Dark nights: You’d be surprised at what people will steal…

‘Set a thief to catch a thief’ is an old adage, and like lots of old wives’ tales, contains a grain of truth. If thieves will steal a garden wall and dig up lots of daffodil bulbs, there’s nothing they’ll stop at. That’s why it makes sense to think like a thief to beat a thief. Safety Storage Centre will show you how…

It’s funny how things stick in your mind. I recall the newspaper article that recorded how a homeowner had built a low brick wall outside his terraced home, only to wake the following morning and discover it had been stolen. Every coping stone and brick had been taken away. But it wasn’t the audacity of the theft that I remember the article for; it was the homeowner’s comment:

I suppose it’s my own fault; I shouldn’t have left it outside!”*

His tongue was very clearly in his cheek when he said it, but that doesn’t detract from what he said. Thieves are very often opportunists, and will prey on trusting souls who, because they’re honest, expect everyone to be the same. Sadly, that’s not even close to the truth. The opportunist thief will steal now and think about what to do with his ill-gotten gains later.

Earlier this month Humberside Police issued a warning to motorists about not leaving their car keys on view near open windows and doors. A spokesman said:

Offenders have either been able to enter properties through open windows and doors before stealing car keys, or have, in some cases, forced entry to obtain car keys.

Once the keys are gone, the car won’t be there for long afterwards.

And at midnight on October 24th the threat grows greater as British Summer Time ends and darkness, the criminal’s great ally, falls far sooner. And it would be unwise to ignore it – the true cost of crime for householders and businesses could be as much as £800m, according to a nationwide survey.

Home Safety

How to beat the thief on dark nights

So how do you beat the ‘thief in the night’? My answer would be ‘think ahead’, and think like a thief. Only by doing that will you be able to eliminate the opportunities they thrive on.

Look for weak points. Imagine you were a thief. How easy would it be to get in and steal something? Here are six of the best ways to protect yourself, though you’ll no doubt think of others of your own. Adopting these six strategies will go a long way to making your home and business more thief-proof

1. Change your mindset: Don’t leave things lying around. Children’s toys, garden tools, your own bike are all ‘fair game’ to thieves. Put them out of sight in the garage behind a locked door. Encourage other family members to do the same. It’s a good life lesson for the children too. Businesses need the same approach; don’t leave valuables in the yard; bring them inside.

2. Lock it or lose it: Get good stout padlocks locks and hasps. Consider bars at shed or garage windows Better still, if your garage is a new build, have it built without windows at all, as a friend of mine did. There can be no forced entry through a window that doesn’t exist!

3. Protect things in vans: Who believes the sticker on the side of the van that says ‘no tools are left in this vehicle overnight? Modern trades require heaps of expensive tools, and they very often are left in vans. Building in a van box to a van will make sure valuables cant be taken. (Great against opportunist thieves when the van’s out on a job during a winter afternoon; remember that it can start getting dark at about 3pm in the depths of winter)

4. Hold back the night, turn on the lights: Those are lyrics of a song by The Trammps. They weren’t written about security for your home and business, but could well have been. If darkness is the thief’s friend, take it away from him with a security lighting regime. PIR sensors make lighting effective throughout the hours of darkness, the costs are relatively low, and the sudden shock of a light coming on may well scare off a would-be thief.

5. Multi-layer your security: Don’t rely on only one piece of security. Take the Police car key warning earlier in this blog. The lessons from that are that you should not only lock your doors and windows, but should not leave keys – or other valuables – close by them. At night, for example, what’s to stop your keys from going into your bedroom with you? They’d be safer there than on a shelf or windowsill inside the door.

6. Consider a safe: Durable, high-quality safes for home use, as well as business, don’t have to cost the earth these days. There are even models using the latest biometric technology to lock them, and these are large enough for home and small business use.

*This really is a true story…

For more information on safety storage solutions to protect your assets and valuables visit www.safetystoragecentre.co.uk