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Saturday, February 4, 2012

I am doing a review of our home security

Based on the above (summertime) photo, would you have the cojones to attempt to steal the right front tire from the green van during the dark of night?  What the picture does not show is how painfully close my driveway is to my west-side neighbor’s living room window, the fact that the cul-de-sac is extraordinarily well lit by a municipal streetlight, and that the outside lights are on dusk-until-dawn at my house and at the houses on either side of me.  My interior lights are always on during the night and the neighbors and I keep irregular hours; day or night, it seems someone in our locale is always coming or going.

One night during the week before last I stayed up reading until 3:00 AM.  Before hitting the sack, I double-checked all doors as usual, which does involve me opening the front door for one last peek outside.  At 10:30 AM I went outside and found the hubcap and all of the lug nut covers had been removed from the right front tire of the van and were lying in the driveway.   Further, the cover to the outside keypad for the garage-door-opener had been flipped open.  The lug nuts were all still tight, so either the thief was ill prepared for the task or something caused him to lose his nerve.  If I had to guess on only one possibility, it was that my buddy Igor, the west-side neighbor’s Neapolitan Mastiff, started raising a ruckus.

Regardless of how close our houses are on the cul-de-sac, and how much light we have as a deterrent, the car being parked next to the van did provide some cover for the attempt.  I now stagger the vehicles in the driveway to do away with the sheltering “blind spot.”  I informed the neighbors about the incident but did not bother our overworked police with what they would consider a non-event. 

I am considering installing exterior security cameras and some heavier deadbolt-locks to the doors.  The outside keypad for the garage-door-opener may be removed; I believe it is a secure system but that the keypad may be an attraction to those prone to misadventures.


Ruth said...

When I was working for AAA I was very amused one day, when I got two not quite consecutive calls, from people with the same model (brand new, high end) pickup trucks, needing assistance getting their trucks to the dealership because someone had stolen tires/rims/hubcaps from one side of their truck. To clarify one person was missing both tires on the driver side, the other was missing both on the passenger side. They lived in close proximity to each other, a matter of a couple blocks.

good luck with the cameras!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Heh! Makes sense; steal only from the shady side of the vehicle.

From what I have gathered so far, the cops are favorable to people having them. Keeping the cameras discreet is a challenge. Also, some cameras give decent images, others are grainy and worthless. Most of the thugs in this area wear deep hoodies to obscure their faces.

There have been other incidents here over the past 13-years where cameras would have been helpful. Maybe the time is right.

Steve said...

Just move to rural MN.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Soon as I moved in you would hear the outcry, "There goes the neighborhood!" Besides, my current neighbors would miss my eccentricities, such as walking across my lawn barefoot, in the snow.