How To Scare Off Thieves By Making Your Home Seem Occupied

If Home Alone taught us anything, it’s that even the most determined burglars get a little freaked out when it appears there’s activity going on at a targeted house. Not all of us have the wits of a young Macaulay Culkin and access to life-sized, mechanized Michael Jordan cutouts, though.

HomeAlarmMonitoring.org, which tracks home security issues, provides some methods you can use to trick burglars into thinking you’re there.

Here are our favorites:

*TV-simulating lamps – The post suggests buying a lamp that simulates the glow of an HDTV, but we suggest opting for one that resembles a crappy, old TV. No reason to give burglars more reasons to make you think you’ve got stuff worth swiping.

*Prevent newspaper build-up – You may have canceled the subscription to your morning daily years ago, but those pesky free community weeklies can still clutter up your driveway, giving away the fact that you’ve been away for a while. Have a neighbor or friend come by and pick them up.

*Make a dog dish visible to passers-by – The “beware of dog” signs aren’t always convincing, so you can make it seem more plausible that you’ve got a trespasser-munching canine if you strategically place a dish that others can see from outside your home.

What do you do to fend off burglaries when you’re away from home?

10 Tricks to Make Burglars Think Someone is Home [HomeAlarmMonitoring.org]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Are motion-sensor lights really a deterrant? It’s not like burglars are tricked into believing the homeowner just flipped on the lights. They know what they are.

    • guaporico says:

      Burglars love darkness. If there is light, someone may see them. Also the triggering of the light may draw attention to the area.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I do understand that part. But at 2am, how many people are going to be up, and awakened by a light.

        Personally, I keep all shutters blocked at night because of all the street lightning. I would never know of an additional light being turned on.

        • jesirose says:

          Burglaries usually happen during the day actually, when everyone is at work.

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            True, dat.

          • George4478 says:

            FBI crime stats have it as approximately 60-40 split daytime versus nighttime for “residential structure” burglaries. It’s reversed for “non-residential structure” burglaries.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          We try to keep our property well lit but we do have a couple of halogen lights on motion detectors. They wouldn’t wake me up but it’s usually enough to wake up our dog and make him bark. We also have elderly neighbors who keep very odd hours. They would likely notice activity in the middle of the night.

          In the winter, when it gets dark at 5:30, I do notice when they go off in the evening or before work.

        • Necoras says:

          My motion sensing light has a webcam in it. It’s not currently hooked up to anything, but I could route it through a tv capture card and have it loop 24 hours worth of recording (longer if I’m going to be out of town).

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        Perhaps stupid burgalers love darkness.

        But, they have to find their way in, and to do that, they have to SEE, and that requires light. The only choice for a thief then is to use a flashlight, which will attract as much attention as a light being turned on. If you were to look out at your neighbors house and see a flashlight, or a motion sensor light has been activated, it would be far more noticable than if you saw that the dusk to dawn light across the street – that is always on – is still on.

        Dusk-to-dawn mercury vapor lights are often called “INsecurity lights” by experts, as they only provide a (false) sense of security to their owners. While YOU may get a warm fuzzy from that light being on, if someone wants into your house, they WILL get in, light or no.

        A motion sensor light is not only more effective than a dusk-to-dawn light, but far more energy efficient.

        “The standard 175 Watt mercury vapor lamp, operating an average of 12 hours per day, over the course of one year, will use 767 kWhr of electricity. At the national average rate of 9.5¢/kWhr (2006) this will cost you $72.87 every year. Given the alternatives, this is an unnecessary expense. A motion-sensor activated lamp, with shielding to direct the light where needed, will cost you less than 1/10 that amount. Plus, the bulb will last much longer.”
        http://www.pasaz.org/docs/badlight.doc

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          That’s a very good point about dusk-to-dawn lights but they are very useful (especially front porch lights) in shedding light onto the sidewalk and street. If you live in a high crime neighborhood, the effect of lighting up the front of your property can be very noticeable. It makes questionable people scurry away and loiter somewhere else.

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            Most high crime areas are already lit by streetlights. How effective is that? They’re STILL high – crime areas.

            Motion sensor lights can also be activated when there is motion as far away as your sidewalk.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              It really depends on where you live. In my city, it’s really up to the neighborhood associations to survey the streets for burned out/damaged street lights. The more run down neighborhoods are less organized and usually have more burned out or obstructed street lights, simply because they aren’t reported. They also have more unoccupied properties which make them very dark, uninviting places.

