San Diego resident Wesley Baugh and wife have a second home in the 54000 block of Lower Pine Crest Avenue in Idyllwild. The weekend before the Fourth of July, a neighbor noticed a hole in the home’s lower level door. When the Baugh’s came up to investigate, they discovered the theft of valuable tools and tool chests, and some antique tools dating from the early 20th century that had belonged to Baugh’s grandmother. Baugh estimated the value of the tools alone at between $15,000 to $20,000 and what had been stolen would have filled two truckloads.
“When we got there we saw that drawers from a roll-top desk had been taken out and filled with other items, and lined up at the door for the next haul,” said Baugh. “The burglars did not come back but many things had been carried downstairs and were ready to be taken.”
What Baugh noticed was items that were unique or had clearly identifying marks, such as stripes Baugh had painted on some hand tools, were not taken. Baugh made a sheriff’s report and a deputy came out to dust for fingerprints. “She said she got a good set of prints from a glass cover that the burglars had removed and that it would take six to eight weeks to try to get a positive match.” Baugh theorized that, given what was taken and what was left, the burglars had some level of sophistication and may not just have been kids looking to score drug money.
He is in the process of forming a Neighborhood Watch on his part of Pine Crest. “We already have five households.” Because of how Baugh’s property and driveway are situated, it made it easier for burglars to load up without detection.
He advises getting good alarm and surveillance equipment which he has now done.
“It’s important to take steps to protect your property,” he said.
My friend is a manager at a brand name alarm company. He tells me that 80% of his new customers requesting monitored alarm installations, are people who were robbed the week before.
Also interesting is that corner homes, homes with a back alley, that allow convenient out-of-sight get-away cars – those get robbed 3 times more often than a typical home on a straight street with left and right adjacent neighbors.
The other thing that is obvious to burglars, is that they will seek an entry point that has the least visibility and resistance. Most people have deadbolt lock on the front doors, but the kitchen back door has a weak doorknob lock, and is also a half-glass window/door, or dutch half-door. to make things worse, that weak kitchen door is out of public sight and the least fortified.
Your security is as strong as your weakest link.
Another popular avenue for burglars is attending garage and yard sales. They get to scope out your valuables and the layout of the house and neighborhood, engage in friendly conversations about how often the home is vacant, without drawing any attention to suspicious behavior. generally the home owner (yard sale seller) is trying to encourage the sale of junk so excessive conversation with a stranger appears normal. The criminal is typically harvesting all the information needed to rob you.
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