How would you feel if you came home to discover thieves have broken in?
What’s even worse is knowing you may have been able to prevent it.
As a homeowner or renter, the last thing you want is to discover that thieves have targeted your residence.
I’ve never experienced thieves breaking into my UK or Canada house.
However, Mrs. CBB has encountered one of the worst nightmares of property theft.
Today, I’ll discuss how to protect your property from thieves and why it’s worth the effort.
Mrs. CBB will also share her harrowing story of break and enter.
Ramp Up Home Security To Scare Thieves
I’m unsure where you live, but thieves are causing havoc in our neighborhood.
We all make mistakes when it comes to protecting our belongings from thieves.
Every city, town, and village has thieves breaking into homes, apartments, vehicles, and businesses.
Some people are professional thieves and others are looking for ways to make money.
Most often, thieves target vehicles as they seem to be the easiest since the door is either locked or unlocked.
These thieves are looking to make fast cash from finding money, wallets, purses, or items they can sell.
Unfortunately, drug users are the first to get blamed as thieves, but there is a wide range of reasons why people break the law.
Why Thieves Roam The Streets At Night
Some thieves have reached the bottom of the barrel, which is how they survive.
Most thieves will come out at night, but there are daytime break calls to the police.
The idea is to consider any time of day as a good time for a thief.
But what are these thieves looking for?
Anything that can turn to gold.
- Money for food, rent, mortgage, debt repayment, essential supplies, etc.
- Drugs and Alcohol or other addictions
- Fast Cash
- Mental Health
- Personal Reasons
As with anything else, when thieves don’t get enough, they may consider robbery, home invasion, or breaking into businesses at night.
The mere thought of it fires me up, as I’m sure it does for many of you.
Having someone break in and roam around your home, vehicle, or business is scary.
You don’t know what the thief or thieves have to protect themselves, such as a knife, gun, or another object.
Imagine if you were sleeping and thieves broke into your home or walked in because the door wasn’t locked.
Mrs. CBB checks the doors and windows every night before bed to ensure they are locked.
Even when we leave during daytime hours, she does the full security sweep and is last out the door.
Anyone who has ever experienced having their property invaded by thieves can never forget the feeling.
She tells me that once you have been targeted successfully, it never leaves you and can lead to anxiety.
Below, Mrs. CBB will discuss her experience and how it has affected her.
How Thieves Broke Into Mrs. CBB’s House Apartment
First off, I want to say that discussing the topic is still hard for me but such an important topic.
I was in my early twenties and moved away to College in Hamilton, Ontario.
The mere size of the city was scary for me as I come from a small town in Ontario.
I was renting an apartment in an older Victorian home on James St. South.
The apartment was fully renovated,, and the bedroom had a steel door leading to a landing and steps to the ground.
These were the emergency stairs in case of a fire or a need to get out fast.
I never used the stairs unless I had to run to my car to get something, and I left it open.
At night, I would put a stick at the bottom of the door so that I had peace of mind.
The entire home was filled with two businesses on the main level and two apartments up top.
In the 90’s, I paid $750 a month plus utilities to rent what I now know was a pretty fancy place.
I was new to renting and struggled to find an apartment, so when the landlord accepted my application, I was thrilled.
Unfortunately, most of my savings were drained on the apartment, and I had to apply for an OSAP loan.
Finding Out My Apartment Was Targeted By Thieves
Anyway, one night, I was out with a friend I met at College until 2 am.
She dropped me off back at the apartment, and when I went to open the door, I couldn’t.
Immediately, my heart started to pound, and I got frantic, so I ran outside to the emergency stairs.
Sure enough, the emergency door window was smashed, and my curtain flew outside of it in the wind.
I ran up the stairs alone, which was a dumb idea at the time because the thieves could have still been in the house.
My friend had a monster cell phone in her car and called the police for me.
Within minutes, you would have thought it was a murder scene as cop cars surrounded the house.
I felt like I was in a movie as their lights were on, but no sirens, thank goodness.
My entire apartment was dusted for fingerprints and the police interviewed me.
The reason I couldn’t get in through the apartment door was that the thieves blocked the door.
I suppose that was their way of knowing if I was home and gave them time to leave out the emergency door.
