Robbers and thieves are individuals that we have looked out for ever since childhood. I’m sure your parents told you from a young age that if you saw somebody doing something a little unordinary you would let them know and that they would deal with the problem; well, now that you’ve grown up and you’re a homeowner, I’m afraid this is a problem you are unfortunately going to have to deal with. If you’ve experienced a break-in or robbery in the past or are looking to minimize the risk of being burgled, here are some of the key signs that someone is casing your house.
Casing is something robbers and thieves tend to do before planning a burglary. They will usually assess the home that they are planning to rob through a variety of different techniques and if it is a group of thieves who plan to rob your home, they may even leave markings to signify which home it is that they are planning to rob; whilst the homeowners are completely unaware of the situation.
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Signs Someone Is Casing Your House
One of the biggest signs that someone is casing your house is if you spot somebody taking pictures outside. It is very rare that somebody would miraculously start taking pictures of your property without the homeowner knowing, so I would make sure to press the individual if you spot them. Yes, it may make sense if your house is up for sale, but why would they any other time… If you didn’t quite catch them be sure to speak to a neighbor to see if they knew who they were, or contact your local police department.
Knock on the door/Delivery
If the robber is confident in their operation, they may actually knock on the door and use a lie to try and gain access to your back garden or the inside of your home. They may potentially lie and say that their dog has escaped into your backyard for example, where they would then proceed to steal from you. Make sure to keep on your toes and be wary of who you let into your property at all times.
Thieves and robbers may have extensively planned a robbery for months and if there are teams behind the operation, they may leave markings on your postbox or nearby telegraph pole, maybe even a concrete slab outside. Chalk markings may be a potential giveaway as to whether or not your house is being targeted for robbery. If you spot strange miraculous chalk markings this may be a sign that someone is casing your house.
This may sound a little cliche but often gut feelings become realities. If you have the gut feeling that somebody is eying up your home or you feel unsafe, it’s probably because you have subconsciously noticed many things that are out of the unordinary. If you have a persistent gut feeling that somebody is watching you or is casing your home, be sure to look out for some of these other signs.
Wait 6 months – Retargeting
If you have been robbed in the past, you may find that your home could be targeted again six months down the line. Think about it, if they have already broken into your home; they will understand the layout of the property, where the valuables are and the escape route, making it easier for them to successfully steal from you again. Be sure to bear this in mind if you have been robbed before.
Solicitation scams are a huge part of planned robbery as they are some of the only people who tend to come to your front door other than delivery drivers. They may pose to be someone else to gain insight into the individuals living at your home and catch a quick glimpse of the inside. Rarely will they break in there and then as you know what they look like, but this may be a sign that they are willing to target your home.
A clever technique that some thieves have been found to use when casing homes, is using clothes pegs to mark a home. They will simply leave a clothes peg on the lawn of a house to identify which house they want their fellow robbers to steal from. The reason as to why they do this is because a clothes peg is a completely natural item to be seen on the lawn, especially if its where you usually hang your washing. If neighbors spotted the peg they simply wouldn’t think anything of it.
What Do Thieves Look Out For?
If the thief has a brain between their ears, they will tend to look out for a few key things before planning to break into a property. Rarely will they stumble upon a home and instantly break in as this would be the easiest way for them to be caught by the homeowner or the police. Here’s what they may look for:
Checking for windows opening
A thief will always check for open windows as this will be their key method of breaking into the home. They will look for how big the window is and if it is possible for them to fit through it and also think about where it may lead. They will try their best to minimise attention because if they broke a window or door, it would create a lot of noise, which in-turn, may raise neighbours suspicions.
Check for alarm boxes
Alarm boxes are a key device which will alert the local police department if somebody has broken into a property. Many modern alarms are connected via GPS to a local police station which in-turn may lead to officers coming to check out the property. Thieves will always look to see if there is an active alarm box or camera if they are casing your house. You may need to set up some protective measures to prevent thieves from cutting the security camera wires.
Check for dogs
Having a dog is one of the best ways of securing a home. Believe it or not, even a sign indicating that a dog lives at your home can be enough to scare thieves off. Dogs create a lot of attention with barking, which will either alert the owner of the home or nearby neighbors and may even attack somebody trying to break into the home. Thieves will always check for dogs to avoid being caught.
Scaling the house – Escape Routes
Thieves will always try and gain insight as to what the property looks like on the inside. They will always try and plan an escape route for when they have stolen the goods or are caught by the homeowners.
How many people live at the property
If someone is casing your house, they will usually look out for how many people live at the house to evaluate how easy it is to break in.
The more people who live there the better, as there will most likely always be someone at occupying the house, which may prevent them from pursuing robbing your home.
When you go to work
If the thief has been planning to hit your property for quite a long time, they will have most likely worked out when the residents of the home tend to go to work and look out for any key activities they attend during the weekend or during their normal working day. This is because this gives them a window of opportunity to break in without being caught, so bear this in mind if you think your home is in danger of being broken into.
How Do You Protect Your Home From Thieves
Hiding Trail Cams
If you have a large house in the rural countryside or a large yard with surrounding trees then it may be in your interest to install and hide a trail cam. Trail cams are primarily used for hunting but are also great for home security, as they provide video footage which can then be handed to the police at a later date.
Cameras In Your House/ Peephole Cameras and CCTV
Cameras are the best way of protecting your home from thieves as if spotted, they will most likely walk away and never come back again. By setting up multiple cameras around the property, you are gaining home footage for if someone enters your property which can then be passed on as evidence to the police. Peephole cameras are great for footage of the front yard, and smaller CCTV cameras can be hidden within your home.
Related Blog: How to hide a camera in your room
Although this may sound simple, making sure to speak to your neighbors is a great idea for home security and the prevention of someone casing your home. If you let them know that there has been strange activity from a certain individual, they will keep a close eye and watch for them when you can’t. By telling a neighbor, you are also minimizing the risk of other properties being broken into in your local area.
Contact the local Police department
If you think your house has been scouted out, the first thing you should do is contact your local police department and ask whether or not there have been many burglaries around your area. Then proceed to tell them that you think that your home is being targeted and ask for advice. As I have mentioned previously, you can also look into connecting your alarm to the police station so that they are alerted if the alarm is activated.