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Neighbours broken into and car stolen caught it on CCTV


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My wife called me at 11 last night to say she thought the neighbours were being broken into. I told her to call 999.

 

I then went to check our CCTV camera that points out to the street just to the side of their house.

 

I watched one guy come from the house and a car pull up and five guys get out. They were slight and looked like they were probably teenagers. Too far away and dark to get any useful information.

 

They all went into the house and set off the alarm. This is when my wife looked out the window and saw them. They came mob handed so that they could go through the house quickly and get the keys before anyone reacted to the alarm.

 

It was 4 minutes from them getting out of the car to driving off. The alarm was probably going for only two minutes.

 

I was just investigating what to get at the new place yesterday before this as to CCTV and other security.

 

One thing it made me think, why not take you car keys with you when you go on holiday.

 

Also why not park you car in the garage. We put both cars in the garage all the time now. After an attempted break in I got a skip and cleared out the garage. I found I was juts keeping the vast majority of stuff in there just in case and never touched it. Indeed the stuff I kept I still basically don't touch, like spare tiles and paint.

 

Wife is a bit shaken so I am going home a day early.

 

I have done so much reading on security. I am going to call my architect as he wanted us to just have an inside door between the house and garage but I want a more secure outside door. Apparently a large number of break in come via internal garages. I already removed the garage back door from the design. We didn't need it and it seems silly to put an insecure part glass door in a garage.

 

Vast majority of break in nowadays are for car keys. Then computers and jewellery. When you think about it a nice car is likely to be worth 20+x the next most expensive movable item in you house.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, AliG said:

I already removed the garage back door from the design. We didn't need it and it seems silly to put an insecure part glass door in a garage

 

I've gone the opposite way and I'm having a steel exterior door RAL coated to match the windows. 

 

No door from  the house to the garage...!

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5 minutes ago, AliG said:

No window I hope! I guess they normally have a window for light, but how often are people inside their garage with all the doors closed! Easy enough to put the light on anyway.

 

Nope ..! Basically it's brick 3 sides and a steel door front and back...

 

A while back there was a spate of those ABS garage doors being broken into when your average scrote was using a blowlamp on the steel handle and it softened the door enough to twist and unlock the whole assembly without a key. 

 

Don't forget though with garage doors, most have the key number stamped in the barrel anyway and you can buy keys for very little online .....

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Electric doors, no handle.

 

I am probably going to get a Hormann door as their electric openers physically lock in place so you cannot force the door up.

 

I was considering a wooden door as it might look nicer, although I didn't fancy the maintenance. But I had already decided steel insulated double skinned as it seems to me you could reasonably easily break through a wooden door.

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My parents go away a lot. Whenever I needed to use the garage or borrow a car it was easy to find the keys 'hidden' in the top drawers of places. Anyway I told them about breaking for keys and now they hide properly. So well I can't even ever find them. 

 

I'll be making sure my garage (car house) will be extra secure - not only against break in but getting a car out. I've not done any detail but I'll be making sure I've got proper removable bollards inside the garage door that are set right into the founds.  

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TBH, we used to have a row of key hooks just inside the back door, where we both used hang door and car key fobs (and the spare key fobs.........).  We stopped using that, not because of the break in risk, but because the key fob batteries kept going flat - apparently the fobs were close enough to one or other of the cars (both Toyota Hybrids) that one or other of the cars were interrogating the keyless entry on the fobs.  It was only around 6 months ago that I read about the "amplifier trick".  A quick search on the web revealed that these things were on sale, and made nicking a keyless entry car easy.

 

It works like this.  The scrotes turn up with one of these amplifier boxes late at night, and stand between your car and the house.  The box amplifies the weak signal that the car sends out all the time, the one that activates the key fob and primes the keyless entry, and relays the keyfob signal back to the car.  The car then thinks there's a key fob nearby, so allows the doors to unlock when touched and the car alarm is automatically turned off, as the car thinks there's a fob there.  The scrotes then get in and just push the car away, without starting it, so there's no noise.  They can't easily start the car any way, but they can tow it away on a trailer easily enough.

 

So, now we have a hidden metal key safe in the house, that's screened enough to prevent the amplifier trick from working, and hidden well enough that it would take a long time to find it, and scrotes generally don't like to spend a lot of time nicking things.

