High-tech locks, cameras, sensors, and other security system accoutrement are all there to help protect your home, business, or other property. But if you pay attention to the news, you know that sometimes, even a solid security system may not be enough to prevent a break-in.
Statistically, burglary occurs, on average, every 13 seconds in the United States. So often, people assume that nearly all break-ins happen at night, under the cover of darkness, and shore up their property’s security accordingly. However, that is not the case! More break-ins and burglaries occur during the day than at night. For homes, that means burglars typically look for signs that the homeowners are off at work. For businesses, it often means that burglars are looking for opportunities to sneak in when the workplace is bustling. Is your property at risk? Here are some of the common signs that burglars are operating nearby.
Strange Vehicles Hang Around
In a busy city setting, noticing one strange vehicle can be hard. In a residential neighborhood or a quieter retail area, however, it is absolutely worth being aware of your surroundings. If you notice a vehicle idling for long periods of time — especially if the vehicle is an unmarked van or truck, as cliche as that sounds — or driving around your neighborhood slowly/repeatedly over the course of a few days, it could be a potential burglar. Make note of the make, model, and license plate number so you can check to see if it’s the same vehicle returning. If you notice suspicious activity, report it to the police.
You may or may not know all of your neighbors, and that’s okay. Similar to loitering vehicles, if you notice strangers walking around the area, they could be locating targets. But how do you decide if they’re potential burglars or simply neighbors you haven’t met? Look for a few key signs:
- Going door-to-door with pamphlets/flyers/stickers, especially overly vague material (which could be a scam, or just an excuse to go up to each house).
- Someone strolling around and taking a lot of photos of the area with a camera/smartphone — especially in residential neighborhoods.
- Unlabeled technicians (i.e. someone in a work uniform, but one that lacks a business logo or similar branding).
- Door-to-door soliciting scams, like someone offering free carpet cleaning, or running an anonymous survey.
- And the most brazen: someone walking up to houses and looking into homes, peeking in windows, and then walking away.
While these examples are mostly what you might find in residential neighborhoods, many of them carry over as signs of burglars casing businesses as well. In addition, keep an eye out for people who come into your business, stroll around and poke down hallways, but don’t attempt to actually do business. It’s the same as casing a neighborhood and peeking in windows; they want to assess what they can see of your security system, and they want to see what you might have to make a break-in worthwhile.
Many of the more organized burglars will mark properties that are good potential targets. Look for things like random stickers placed around the area, odd symbols made in chalk on (or near) multiple properties, or other strange markings showing up. Some burglars will even use flyers or pamphlets to mark houses, but you could see how those are less reliable when property owners notice and toss them — except that, too, is a way to gauge who is home more frequently and who isn’t.
Improving Your Property’s Protection
If you have noticed any of these signs in your area, it could be an indication that burglars are at work, looking for potential targets near you. Which means it is a good idea to have your security system checked over, and potentially make some security adjustments. But, of course, you want to make sure you aren’t calling a scam, rather than a reliable locksmith for that security assistance! Check over our recent blog about finding trustworthy locksmith help before you hire that locally based residential or commercial locksmith team. For those in the Princeton area, and surrounding areas of New Jersey, connect with the Firstline Locksmith team to see how we can help you shore up your business’s security.