              In my neighborhood, there is absolutely a correlation between property crime and dark areas. Parking in a dark area under a tree or in the alley is pretty much just asking for your car to be broken into. In addition, shady people just don’t hang around in well lit areas — they like alleys, dark areas, or in front of unoccupied homes.

              One of our biggest victories about 4 years ago was when our neighborhood watch was able to convince the majority of residents on our block to keep porch lights on at night. That coupled with actually reporting suspicious activity may sound like a minor accomplishment but it has made a huge improvement in the quality of life.

              • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

                As always, neighborhood involvement is always your best weapon against crime.

              • Elginista says:

                Absolutely true. My neighborhood has few street lights and is pretty dark at night. A few years ago, some drug dealers moved in next door and caused all kinds of problems. The police recommended we all keep our front porch lights on after dark. We had lots of cooperation from neighbors and several homes were lit – and the problem literally moved away, presumably to a poorly lit block.

        • Rachacha says:

          My front porch lights and the lights on either side of my garage are dusk to dawn with motion detection. When they turn on at dusk, they turn on in a dimmed state (about 50% power). This is enough to cast a glow over the house and make it so you can safety navigate outside without tripping over anything. When the motion detector is activated, they go to full brightness for between 1-5 minutes before dimminmg back to 50%.

    • Jubes says:

      A long, long time ago on a really hot summer night, my friend and I walked from our work to our apartment (about an hour and a half’s walk). We passed a school that had their sprinklers on so we ran around them for awhile, and then went back on our way. We got hot again, so we decided to run through everyone’s sprinklers on the way home. We ran up to this one house and were laughing and getting soaked when the lights went on! We got so freaked out that someone was going to come out and yell at us that we booked it down the street. It wasn’t until after we got around the corner when I realized it was probably just the motion-sensor lights lol.

    • Kingeryck says:

      My friend’s dad was up late one night and saw the light go on outside. He thought it was a raccoon or something as they often trigger the lights. It shut off. It went on again, he looked outside and someone was breaking into their car. No, it won’t scare off all burglars but like others said, it makes them visible and draws attention.

  2. DogToy says:

    Leave a giant pair of dirty boots outside the door.

    • ellmar says:

      I have a mud-caked pair of size 12 construction boots sitting outside my door. I mentioned my fake boots anti-theft technique to a friend who mis-heard and wondered how “fake boobs” would deter a burglar.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        If they’re very dense, then they could deflect bullets. No one wants to rob a bulletproof homeowner.

    • RandomHookup says:

      And perhaps a couple of used shotgun shells?

    • WagTheDog says:

      Have a Rottweiler size doggie door installed, and put a photo of the dog next to it with the caption “I make it to the fence in 2.3 seconds. Can you?”

  3. lehrdude says:

    What happened to your feet?

    Why are you dressed like a chicken?

  4. areaman says:

    This is not exactly what’s being asked but.. I ask an unemployed friend to live in my place for the weekend or week (if I’m lucky enough to actually go somewhere on vacation).

    Works best with unemployed friends that live with parents. Everyone wins. Friends gets to be somewhere else besides their house or Borders and my place has someone watching it.

  5. CaughtLooking says:

    It’s me, Snakes. I got the stuff.
    Leave it on the doorstep and get the hell outta here.
    All right, Johnny, but what about my money?
    What money?
    Acey said you had some dough for me.
    That a fact? How much do I owe ya?
    Acey said 10%.
    Too bad Acey ain’t in charge no more.
    What do you mean?
    He’s upstairs taking a bath. He’ll call you when he gets out.
    Hey, I tell ya what I’m gonna give you, Snakes.
    I’m gonna give you to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yellow, no-good keister off my property,
    before I pump your guts full of lead!
    All right, Johnny, I’m sorry. I’m goin’!
    1… 2… 10!

    Keep the change ya filthy animal!

    • rawley69 says:

      You’ve been smoochin’ wit everybody! Snuffy. Al. Leo. Little Moe, with the gimpy leg. Cheeks. Boney Bob. Cliff.

