HOUSTON -- We hear the phrase "it happened in broad daylight" all too often.
One Houstonian turned to the social network Reddit to share some helpful tips in a post he titled "Avoid daytime burglaries..."
'ThatGuyinHouston' kindly allowed us to share his tips here:
I keep seeing stories on local news web sites about people home alone getting victimized by home invasions or plain ol' burglars.
Tips: Leave a radio or TV playing loud enough to be heard at the front door (but not loud enough to bother neighbors). If burglars can't be sure no one is home, they might move to the next place.
If you ARE home during the day, do NOT ignore a knock at the door or the door bell. Loudly announce something like, "Mongo is just getting out of the shower, what do you need?" Do NOT open the door even with a "security chain". Those generally are worthless.
Keep a phone ready to dial 9-1-1. Today's story had a 14 year old boy home alone when folks broke in. He ended up next door, borrowing a phone to call the police. Really? Parents: Be sure your kids can call 9-1-1 if they're home alone. Take a picture with your phone, through your window, of suspicious people.
A barking dog (even a small one) can help deter bad guys. Know your neighbors, be sure to have one another's phone numbers and agree to keep an eye out.
Camera systems are cheap these days. A wireless IP cam can be about 100 bucks and can show you who's on your front porch with a smart phone app. Decoy cameras are better than no cameras.
Take photographs of any jewelry you have that's worth reporting if it gets stolen. Take photos of the serial numbers of any expensive appliances, TVs, etc. You could get them back if they're stolen. Without the numbers, you'll have a much harder time recovering them if the perp gets caught with them.
A good, monitored alarm system with smartphone app is also worth the cost.
I love it when burglars get shot by homeowners, but it doesn't happen enough to affect the overall statistics.
Oh, and there are night time burglars, too. Their biggest enemy is light. Get good bright outdoor LED flood lights. They use very little electricity and last years.
Be smart, Houston. Don't give these selfish, ignorant hooligans any slack at all.