Most people install home security systems to help make their family and their belongings just a little bit safer. But sometimes, getting a home security system
installed can do just the opposite. Case in point...
Protect Yourself Prior to Home Security System Installation
- December 2012: Boca Raton Installation Contractor Steals Jewelry: Last December, a home security system installation subcontractor attempted to steal more than $40,000 worth of jewelry from the Boca Raton home of a woman having a security system installed*. Jason Michael Adams, 37, was caught rummaging through a jewelry box in the woman's bedroom, and the woman confronted him. Adams, unskilled in the art of making excuses, claimed that he was looking for a "panic button." As Adams' coworker rushed in to find out what was going on, the homeowner ordered Adams to empty his pockets, which contained a necklace, a pendant, and two watches, one of which was valued at $32,000. Adams was arrested and charged with larceny.
- March 2013: An Eerily Similar Case in Ocala: Just a few months later, Shawn Michael Garza, 38, was arrested and charged with Residential Burglary, Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property, and Giving False Information to a Pawn Broker in Marion County, Florida**. Garza admitted to stealing jewelry and other items from an Ocala home while installing a security system. The victims alerted detectives to Garza after the items disappeared. Detectives later discovered that Garza had also stolen parts of the security system itself.
To help avoid finding yourself in the ironic situation of having a home security system installed by a burglar
, take some physical security steps before installation day. Thieves want small, easily portable, valuable items, so lock up any jewelry, cash, or valuable electronics before installation. This type of theft is a crime of opportunity, so your goal before your installation technician arrives is to remove as many of those opportunities as possible.
Protect Yourself During Home Security Installation
It's best if there are two or more household members at the home when the system is installed. This is one situation where it's OK to be a "busybody" and monitor what is going on. If a criminally-minded technician knows he's not going to be left alone for any length of time, he's less likely to grab valuables, or worse -- rummage through your jewelry box for them. If there are two or more people in the house and activity going on, your technician is less likely to be brave enough to steal things knowing he could be walked in on at any moment.After Installation: Continue with Physical Security Practices
A home security system can do quite a bit to help protect your home against burglary, but it works best alongside other security measures. No matter how good a home security system you install, you still need to have high-quality locks on doors and windows, and you still need to use them with absolute consistency. Never keep the default keypad codes that come with the security system, because burglars can easily learn what these are and disable your system. Don't install your keypad within easy view from outside. You don't want anyone seeing you punch in your security code.
before, during, and after home security system installation, and you can reduce your risk of being robbed by someone who is supposed to be helping you improve your home security.