Why It’s So Hard to Stop Determined Burglars
Solid strategies for preventing burglary are not hard to find. A simple internet search will yield a whole host of suggestions ranging from keeping windows and doors locked to installing monitored security systems. And most of the time, they work. But there are times when there is nothing a homeowner can do to stop a determined burglar.
For the record, the vast majority of burglars are not so determined as to come up with complex plans worthy of becoming a Hollywood screenplay. They are not committed, sophisticated groups of people with military-grade equipment and an overabundance of tech knowledge. They are committed by lone wolves whose methods are as simplistic as opening an unlocked door and walking in.
The realities of home burglary explain why the unusual cases stand out so much. To some extent, they also explain why determined burglars are tough to stop.
High-Tech Burglars in New England
Police in Windsor Locks, CT happened upon one of those unusual cases when they were called to a home hit by burglars who made use of a Wi-Fi jamming device to disable the home’s wireless cameras. They also used far less sophisticated tools including a pry bar and a pair of bolt cutters.
Apparently, the two men arrested in the case were later connected to other burglaries throughout New England in which Wi-Fi jamming devices were used. The devices block Wi-Fi signals so that connections between wireless cameras and home routers cannot be made.
In this particular case, a camera on a neighbor’s property was out of range and wasn’t jammed. The homeowner at that property called police after seeing video footage of two men walking through his back yard. Police responded and found the burglary in progress.
A Well-Planned Burglary
This particular case is unusual in that it was a well-planned burglary. The two men didn’t pick the house at random. Rather, one of them had actually worked in the home as a remodeling contractor. A friend who had assisted them had also worked in the home at some point prior to the burglary.
After their arrest, an investigation backed by DNA samples linked the two to a series of burglaries dating back more than a decade. Each one was highly sophisticated and well-planned. Therein lies the big issue. If a determined burglar has inside information and enough opportunity to plan, there is little a homeowner can do to stop him – short of posting guards 24 hours a day.
The Exception to the Rule
It is easy to read about the Windsor Locks burglary and assume that security systems don’t work. It’s easy to point to Wi-Fi jamming devices as a legitimate reason to not invest in wireless security cameras. But as Vivint Smart Home points out, these types of highly sophisticated burglaries are the exception to the rule.
Like so many others, Vivint cites numerous studies proving that burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems. They don’t spend time planning highly sophisticated jobs requiring Wi-Fi jammers and other expensive tools simply because there are so many homes left unprotected. Why go to the effort of disabling security systems when so many homes don’t have them?
In the Windsor Locks case, one of the two burglars had spent time in the house. He knew what was in it and decided a burglary was in order. That is what made him so determined. He was determined enough to cut a chain-link fence, disable wireless video cameras, and then break in through a back door. But in the end, he was caught by a neighbor’s security system.
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