FOR THOSE LOOKING TO MAKE FAST MONEY ILLEGALLY STOLEN PROPERTY GETS THE JOB DONE BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE.
I’m certain that I’m not the only one who has noticed an influx of property theft, personal theft, employment theft, bank robberies, retail theft and pharmacy break-in’s the past year. For those people who turn to theft they have to be at the bottom of the barrel to want to get their butt slammed in jail or even worse, killed.
A 2007 report by Statistics Canada suggested that property crimes are far more likely to occur in cities and towns than they are in rural communities.
However, farms can be easy targets, especially when the owners are not present.
That’s the simple truth. The hard truth is why is this happening and what are we doing as a community or government to help control the situation. Mental illness has long been shoved under the carpet but has now been the spotlight of many incidents across Canada that involve violence, theft, robberies and even death. Depression and addictions along with other illnesses can take hold of anyone.
What is property theft?
From burglary to vandalism, property crime is the most commonly recorded offence in most cities. It can be a targeted attack or a random act of crime involving damaged or stolen property. … Break-and-enters and motor vehicle theft are two of the most common police-reported offences in Canada.- Mounted Police Canada.
Addictions and Mental Illness
With the recent Fentanyl craze along with other opiods such as oxycocet, oxycodone, methadone and so on pharmacies are burglarized and robbed daily. Right now Fentanyl is hugely addictive drug additive that is cheap and in most cases can cause death if bought off the streets from shady dealers. For this reason Naloxone is prescribed for free to Canadians who are at risk of a prescription overdose.
Fentanyl is a huge money-maker at the moment for drug dealers and for those addicted it can be life or death and in many cases death follows them unless they can be saved by Naloxone on time.
In the end property theft is either about needing money or drug money to keep going. Then there is the thief who might just fancy something that they can’t afford and would like to have it even if it means to steal it.
Then again, some people make a living by pursuing property theft which is the easiest to do rather than hold up a bank or business for cash. There are too many hidden opportunities for the robber or thief to get caught, but for some it’s what they believe is their last option.
Most professional thieves don’t pick random properties to burglar or steal from they find a property that is an easy target and profile it then go in for the loot. If you as a homeowner are not protected your insurance company may or may not accept a property theft claim. Besides if your deductible is higher than what was stolen there really is no point in claiming it on your insurance.
Don’t let property theft cost you
We all make mistakes.
Recently our neighbour had his $1200 bike stolen from his garage during daylight hours because he left his garage open. I find that seems to be a trend in Ontario to keep your garage open during the summer months which I often found odd unless you were doing work inside or outside of the property.
Home invasions are another way thieves participate in property theft especially if it’s something they really want. Flash your cash around and leave your doors open and you might find yourself face down on the ground, tied up and someone going through your stuff while you have no way of stopping them.
Property theft begins with bling which means thieves spot stuff they want because they have access to seeing it. I know it’s hard to believe that this world has come to this but it has and until something changes we need to chain down everything we own and protect ourselves from property theft especially vehicle break-ins.
Just considering all the ways we are vulnerable is scary but none the less we need to take charge and protect ourselves. I’m certain our friend will never see his bike again but he’s learned a valuable lesson and from that so did we, lock it up.
My inspiration for this post comes after many years of being a homeowner and personally having property theft so close to home. In recent months we’ve been getting notifications from our community neighbourhood team to protect ourselves as homes and vehicles were broken into.
When it happens to you there is a sense of violation that will happen and may cause insecurity day in and day out because you believe someone might come back to finish a job. We shouldn’t have to live this way but unfortunately we can’t all change the world but we can make a difference by supporting each other, education and offering assistance to those who desperately need it.
Let’s look at some ways you can protect yourself from property theft, vehicle theft and home burglary.
We don’t have an active alarm system in our home but there is an ancient one wired in but not activated. If you plan to have an alarm system installed be sure to do your research and look over customer reviews before signing up.
Rogers now offers an alarm system that you can get access to via your cell phone which is great because you can check in on the house. Like everything that comes with a price tag though and still hasn’t bothered us to sign-up just yet.
Well lit properties with motion sensors or in-ground lighting are less likely to be targets of property theft because thieves already know that the homeowner is ahead of the theft game. They are looking for that one homeowner who has left themselves vulnerable to those night seekers of fast cash.
One of the easiest ways into a home is through an unlocked door but an unlocked garage or even worse a garage door that is wide open is the easiest way in. Never give out your keypad key for the garage and protect it when you use it just as you would your debit card at an ATM.
Always do a double-check of doors on the way out of the house and on the way to bed. This has become a habit in our home that my dad started ever since mum and dad came to Canada. Back in the UK all of our doors and windows lock with a key. Not just one key either, they all have a key so my parents are always locking and unlocking doors and windows. I believe with property theft happening all over the world it has become the norm for those who are terribly afraid of it.
Bottom line is you have to care.
Every night before bed my dad would check our front and garage door to make sure it was closed and then locked the doors behind him. Ever since we’ve done the same thing because it will be that one time that we forget and boom we will be the target.
