October 27, 2016

Avoid These 3 Habits That Invite Crime

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve been paying attention to news reports and word of mouth in the communities around me and I notice there are more reports of criminal activities in areas were people usually say “That never happens here.”

I know official reports in many areas show crime is down overall, but it really depends on what type of crime and where they happen.  No matter how low a statistic might be, you would still be quite the unhappy one if it happened to you.

So based on the recent reports, eliminate these 3 common, and seemingly harmless habits and you would cut your chances of being a victim of property crime:

  • Leaving your purse on the bin of the shopping cart.  Last week, the crime report featured a woman who was loading groceries into her car’s trunk left her purse on the shopping cart bin.  A car approached her and the driver grabbed the purse.  She tried to grab it as well, but the man was already speeding off and she got dragged a few feet with the shopping cart, resulting in cuts and bruises.  She was lucky nothing worse happened to her, other than the stolen cash and credit cards in her purse.  The autorities tracked down the credit card numbers and found that the thief had racked up several hundred dollars worth of credit within half and hour and he is still at large.
  • Leaving items in the front or back seats of your vehicle within plain view.  One of the music teachers in a nearby strip mall sent an email bulletin that a student got his car windows broken while attending class.  Apparently some items were left in the front seat that attracted the robber.  No matter how worthless you think an item might be, the criminals do not know what it is and anything that attracts their attention would make you a target.
  • Keeping your home’s windows wide open so anyone in the area can see all your stuff.  I know it sounds a bit paranoid but home invasion robberies are on the rise, and neighbors in the victim’s neighborhood usually describe the home that got targeted “had a lot of nice things.”  Even if it is a mistaken impression, a little comment like that from one of the neighbors is all it takes to get the thieves’ interested.

I know there are so many other ways to avoid becoming a victim, but the above behaviors are things we have all done at one time or another and never even give it a second thought.  Now, even these innocuous actions can have unintended consequences.   Be careful!


© Apartment Prepper 2011




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12 Comments on Avoid These 3 Habits That Invite Crime

  1. That’s a timely posting. Even here in the mountains, in a very rural area, home invasions are getting to be a real problem. We have a lot of elderly people living here. We also have a county 45 miles away that has a huge population of illegal immigrants. The joke used to be that you could get broken into, get robbed, and drive over there to the flea market and buy your stuff back on Saturday at a discount. But now they are just kicking in doors and beating people up, then taking what they want. That isn’t so humorous.

    Here’s a quote that could be converted to our own time:

    “During the Dark Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not putting on your armor because you were “just going down to the corner.””

    J. Handy

    • ATH, it is sad that even up in the mountains is not safe from these home invasions or other crimes. Seems no place can be considered “safe” anymore. Another story the other day: a repeat offender tried to rob and off duty police woman’s house. She interrupted him, shots fired and the robber was killed. Even his own family from another state was not surprised at his bad end. These thieves have gotten really blatant and give no second thought the homeowner could be armed. Goes to show how desperate and fearless these people are. Good quote there, not putting on armor for a quick trip around the corner would be a big mistake indeed!

  2. I used to joke about not even having a key to the house. Although our property hasn’tn been broken into we have started locking the place and closing the front gate whether we are home or not.
    As far as purses go, what I’ve always taught my daughters is to buckle the purse in using the child safety strap or better yet using a paracord strap. Then if some jerk pulls up and grabs the purse the entire cart will come with it and will scratch the crap out of their vehicle. That would put a big smile on my face and would make up for the hassle of having the stuff stolen – although I’d think that they drop the purse rather than deal with the cart following them. I also teach them that there is no reason to carry a purse. If it doesn’t fit into a pocket, fanny pack, or backpack they probably don’t need to bring it into the store.

    • Whatifitstoday, nice thought, the mental picture of a shopping cart getting stuck to the purse snatcher’s car puts a smile on my face as well. Late I have been really considering replacing the purse with a fanny pack and have started experimenting with bringing that instead. You do need to lock up the property even if it’s a distance away, you just never know these days.