  6. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    I sometimes housesit for my friends’ parents, their big house is creepy when I am the only one there, but having an actual person inside and turning lights on and off, moving around and cooking and such, seems to work pretty well for them. And in exchange, I get access to a fridge full of delicious leftovers That Need Eating.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I did some house sitting for a friend, and she didn’t tell me her lights were all on random timers. When I got there after work, I thought…nice, she left some lights on for me. So, I watched TV and read a book, and pretty soon, darkness. I couldn’t turn the lamps on no matter what. So I went upstairs to go to bed, and there were random lights on there, too. Started to read, and boom. Lights out. So, I went to sleep.

      She got a laugh out of this as I asked her if she was enforcing lights out times!

  7. centurion says:

    Have a real live trespasser-munching canine. But then you have to have somebody to take it out.

  8. Luckier says:

    When we’re gone for the night, we leave the TV or radio on at low volume. It’s mostly for the cat – she’s a dyed-in-the-fur lefty so likes to listen to NPR.

    • ARP says:

      Can haz your Socialism? I kid.

      This can work if you live in the kind of place where they can hear the TV/radio outside. If your house is well insulated, they can’t. If they break in and hear, they may still run off though.

    • Mike says:

      Lucky you. My cat LOVES Glenn Beck and Ayn Rand. I have to fill her litter box with Atlas Shrugged pages or she will pee on my “America the Book.”

    • Snullbug says:

      My two dachshunds listen to NPR when we are out but they are bipartisan biters.

  9. macoan says:

    Dog Dish visible — now that is a pretty good idea. Since even if a crook thinks no one is home (no answer of phone, or possible door) – If they see the dog dish, they may still there there might be a dog there and not chance it.

    • dadelus says:

      Did you ever watch “It Takes a Thief.”? It was a reality show where two reformed burglars went around breaking into peoples houses (after getting permission). There were plenty of people who thought their dog would tear the guy to pieces if they got inside. That never happened though. 99% of the dogs barked their heads off while the guy was breaking in and then were playful muts once he was actually in the house.

      The other 1% were easily dealt with by stuffing them into a room and closing the door or just letting them out into the backyard and closing the door.

      • jjmcubed says:

        Not all thieves are that smart. All that I have known(three from high school that ended up going to jail) were not the sharpest tools in the shed.

    • moonunitrappa says:

      It’s got to be an old chewed up dish too. You want the impression of an impatient huge dog tossing their bowl at the door over an over waiting for his or her meal. I would buy one off a friend who had a big dog and then fill it partially full and drop a few pieces outside the bowl.

  10. Willow16 says:

    We have a white German Shepherd who will go right up to the half-glass front door or full-glass back door and bark her head off at anyone coming to the door. Substitute mail carriers won’t even put the mail through the mail slot if our dog is near the door because she tries to bite it as they’re pushing it through. A thief would be really stupid to try to get past her. Of course, if someone was to get in, our dog would probably just lick them and hope that they will pet her but you never know.

    • majortom1981 says:

      thats dangerous and your just asking for a lawsuit.

      • Willow16 says:

        What’s dangerous? That she tries to bite the mail? She’s in the house and she doesn’t bite people. As they say, she’s all bark and no bite.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      I have a dalmatian and a great dane that do the exact same thing, they like to throw themselves against the glass door and windows.. Except the dane just wants to slobber all over you and love you.. the dalmatian on the other hand would just eat you without a second thought.. he is a rescue though, and has issues.. unless its a kid.. he loves kids, any 10 year old could completely empty out my house and the dogs would just happily watch.. except for the danes tail.. it takes out my neighbours kids all the time.. its kinda funny..

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    If you have friends who work for a security company, ask them for a few window stickers. Companies do sell fake security stickers, but if you have one from a real company, it will tend to help keep away the burglars (knock on wood).

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’ve heard it both ways. When our house was broken into, the detective told us that burglars will often target houses with security signs because it implies there are valuables worth stealing inside. Even with an alarm, it still takes a very long time for the police to respond to an alarm call because most are accidental and non-violent property crimes lack priority when dispatching.

      It’s the same way with NRA stickers or anything else indicating you own firearms. It’s just a sign to the criminals that guns are available and to just wait until no one is home.

      • kujospam says:

        Also, some criminals when they target houses will mess with the alarm system. After setting the alarm off on purpose a few times a week for 2 weeks. The police will not even show up to the house anymore. Usually after 3 times. Then, even with the alarm blaring, the thieves just drive in the back, load up the van, and drive away.

