This article was originally posted on http://apartmentprepper.com, and used with permission.
There are a lot of things that a person can do in 8 minutes. For example, wash the dishes, make a sandwich, check email, or make a cup of coffee. Eight minutes is all a burglar needs to rob your home. That’s pretty fast considering this is a new environment for him, because all homes are different. Burglars don’t like to hang around inside your house for long. The longer they are inside, the higher the chances they’ll end up on the inside of a jail cell. These tips will slow them down and hopefully get them out of your home with less of your valuables.
Synchronize your watch to “the break-in clock.” By the time you finish reading this article, the burglar has already moved onto the next target.
The Break-in Clock: 1-2 Minutes: Once a burglar has gained access into your home he or she will primarily use the same search pattern, this is if the burglar alarm hasn’t gone off yet. The first stop is directly to the master bedroom. They will look for cash, jewelry, or anything that might be valuable. People often make the mistake of leaving money or jewelry in the most common areas such as a dresser, under the bed, the closets, or bedside table.
Keeping a safe in your home is probably your best bet to keep all of your cash and jewelry secure. Burglars won’t have enough time to break into the safe, but if it’s not bolted down, chances are the burglar will be taking it with him.
3-4 Minutes: The next room of your home is the bathroom. Burglars will always check your medicine cabinets to see if there is any narcotic prescriptions. Try putting these in a first aid kit tucked under the sink or behind the toilet.
5-6 Minutes: The next stop may be the living room, kitchen or family room, so don’t leave easy-to-sell, high-value, compact items such as laptop computers, iPods or cameras lying around or you can be sure to lose them as well. Interior locks on the doors leading to your study or gaming rooms would frustrate a rushing burglar’s ability to cash in on your electronics.
Valuable personal information is often stored in your personal computers. It’s always safer to have your computer password protected, and ideally only store important files offsite in an online data cloud storage website such as Dropbox. To protect your online passwords, credit card information and more, try 1Password, a password generation and encryption software.
7-8 Minutes: After the burglar has gathered everything he may need, he will usually call a partner to meet him and load up all of your goods into the car or van. Once all of the goods have been loaded, the burglars drive away to their next target. It’s a never ending cycle.
“It usually takes me about 8-12 minutes to get in and out of your home. It’s as easy as that!” boasts burglary professional Pat O.
In closing, there are a lot of things that you can do to avoid a home burglary. A security system is a no- brainer. If that’s not an option, leaving a TV or stereo on during the day usually helps burglars avoid your home. This usually indicates someone is home. Also, most burglars won’t even attempt entry if they know there’s a large dog in the home.
Burglaries can result in loss of both valuables and peace of mind. Therefore, it is important to take adequate steps to protect one’s home and increase its security. Begin by accepting that all homes are vulnerable to theft and burglary and then, act to step up security and keep one’s home, family and belongings safe and secure.
This post was written by Kevin Raposo. He writes for SimpliSafe, the wireless security system that helps you take control of your safety.
Did you know there is one new victim of identity theft every three seconds in the United States? Identity theft is when someone uses your identifying information such as name, date of birth, social security number, credit card number, etc. to obtain goods, services, credit or open fraudulent bank accounts.
Awareness and education are the first steps in preventing identity theft. By safeguarding your personal information, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim.
Here are some ways you can protect your identity:
- Never give out identifying information in response to unsolicited offers by phone, mail, Internet or in-person.
- Order and review your credit report yearly to check for unauthorized activity. You are entitled to one free credit disclosure in a 12-month period. To request a free credit report, visit Central Source at www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
- Review financial and credit card statements monthly for unauthorized charges.
- Cross shred documents (i.e. receipts, insurance forms, bank and credit card statements, cash advance checks, etc.) containing personal identifiers before discarding.
- Remove mail from the mailbox as soon as possible. Place your mail delivery on hold at the post office while out of town.
- Be aware of where your personal identification is kept at work and at home, and know who has access to it.
- Protect your wallet and/or purse – never leave them unattended. Limit the number of credit cards you carry and don’t carry your PIN or social security card in your wallet and/or purse.
- Treat checkbooks, ATM cards, credit cards and credit card offers as cash. Cancel unneeded credit cards.
- Don’t put your social security number, phone number or date of birth on your checks.
- When using the Internet to make purchases, look for the “s” in the address (https) to ensure it is a secure site.
For more information about how to prevent identity theft and what steps to take if you are a victim, visit www.michigan.gov/identity-
Did you know that Michigan law requires you to move your vehicle from the main traveled portion of the roadway if you have been in a crash where your vehicle can be moved and there are no apparent injuries?
If you are involved in a vehicle accident and there are no apparent injuries, look for a safe location to park your vehicle such as the shoulder, emergency lane, or median. Once parked in a safe area, call police to report the accident.
Moving your vehicle from the traveled portion of the roadway protects your safety because there is an increased likelihood you could be involved in a subsequent collision if you remain in the roadway.
You need not worry about impacting the investigation of the crash by moving your vehicle, as police and insurance companies are trained to analyze crashes to determine the cause.
Source: Michigan State Police (MSP)
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
The Lincoln Park Police Department, the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Watch Program, and the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a special session at Fantasyland, the annual Christmas display put on by the Chamber of Commerce.
You will be able to enjoy all the sights and sounds of Christmas that Fantasyland always has to offer, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, but with an added bonus – a visit with one of Lincoln Park Police Department’s Canine Officers!
Fantasyland Admission is $1.00 per person. Photos with Santa and the Canine Officer are $3.00 each, or two for $5.00. You are allowed to take your own photos, if you prefer.
View the flyer from the event