Sometimes you don't have to make up stories get a point across; real life provides enough examples for you. In this case a burglar who had a very long, successful track record of burglarizing homes over a five-year span of time without getting caught finally was caught. He had sold most of the goods that he had taken from homes in that time, but police were on his trail and finally caught up with him.

It was estimated that he had committed over 120 burglaries in two different cities. He finally went to trial and was convicted and sentenced to several years in jail. That doesn't seem like enough but that's another story altogether. As part of his deal with the D. A., he agreed to reveal some of his "insider secrets" in the hopes that homeowners would pay attention to what he had to say and take steps to increase the security of their homes.

As the old expression goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, burglars actually do some homework prior to selecting a target. It is called "casing a neighborhood." They look for obvious weaknesses in homes that would make good targets and strength in homes that would make bad targets.

To me it was very interesting to read what he had to say. The very first thing he said was he would never go near a house that had a dog. Not only does a barking dog alert neighbors to activity going on in the house, but they can take a bite out of crime, literally. So if he saw a kennel in the side yard or backyard or a sign in front of a house that warned of a vicious guard dog, that was enough for him. He would stay away and pick on somebody else. A home security alarm of a barking dog works very well.

The second thing that he said was any neighborhood that was part of a "Neighborhood Watch" was less likely to be targeted because there are more eyes on what's going on in a neighborhood. They have been proven to be an effective deterrent to crime.

The third thing he said was if there were security cameras on the property, he would stay away. It is a proven fact that if a homeowner has security video footage of a burglary, the chances of catching the bad guys increase by 50%. So if he saw a security camera outside a home, he would stay away. Most burglars cannot distinguish a fake security camera from a real one especially from a distance over 50 feet-the normal distance from a home to the street. No one can tell if a fake security camera is in place or not.

Those are some secrets straight from the old horses' mouth so to speak. A wise homeowner will take heed and listen to what the tips are and take action to improve his own home security.

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