    • cozymoses says:

      I did that as well. I live in a crap house and it’s obvious I don’t own anything worth stealing (apart from the dog), but I figured it can’t hurt.

    • Razor512 says:

      someone in my neighborhood did that, about a month later someone broke into their house.

      Security systems basically send the message “I have something valuable to protect”

      Even if you have one, it is easy to break in and take what you want and leave long before the police come.

  12. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    We bought the BIGGEST dog dish we could find (it was over 12″ wide) and printed the name “PSYCHO” on it and placed it prominently on the front porch along with an 8-foot chain with a huge collar. I think it worked.

    • GreatWhiteNorth says:

      I love this… Consider getting a big shovel and pail and set them at the side of the house for poop patrol… And, you could get a neighbour with a dog to have it drop a couple in your yard… You could also get a chunk of 2×4 that a dog has gnawed on and place that there too… (actually the shovel could be used to break a window so don’t).

  13. nbaptist says:

    Do you think criminals read Cosumerist?

  14. duncanblackthorne says:

    Last time I heard you can call your newspaper and have them hold delivery while you’re away for this very reason.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Unless the newspaper carrier is feeding info to the crooks…

    • SilentAgenger says:

      Doesn’t always work. Sometimes either the paper fails to pass the info on to the delivery person, or the delivery person is clueless and delivers the paper anyway. That happened to me twice. I cancelled my account with the paper the second time it happened. Then there is always the possibility that the knowledge of vacation suspension could be used for the wrong reasons. What really irks me is these “pesky free community weeklies” that are next to impossible to stop. The paper shifts the responsibility to the deliverer, and vice versa, with no resolution. One person in a nearby neighborhood go so fed up that she sat outside her house all night waiting for the deliverer, then chased them down on sight (at 4am!) and gave them hell about it. It still didn’t do any good. Pisses me off.

    • cvt2010 says:

      I think what they’re talking about here is the freebie local newspapers that a lot of areas have. They get delivered to every house, and I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the company to honor a request not to deliver them. Thankfully I’m lucky and those sort of papers where I live get delivered in the mail, so they don’t pile up, but I’ve lived places in the past where you get 1-3 “newspapers” that are 99% ads delivered to your doorstep.

      • Elginista says:

        Agree. There are a couple obviously vacant (foreclosed) houses on my block, and they still get the weekly freebies delivered, even in summer when the weeds were a foot tall.

    • George4478 says:

      Newspapers aren’t the problem. From the article: “those pesky free community weeklies can still clutter up your driveway”

      Not to mention the rock-weighted baggies advertising cleaning services, lawn care, Chinese food delivery, painting services, etc.

  15. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t recall the Michael Jordon cut-out as being mechanized. IIRC, Kevin set the cut outs on toy trains and also had some rigged on strings to move around.

    • CaughtLooking says:

      The MJ cut out was on the train that went around.

      • clownsRcreepy says:

        I have to say, your knowledge of Home Alone is disturbingly thorough…

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          That is really clever, though. And I always use the Wet Bandits as an example when I’m trying to explain crime scene signatures to somebody.

    • Anathema777 says:

      Yep. The Michael Jordan cutout was on a train, a mannequin was on a record player and other mannequins (they had kind of a lot) where roped to Kevin so they moved when he did.

  16. JohnJ says:

    We have “Beware of the dog” signs, and a brave Shetland Sheepdog who would do anything to protect “dad.”

    We have outdoor flood lights with sunlight detectors. They turn on at dusk, and off at dawn. (No motion detector.) Given a choice, burglars would rather break into an unlit house.

    Right now, in this area, the biggest clue that people are “on vacation” is a driveway that’s not shoveled. And a lack of footprints to any door makes things even worse.

    • Kuri says:

      Best solution there would be to ask a neighbor to shovel/plow your driveway and visit your house regularly to keep footprints visible.

  17. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I live in an apartment so there is little I can realistically do. I have those random light timers plugged in in a couple rooms (they are cheap at Ikea, by the way). I put a radio tuned to a talk radio station under one of the windows.