 

As for alarms, I'm not convinced they work.  Where we currently live, a neighbours house alarm goes off at least once a month, and everyone just ignores it, or gets annoyed enough after half an hour or so to call the alarm company.  I think obvious physical security is probably the best thing to have, followed by CCTV that's good enough quality to ID the perpetrators after the event.  We've gone for microwave doppler activated motion detectors, that silently trigger two separated solid state video recorders, with two cameras, one that covers the front door and the whole entrance drive, the other mounted so it looks straight at the first camera, and covers the garage entrance to the front of the house.  The idea was to have cameras that would catch both a front and rear view of anyone approaching the house.  I suspect that having very obvious CCTV cameras (and ours stand out, even at night, as the IR illuminators give a slight visible red glow) probably deters the casual scrotes, plus we live in a low crime area anyway.  The house is pretty secure - secure-by-design locks all around, and triple glazing that's glazed from inside and not easy to break.

 

However, I think the rather sad bottom line is that if a determined enough scrote wants to break in they will, no matter what you do, short of fitting steel barriers all over the place.  They always seems to be one step ahead of any new security measure.

 

 

Edited by JSHarris
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I don't believe that is an issue as long as they had to break into house.

 

Sadly @jamiehamy I already have the slab down. Some of these posts are beasts so I couldn't put it inside the garage.

 

However, to @JSHarris point, deterrence is partly the key. Especially as they will make a mess trying to get in, find keys etc.

 

I wonder then if the solution isn't to have a very obvious post either outside the garage door, or in my case behind the gate to the street. I could have it concreted in. I think they probably just wouldn't bother in this case as it would be pretty obvious they couldn't physically move the car.

 

 

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If you can fit a strong-looking retractable/folding post in the drive entrance then that should be a deterrent, as I doubt they'd want to spend time trying to remove it.  There are other considerations though.  How much of a nuisance is a drive-mounted retractable post going to be?  What about an emergency, when you want to get out quickly?  I like the idea in principle, but I think I'd want something that was pretty foolproof and very quick and easy to retract/fold.

Edited by JSHarris
typos - missed "going to" out
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It would be a bit of a pain. I am particularly thinking about it for when on holiday.

 

I have racked my brain but I can't think of an emergency where I have ever had to get out that quickly. I suppose when I am late for something it might be a nuisance to stop and put it down.

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There is only 1 real deterrent here and that is a simple one. Drive a shitbox. 

 

1) you are less likely to be targeted and 

 

2) even if you are you would be far less bothered by losing said shitbox 

 

i wish I could say I was following this advice by choice but I'm not. im following it because I have no money. There's a lesson for us all in there somewhere.

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I was think of something like a medical emergency.  Say (God forbid) that there are two of you in the house and one has a heart attack, the other gives CPR and calls the ambulance that can't then gain good access because of the post.  Same goes for a fire, when you want to get out as fast as possible. 

 

For use when away on holiday then I think it's a great idea, and could be done quite simply, with no need for anything that folds or retracts.  Set a really solid stainless plate into a big concrete foundation (something like a stainless post with holes in with a thick stainless plate welded on top and set into concrete so it's level with the top of the drive.  Threaded holes in the plate, greased and normally covered by rubber plugs, could be used to bolt down a hefty steel post using tamper-proof bolts, or locking bolts with a rotating head that need a key to undo, like locking wheel nuts.

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I'll leave the driveway but for the garage, the deterrent is that even if they get car keys,  they need to get the car out the garage. Although the garage has no windows which should help deter in the first place. 

 

The question is - bollard inside door or out? If out,  it is an immediate deterrent,  if inside,  they might get the keys and have to abandon when they realise they can't get it out or to do so involves a lot of effort and time.  

I would say however this is for when house is unattended. A friend woke to the sound of people trying to get in her house in middle of the night. Even when they called the police and shouted at them,  they didn't give up. In the end,  they couldn't get in the house and gave up. They were after their Golf R,  same car I had at the time. 

 

In that case I'd have flung the keys down the stairs and let them get in with it. She had her husband and baby in the house. 

 

 

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I have had medical emergencies requiring action that rapid ... specifically one or two acute asthma attacks with unexpected triggers. One was inkjet ink fumes.

 

On one occasion I went into respiratory arrest when the hospital made me immediately blow the tester.

 

But the OP was about while on holiday, so perhaps an occupied house is a different circumstance. In that case they could just hold a kitchen knife to someone's neck .. give us the keys or else.