  3. I don’t carry a purse, but if I did, I would not keep my keys in it. Same goes for my wallet (ID, credit cards, license,cash). Every door to one’s house/apt should have a good deadbolt lock on it (2 for bonus points), and a peek hole. Get rid of those door knobs with the built-in slam lock, they’ll just lock you out at the wrong time & they offer no security at all. And they temp some to use it instead of the deadbolt lock. Replace the doorknobs with ones with-out a lock. Re-inforce door frame, use longer, stronger scews & the same for the screws for the hinges. And of course don’t use hollow doors forthe exterior. Maybe put a solid door w/deadbolt lock on the bedroom.

    • Hey SG, these are really good suggestions about reinforcing doors with deadbolt locks and replacing exterior doors with a stronger door. Being in an apartment I would need the manager’s permission to do so, but I think it would only help the property to have stronger security so I don’t think it would be a problem. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Thanks AptPrepper 🙂 Putting myself in apt mode : In a building that each apt has a window with a fire escape right next to it–I would ad an extra window lock on that or those windows. Home Depot sells ones that you tighten a wing nut & it clamps onto the track of the window so that it can’t be lifted up. No holes drilled. Another idea is; they also sell 1” C-clamps for $2. I use these for whenmy family & I go on vacation & stay in a room in a hotel on the 1 st floor. I even bring along a door club telescoped down to the smallest size so that it fits in my suitcase or duffel bag. I bring along a 2nd one that the doorknob fork comes off so it can also be used as a temp lock for a sliding door. Now this may sound like I rent in dumpy places , but these are usually in rural areas & I’d rather be safe than sorry (yes, I know that I’m paranoid:-) But back to Apt Mode–If Iwas living in an apt that I planned on staying for some time–I would invest in a security gate (for that window that is accesable from a fire escape). Not those accordian style ghetto gates. But one made of wrought iron, fire dept approved, open from the inside with a special latch that doesn’t involve a key. When moving out just patch up the screw holes.

    • Hey SG, these security measures sound easy enough to install, and not a lot of hassle to remove once it’s time to move. I will definitely look into adding these things. Whether in a nice area or dumpy area, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Thank you!

  5. Another one that screams “No one home. Rob me!” is a pile of papers at the end of the driveway. If you are going to be away, stop the paper and then ask a neighbor to pick them up if the paper guy forgets. Not an issue in apartments unless they put them by your door, I guess, but an easy to spot target as you drive down residential roads.

    One of my greatest crime-related concerns is my vulnerability when buckling children into carseats- I’m focused on my task and can’t monitor my surroundings well. I have a pistol with me at all times, but I need to get in a better habit of wearing my concealed holster more often since it won’t do me any good if it’s in my purse that is out of reach (or stolen- worse).

    • Definitely buckling children into carseats is a vulnerable situation. That is great you have already gotten your concealed carry. Carrying in the purse though would not do any good if its out of your reach. I try to keep the taser or pepper spray in my pocket, so reachable at all times. Good thing us moms have eyes in the back of our heads. 🙂 Seriously though since you are already super aware of this vulnerability, you likely are already doing it as quickly as possible while paying attention to your surroundings. Before you start the process scan the area including under cars in your vicinity, I have heard reports of criminals hiding under cars lying in wait for just the right opportunity.

  6. Years ago an elderly neighbor used to have lots of breakable doo-dads on her window ledges (along the edge where the lock(s) are). I commented that they looked nice and she explained that they were “security devices”. If the window is disturbed they will fall & break creating noise which could deter a burglar & alert anyone inside. Knowing that, I hit the dollar store for a few “decorative items” and did the “installation” myself. 🙂

    • Only Me, Clever idea, placing decorative items that would fall and break in the event of a break-in. Low cost alarm, I like that! Thanks for sharing.

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