Don’t be a Victim of Crime this Holiday Season

Every Holiday season we get at least one phone call from someone who had their house broken into during the holidays.  Today was that day.

Consumers are not the only ones who do Boxing Day and Post Christmas shopping, burglars also break into homes after Christmas to steal all the New Presents and Gifts.

Thieves often scan neighborhoods looking at the garbage left on the front driveway for boxes from flat panel TVs, video game consoles, blu-ray players and iPads and laptop computers.  Once they spot a house with a bunch of electronics boxes sitting on the driveway it’s just a matter of time waiting and scouting out the home until an opportunity arrises to break in.  Families often travel during the holidays going to relatives or friends for Christmas dinners and parties, ski trips, tobogganing and vacations are all common during the holidays.  All these activities, not to mention movies and shopping at the mall mean homes are empty and those brand new gifts are just waiting to be stolen.  If you have a monitored alarm system and security cameras the chances of being burglarized are far less then those without … burglars always look for the easy targets.

Today I received a call from an obviously agitated mom who’s home was burglarized the two days after boxing day.  They took everything she said, our new flat screen TV, my sons PS3 game, my daughters iPad and my husbands laptop and new DSLR camera with all our holiday pictures on it.  I asked her how the burglar entered the home and she commented they pried the patio deck door open and entered through the kitchen nook.  Once inside they went right for the TV, blu-ray and video games.  Then they went through the house and picked up anything else they could carry, iPad, camera, laptop and even some jewelry and watches.  Insurance will cover most of the losses but I don’t feel safe in my home anymore she commented.  I feel violated – it’s a horrible feeling, one minute you’re feeling joyous celebrating the holidays and the next some thief takes that all away.  My kids don’t want to sleep in the home and husband’s laptop contained personal financial information so now we have to worry about identity theft – we need an alarm system right away can you help me!

Unfortunately we get this type of phone call all too often.  Most people have the attitude that “it won’t happen to me, I don’t need an alarm system”,  That’s exactly the feeling the lady on the phone had until …. it did happen to her and her family and at Christmas time to make matters worse.

After talking further with the woman on the phone, who’s name was Cheryl, I learned that yes Cheryl’s husband had placed all the garbage boxes and bags out on the front driveway for garbage pickup the day after Christmas however garbage pick up wasn’t till  December 30.  Odds are I told Cheryl the burglar was canvassing the neighborhood, noticed the boxes and then scouted out the house waiting for an opportunity to break in.

Today I installed an Ion Security Alarm system in Cheryl’s home complete with a live view security camera.  The Ion Security Alarm will send Cheryl, her husband and other family members a text or email message when the system is on/off or if a break in occurs.  In addition I installed a live view security camera in the front entry of Cheryl’s home so she can remote view and monitor her home with her iPhone.

First impressions – Wow!  we love the Ion Security system and feel much safer knowing that we are now protected with an alarm system when we’re away.

Security Tip:  An alarm system is one of the best ways to deter would be criminals and prevent break and enters.  A couple common sense tips which are Free can also be used to minimize the probability of being a victim of a break in.  When disposing of boxes from electronics always cut the boxes up into smaller pieces and tape or bind them together with the blank cardboard facing outward.  Do not throw TV boxes and other electronic item packaging away with the box intact and the product description showing – you’re only advertising to criminals “Hey look  I just got a new 60” 3D – HDTV … come and get it”.  Another important tip is never place your garbage out for pickup more than 24 hours before the scheduled pickup day.  Leaving garbage out on the curb for pickup signals to burglars “Hey we’re not at home or we’re not going to be home on garbage day … so come on and break in”.    If you’re not going to be home the day before garbage day, ask a neighbor or friend to put your garbage out on the appropriate day, but never put it out early.

Lastly a final tip for vacationers.  When going on vacation never post your intentions on social media networks like facebook, twitter or linkedin.  Also never post pictures and updates on social media networks while your on vacation.  This applies all members in the family including or especially your kids.  Thieves often troll social media websites looking for information on what Christmas presents you received and when you’re going on the vacation.  You’d be surprised how many people post pictures of their new electronics gadgets and gifts followed a couple days later by a post “Having a great time in Mexico” along with pictures from the beach!  Once again if you don’t have a house sitter or monitored alarm system you’re basically broadcasting to the world “Hey look at me I’m in Mexico till January, the house is empty and my new TV, bluray and laptop are just waiting to be stolen”.  For security reasons never post vacation photos and information until you arrive back home and either have a monitored security system or house sitter stay while you’re gone.

If you are interested in a alarm system or security camera system for your home or office give Doyle a call at Ion Security 780-489-5522 or email info@ionsecuritysystems.com for a Free No Cost Evaluation.

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