tips. Pay close attention to the explanations and details that they give regarding how burglars work, what they are looking for and how much they can get for items -- especially anything regarding identity or banking.


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