Home security is important to all of us living in Houston. Burglars can gain entry into your home, locate all your valuables, and be gone in under 12 minutes.
The thieves’ objective is to locate all your possessions that can easily be carried and exchanged for cash as quickly as possible. Burglars know Houston Police may have a fast response when your security system alerts them, or may take hours, depending on what’s happening in our city at the time. And they want to be long gone by the time HPD does show up at your home.
So just what does the burglar look for once inside your home?
- Money. Any kind of cash will do. Your purse, wallet, even your child’s piggy bank or your jar of quarters for the Beltway will be emptied.
- Electronics. Needless to say, the smaller the better. Hot items are Xbox and Nintendo consoles and controls, laptops and tablets, TVs (if more than one thief, you might be relieved of your new 70 inch LED TV), smart phones and iPhones, and any other small, high ticket electronic that a thief can quickly turn for a few bucks.
- Jewelry. This goes without saying, but your jewelry will be gone. And, unless the stones are engraved, the thief will quickly pry stones from the setting and sell the stones separately to make identification less likely. There are more than willing buyers for expensive bling.
- Tools. If they can’t get into your house easily, most likely they will look outside and check if your garage is secure. Power tools are always a good bet. More recently Houston’s thieves have taken to stripping outdoor copper wiring from your air conditioning condensers and lighting.
- Guns are another high resale item. People who can’t survive Texas’ background checks are more than willing to turn over large amounts of cash for your pistol, rifle, or shotgun.
More disconcerting is the growing trend nationwide of identity theft. The burglar rifles through your home office, study, or desk in search of valuable paperwork. Bank and credit card statements, passwords, paycheck stub — anything that has your name, social security number, driver’s license number, or account number will let them steal your identity.
You can protect yourself in event that a burglar gets into your home by making sure your valuables are not in plain sight. Home and gun safes are recommended. You can also reinforce a closet and use a good deadbolt lock on the closet door.
Protect your possessions by engraving them with identifying marks. Have all your expensive jewelry appraised and the stones blueprinted to make resale more difficult. And by all means, keep photos and receipts in your bank’s security box.
Before you leave your home, lock up all small valuables. Make sure that you have a sturdy file cabinet in your office that locks and secure your paperwork. Do everything you can to make it more difficult for a burglar to locate and gain access to your possessions.
Burglars can rob you of your peace of mind in less than 12 minutes. Remember, your best line of defense in Houston is a good home security system. And maybe a good dog.