Lock and Alarm Vehicles
My truck doesn’t have an alarm system on it but my new truck will which is great because car and truck theft is a huge business. Petty thieves looking for spare coins or stuff they can easily sell for easy money such as CD’s, stereo, computer, jewellery, cell phone, designer sunglasses, car seats or other valuables left in plain view.
I don’t know how many people I know that have had their wallet or purse stolen from their vehicle at home while they slept. I’ve left my wallet in the truck many times only to have Mrs.CBB ask me where it is when I come home. It’s easy for a guy to do because we pull it out of our back pocket and set it in the cup holder or glove box.
A purse on the other hand is a bit bigger and if you’re anything like my wife she has a purse filled with everything and never forgets it. On the odd occasion she leaves it in the truck when we go shopping but takes her wallet with her. I know other women out there do the same.
I watched a women do just that while I was in the Food Basics parking lot but she proceeded to lock her purse in the trunk. That’s probably a best option if you’re going shopping but remember to take it out.
I have yet to be in a house in Ontario where every window is locked with a key but I’m sure there are some out there. For the most part windows on UK homes have no screens like they do in Canada. That means when they are opened anyone can jump in if they can fit.
Upper windows on homes generally push out and up and I remember Mrs. CBB asking why there were no screens. She worried about bugs getting in and possibly theft if they were left open. It was hard for her to sleep at night if the windows were left open for fresh air.
In Canada it has been nice to simply open and close windows with a window lock and a screen. I do like the screens as a bug, dust and dirt deterrent but also for an extra layer of protection. It takes longer to break in with a screen, more noise and a pain in the butt I reckon.
Just make sure you lock your windows and doors at all times even when you are inside the house because all it takes is someone to walk in while you are folding laundry or doing other chores and you won’t even know it.
Stickers and Sign Deterrents
I’m sure you’ve all seen property protected by an alarm or television.camera security of the property and I’d imagine this would deter potential property theft bandits from coming near your house and car. Stickers on the windows and doors that are in view are also smart moves for property owners and for those who rent. It doesn’t matter if you own a home or rent a thief doesn’t care, protect yourself.
If you’re going away for vacation or an extended period talk to your neighbour, family or friends to help you out. If they are aware you are gone they can watch for any funny activity on the property, water your lawn, mow the grass and take out the trash for you.
Our neighbour is great and we help each other out all the time when we are away from our homes. He might take my trash bins in if we leave on or near garbage day. That’s a sure sign you are away when your trash bins are left out for 2 weeks. He also will mow the lawn for us, water the plants and has access to our home if needed in the case of an emergency.
Don’t Hide a Key
If you are a homeowner who hides a key under the front door mat, in the mailbox or under a pot or plant around the property, don’t. These are the first places that thieves will look if they want inside your house or car. We purchased a lock box by Mastercraft tools which screwed to the brick and includes a code similar to a bike lock. It has been a blessing for many years especially all the times we got locked out.
With a price tag of under $40 I’d say it was worth the investment plus if you have to explain to your insurance company that your home was broken into with a key left outside they might turn you away.
If you plan to sell your house and hold open houses where potential buyers can view your home along with other real estate agents, protect your property. I’ve written about real estate theft in the past but everyone who comes through your home during an open house is a stranger and potential thief.
Either opt to be home when an open house is happening or use cameras in the house to track the action. You could also have your real estate simply book appointments rather than holding an open house. Thieves thrive on them because it’s again another easy way into a home.
Your kid(s) need to understand all the above and more especially when they are home alone after school or heading out when parents are at work. Most kids either have a key to the house or know the pin to the garage door opener.
Either way come up with a solid plan to teach your kids about property theft and thieves and the process that needs to be followed every time they come home, are home or leave the house. It may sound silly but for those of you who have lost property of feel violated I’m sure you wish you had done just that.
One of the worst things kids do is leave their toys, clothing and other gadgets outside. It’s not uncommon to see bikes left on the front lawn, wagons, scooters and pricey toys that are easy to sell for cash. Parents need to ensure the tidy up routine occurs inside and outside of the home every day or risk their toys stolen.
Another fast way to get your stuff stolen is to leave it on the curb unintentionally because there are people who drive around at night looking for free stuff legitimately. Most often homeowners will leave free items on the boulevard so if a bike is laying there, boom it’s going to be gone.
Keep in mind if you have in-laws or renters to keep them in the loop as well plus encourage renters insurance to keep protected.
Don’t wait until it happens to you
Overall you need to vigilant in the protection department as property theft can happen to anyone. If you’re someone who loves to stash cash around the house or have valuables either lock them in a safe or fire-safe or a lock box at your bank. It may cost you upfront but long-term you’ll have things that matter to you protected. Not everything in our lives can be replaced including ourselves.
If it’s not locked down it’s as good as gone is rubbish. Stay off our property and be on your way silly fools.
Discussion Question: What other ways can property owners protect themselves from property theft and what have you done?
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