 

For a holiday solution it could be as simple as a half inch bar bolted across the garage door or from drive to lintel, or an electric gate with a padlock or three. Or the key properly concealed or held by a third party.

 

Or a wheel clamp if you have no garage.

 

Ferdinand

 

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17 minutes ago, daiking said:

There is only 1 real deterrent here and that is a simple one. Drive a shitbox. 

 

1) you are less likely to be targeted and 

 

2) even if you are you would be far less bothered by losing said shitbox 

 

i wish I could say I was following this advice by choice but I'm not. im following it because I have no money. There's a lesson for us all in there somewhere.

I already do that. I leave it open all the time by accident and it has never been touched in 9 years. But once house is built I want a newer car... 

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@jamiehamy I am surprised that they just kept going in an occupied house. As I always understood it the risk of being identified/caught is much higher and I would think the penalties are much more severe hence they prefer an easier job. I think choosing stealing as a career suggests a lack of wanting to work hard at stuff.

 

As previously discussed I am having laminated windows which should make it a lot harder to get into the house.

 

Maybe I am worrying unnecessarily. The new place will have gates and the garden is surrounded by 10ft high hedges. I just got onto the architect as one side the hedge is poor and has no fence behind it. There is one point where I can just push my way through it. I am looking to get an amendment to our planning permission so that I can put a new security fence up then plant a new neater hedge in front of this. It will massively improve how the site looks anyway as the ropey hedge is letting it down a bit from the front.

 

I could as someone has said just put a chain round the gate when I am away, maybe that is a simple visible deterrent. I am having a sliding gate so you can't push it open and it is 2.4m high so you can't easily jump it.

 

The broken in neighbours, they got in through their conservatory doors. Their back garden has a wall/fence around it, but it is the standard 6ft high. The 2m planning restriction on fences is somewhat odd as just a little higher would make them much harder to climb over.

 

On my current house I am probably going to get a Ring doorbell. I am suspicious that the criminals often ring your bell to see if anyone is home. It is easy enough just to run off if a light comes on/someone answers. My parents, who live on the other side of town were burgled a couple of years ago, by simply smashing their patio doors. They said that they think just before hand someone rang the bell but there was no one there. I think it would be very interesting to see how many people come to the door. We have an enclosed porch area that you would have no business being in if you didn't have a delivery. According to the blurb installing these considerably reduces break ins. Irrespective its quite a nice bell and it lets you speak to people at the door without going to the door.

 

Sadly there has been such a spate of burglaries in Edinburgh that my wife is getting very nervous and struggling to sleep. It doesn't help that I work away. Couple that with a couple of expensive cars and I have to take the issue seriously. Until a couple of years ago Edinburgh had one of the lower break in rates in the country and we never worried but it has soared in the last few years.

 

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One thing to remember is high fences also keeps the scum hidden.

 

I fitted a Rhino post to my front drive years ago and it worked well. It's a simple key operated post that goes straight up and down - making it very easy to use. After reading this post, I'll be fitting one either on the new drive or in front of the garage.

 

One thing to consider is having a dog. I've had a GSD for for years and they've all protected their home over the years ;) It might also help your wife feel safer while you're away as they will hear anything and everything.

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I live in such a remote location that there are not even locks on the doors...... My main  landrover is parked  2.5 miles away and only gets looked at by sea gulls, and the scrappy keeps leaving his card on the window ....... My other ancient ex military landy is such a health hazard that if you managed to get it started and drove off you would be lined up for a darwin award. 

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53 minutes ago, Construction Channel said:

 

i would hope a locked house would class as secure......

 

I'm not 100% sure on this.  When I renewed my insurance last September I got a note with the renewal notice about key security.  It highlighted some obvious things, like keeping car keys in a hidden location, out of view through the windows of the house etc.  My guess is that the insurers were covering their backsides in case of a claim for theft resulting from someone breaking into your house and taking the keys.

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9 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

 

I'm not 100% sure on this.  When I renewed my insurance last September I got a note with the renewal notice about key security.  It highlighted some obvious things, like keeping car keys in a hidden location, out of view through the windows of the house etc.  My guess is that the insurers were covering their backsides in case of a claim for theft resulting from someone breaking into your house and taking the keys.

 

It is a disgusting world we live in >:(

 

on the assumption that if you did happen to leave your keys on the side they would not pay out?

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