    I lived in an apartment complex with assigned parking years ago. They had problems with people parking where they didn’t belong, so they went around and stenciled the apartment number on its assigned spot. They assigned stickers that you had to put on your rear window. Then they regularly patrolled to make sure only the registered car was in its spot. They didn’t even allow me to ask a friend to park her extra car in my spot to give the illusion someone was home. Asinine.

    • B* says:

      IMO best thing to do in apartments is befriend your nearest (trustworthy) neighbor. I can hear all comings and goings in our hall, so I’d know if someone was there who wasn’t supposed to be.

      I’d also put a timer on that radio, as a radio on at 3am might be counterproductive.

      Can you put a bike in your parking spot?

  18. DeepHurting says:

    I use the talking Home Security Decoy from National Home Security, Inc.
    Available at Rickel, K-mart and other fine establishments.

    “I’m gonna put my evil inside you.”

  19. Jubes says:

    This is something I think about all the time. We’ve been in our house for just over two years now and I’m still a bit scared to sleep alone. My boyfriend works a weird night shift so most nights he’s not home when it’s my bedtime. It’s not so bad in the winter because all of the windows are closed and I can hear whats going on outside (plus my reasoning is that it’s too cold where I live even for criminals haha), but in the summer when we have the fans going and the windows are open, every noise I hear above the intentional ruckus scares the crap out of me. My neighbourhood is fantastic, it’s safe, we all know eachother, have everyone’s number, nothing has happened on the street save for an old lady dying of natural causes.

    Deep down I KNOW I really don’t have to worry, but I have a hard time shutting off my brain. I’d like to get a dog but it’s not in our budget to fence a huge yard right now. I’d leave a light on but electricity is so damn expensive here. Also, now that we’re down to only one car, I worry that someone might think no one is home.

    Just this week my boyfriend called me from outside because someone had driven their car in between ours and the neighbours house. He asked me to check the back room that connects off the deck to the kitchen and I was like “Heeeeeeellll no!”. On the positive side, after investigating with the neighbour we found that they never got out of the car, and there is no way to see into the house, so we’re over it. It was really strange though.

  20. DaveWW says:

    Light timers.

  21. valthun says:

    We use a light on a timer that turns on and off throughout the night. Also number 10 is pretty big. With the use of the facebook and people checking in everywhere on their cellphones.

  22. donovanr says:

    The point “Keep blinds open” is quite wrong. Studies have shown that burgers love to see what they are getting in to. Any break in video will show the perps straining to look into the place before the break in. Plus good storm shutters will require much more banging and obvious damage to get through. On top of all that it makes it harder for the perps to run out if someone comes.

    Storm shutters rule. Love the TV bulb thing. Put that on a timer and you have a winner.

    I have long meant to get a sound loop that basically sounds like I am on a 911 call with the occasional shout out to the dirtbag that if he comes in this room I’ll blow his head off. Doubt the cats will mind if it plays all day every day. Even if it doesn’t fool them long it will no doubt slow them down. Best of all it might work.

  23. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I taught teens who had been in trouble with the law and they set me straight as to protecting my house.

    1. Three dark houses and the middle one is the target.
    2. Any sign of a dog (dish, toys, poop, chain, chewed up stuff) not a target.
    3. Car in drive, not a target.
    4. Signs the house is vacant (papers, mail, junk mail, snow, etc.) target.

    They also told me they often found an unlocked door or window to allow entry. If breakage needed for entry they always found a tool onsite to do it.

    By the way they kids were finally caught (and changed careers) when they found a guys stash of Hash and got too stoned to bother leaving. The guy came home, called the cops and they all got a ride in the back of a cruiser.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Uh, just curious, how did that conversation with the police go? “Officer, I came home and these dang kids broke in and smoked my hash”.

      Wouldn’t that be admitting to possession? :)

  24. marc6065 says:

    The two 50 cal machine guns on each end of the house usually do it for me. They even keep those pesky Jehovah Witnesses away, but the mormon missonaries uaually knock because they want to pop off a few rounds.

  25. stormbird says:

    You could borrow one of my parents’ dogs. Not only will they leave poo on the property, the one only poos on the sidewalk.

  26. sgtyukon says:

    I find living next door to the K9 cop who has both the dog and his cruiser at home when he’s off duty quite effective for me.

  27. BurtReynolds says:
    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      That’s a pretty damn coy ad. The only reason to have one of those in the car with you is to fool cops so you can drive in the HOV lane.

