You have probably heard the term “casing a house” used to describe the way burglars analyze a home for potential weaknesses
before committing a robbery. Though it can be challenging to differentiate a potential thief from an innocent bystander, there are
some telltale signs that may indicate your home is being profiled. In today’s blog post, our Charlotte access control specialist highlights some of the top signs your house may be someone’s next target, and what you can do about it.
An unfamiliar vehicle in your neighborhood could belong to a neighbor’s visiting friend, relative, or significant other, but it could also belong to a criminal. To tell the difference, you’ll have to do a little sleuthing yourself: does anyone ever exit the vehicle, knock on someone’s front door, and go inside for a few hours? If so, that person is most likely an innocent guest. If no one ever seems to leave the car, the driver may simply prowling around the neighborhood, taking notes.
One of the easiest ways for a burglar to find out when someone is home is to simply walk up and knock on the door. If the owner is home, the burglar can pretend to be selling something; taking donations for a charity; taking a survey; looking for a lost dog; or requesting directions, to name a few common excuses. Some may ask to use your bathroom, or pretend to “accidentally” have the wrong house when picking up a Craigslist item. If the homeowner doesn’t answer the door, the burglar takes note that no one was home at that time.
Strangers Taking Pictures of Homes
A stranger taking a single photo of a home probably isn’t cause for alarm; they may simply be documenting a design or landscaping element they want to recreate. But if you see someone walking around a house, taking pictures of each side, it could indicate a burglar documenting various entry points. Be especially on the lookout for someone traveling from house to house, taking multiple pictures of each house. While one house’s owners might have hired a photographer or realtor to photograph their house for resale, it’s highly unlikely that the same is true for every house on the street.
Signs & Markers
There have been some documented cases of burglars leaving welcome mats upturned to signify a home they want to rob, or leaving a golf ball on the lawn. Leaving a flyer on the door or mailbox is another common tactic that may seem innocuous, but is really to indicate a good target. Stay on the lookout for odd objects or signs that appear around your property, and try to keep the area clear so that anomalies are more noticeable.
Keep Your House Safe with Charlotte Access Controls
If you’re worried about intruders, consider installing a fence and access control gate around your property. This is the best way to ensure complete peace of mind while you’re asleep or away. Motion-activated surveillance cameras are also a great security solution, as they can help identify trespassers and their vehicles for future reference. If you would like to learn more about access controls in Charlotte NC, please click here