  28. Mamudoon says:

    Having nothing worth stealing has worked out well for me. XD

  29. Slave For Turtles says:

    Make sure no one can see into your garage. If there are no cars in there, chances are no one is home either. I learned this via the School of Hard Knocks. My windows are covered with peel-n-stick frosted plastic stuff or with blinds NOW. The officer who came to investigate told me to get a steel-framed doors. Turns out that feature is only on commercial pre-hung doors. No one has them for residential doors.

  30. Actionable Mango says:

    Paint a “victim chalk outline” on your porch and scatter some brass casings around.

    You know, right next to the “Welcome” doormat.

  31. El-Brucio says:

    Lights on timers, blinds closed so you can’t see in, and the radio in the kitchen left on a chat station loud enough to make it seem like people are talking but not loud enough to make out what anyone is saying. That, and asking a neighbour to take care of the mail/flyers every day.

    It seems to have worked the past 40 years. We do the same for the neighbours, and I don’t recall any of them ever suffering a burglary either.

  32. jerrycomo says:

    I have a sign that says: “Very nice Siamese cat”.

  33. coodies says:

    we put talk radio on – this way when someone comes up to the house, they hear voices and won’t sit there long enough to listen to NPR or whatever we put on.

  34. TPA says:

    Home automation FTW. I’ve been using SmartHome’s Insteon stuff for years. The house has pretty much learned my normal patterns, so it’s difficult for even my neighbors to tell when I’m home and when I’m not. It also allows me to control and see the house off my mobile phone.

    As a bonus, I have an “all lights on” button on the keypad in my bed’s headboard. Came in handy one night when I heard a banging sound out back. Turned out it was a damn armadillo trying to dig underneath my screen enclosure. Still scared the snot out of me initially.

  35. ericfate says:

    My very first apartment was in the crappiest part of the crappiest city I have ever lived in. In the three years I lived there, I had the best luck with a homebrew security system. Part one was a contact microphone connected to the inside of the front door. If a certain amount of noise was being generated then a prerecorded tape loop that I made of my grandfather’s very large and easily agitated dog would start to play near the base of one of the front windows. Heavy footsteps, growling, fits of barking. It would play in 5 to 10 second bursts depending on how long the noise went on (the tough part was setting it up in a way that the microphone didn’t pick up the noise from the speaker and go into an endless loop while I was at work). The second part was a motion sensor at the partition between the entrance to the apartment and the back of the apartment where the stereo/tv/computer/etc lived. That was rigged to play a digital recording of a round being chambered in a pump action shotgun (from a speaker behind the bathroom door.)

    Like most of the apartments in the complex, my door did get kicked in at least once, but they didn’t stick around for long enough to try and steal anything.

  36. physics2010 says:

    Personally I always hide my car in the garage and keep my house as dark as possible even when I am home. Hasn’t worked yet.

  37. bluline says:

    As with avoiding newspaper build-up, make sure you have a friend who will put tracks in your driveway if you’re away from home when it snows. A pristine driveway is a beacon to thieves. I learned this the hard way a few years ago.

  38. gman863 says:

    Crime is down over last year in the Houston area.

    Wonder if this has anything to do with Texas’ new Castle Doctrine Law.

    1. You break in or trespass – I am now in fear for either my property or safety.
    2. I grab the firearm of my choosing and blow your fucking head off.
    3. Cops take a few pics. ME bags what’s left of perp. Goes to Grand Jury for review – yep, resident followed Castle Doctrine law perfectly; no charges filed.

  39. Ragman says:

    When we’re out of town, I use timers on the lights that we normally use, for the time periods that they are usually on. The dining light is a hanging lamp, so I just use a couple of cheap floor lamps to simulate it. My kid sleeps with a lamp on, so we leave it on as well.

    I think the biggest deterrents are the security cams I have mounted on the front door and garage. In the past few years I’ve had them up, I’ve only seen minor mischief on them. Hell, some drunk dumbass got to view the business end of my neighbor’s 9mm last month, and I didn’t get a single glimpse of him on my security cams.

  40. bwcbwc says:

    One silver lining of an incident we had with our dog a few years ago is that we have a county-mandated “Bad Dog” sign on all access points to our property. Nothing more convincing than that.