After the shock wore off, I cried for days because I blamed myself, although now I understand it wasn’t me.
Items That The Thieves Stole
It was the first time I moved away from home, and this had to happen.
I couldn’t even call for help because the thieves stole my telephone.
Below are other items I lost when the thieves broke into my apartment.
- Bus Tickets
- School Ring
- VHS player and movies
The thieves almost took my microwave but ditched it on my bed as if they left me a gift.
Who would have done this to me?
There wasn’t much to steal in the apartment, but thankfully they left the television.
I narrowed it down to an ex-friend who lived with me, but I kicked her out and her boyfriend.
He was well known apparently for breaking into homes, and she knew where I kept the goods.
The police got their information, but after that, nothing more was done about it.
Unless the police catch thieves in the act or have evidence, not much more will happen.
Ironically, I found out that years later, she spent four years in prison, which didn’t surprise me one bit.
House and Tenants Insurance Claims
Calling my parents was the worst, but thankfully I was still under their home and vehicle insurance policy.
One suggestion I would make to anyone is always keeping receipts as proof of purchase.
I did not have receipts, so I only got an estimated portion of the value returned to me from the insurance company.
The insurance company was the least of my worries as I feared being alone.
Thankfully, I managed to get a new roommate who was coming to study for a year.
This gave me time to look for a position I graduated from, but nothing came up.
Moving Home After Thieves Violated My Privacy
Eventually, I moved back home and went on welfare for a few months.
This helped me to get started again until I found a job.
I could not only find one job but three, where one was full-time and the other part-time.
My savings journey began at this point because I realized how expensive it was to rent an apartment, own a car, and pay for insurance and other expenses.
Moving Away To Find Career Success
Eventually, I moved back to the Greater Toronto Area, where I found a job with benefits and excellent wages.
Unfortunately, ever since that night, I’ve had anxiety about leaving doors or windows open in our home.
Even when I rented a room stuff went missing as I only had a sliding door.
The owner’s daughter always had friends over, so either the daughter or her friends came into my room.
All that I recall gone missing were cigarettes and DVD movies.
When Mr. CBB moved in after we got married, he went to Habitat For Humanity and picked up a door and lock.
Only then did I feel I was protected in the room because once you’ve been violated, it stays with you forever.
Thankfully, we saved enough money for a down payment for a house, and we handed in our notice to move.
It took us five years to pay off the mortgage, and we protected our property in many ways.
Another thing I want to point out before I hand it back to my husband is always to get tenant’s insurance.
It’s inexpensive, and the policy will be worth its weight in gold if thieves break into your apartment.
Also, don’t hesitate to get tenant or house insurance quotes from various companies.
Read the fine print to make sure you know what you can claim in the event of theft or for any other reasons.
Homeowners and businesses almost always have insurance for their homes and property.
I hope I was able to shed some light on how traumatizing the situation can be.
These days, we’ve ensured to protect ourselves, which Mr. CBB will explain below.
How To Protect Your Property From Thieves
As you read above, having thieves in your home or around your property can have devastating after-effects.
You can protect yourself as a homeowner, renter, or business owner in many ways.
Let’s look at what we can all do to keep thieves away.
- Lights on the outside and one inside if you are out for the night or a late return
- Install ground lights, security sensor lighting, and solar lighting outdoors. (I’ve done this)
- Security cameras on the outside of your home and in the backyard. I stand by Arlo Pro with the Arlo Solar Panels from experience.
- Doorbell security system
- Garage Door Opener with Security Pad
- Lock your doors at all times, whether you are inside or outside.
- Never leave the garage door open when you are away or sleeping.
- Install a MasterCraft key lock box
- Add a piece of wood to your sliding doors for extra security
- Pay for a home security monitoring system to be installed
- Get a dog (haha) they may bark and wake the owners or alert neighbours
- If you don’t have a home phone at least have a cell phone to call the police or dial 911
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle and always lock the doors.
- Keep your key fob away from the front door. Watch how thieves break into keyless entry vehicles in Toronto.
- Close and lock your windows when you are away from your property
- Vehicle Alarm
- Don’t leave your vehicle running with the doors open
Protection Is The Only Way To Deter Thieves
Although we all make mistakes from time to time, it’s important that we all remember to lock it or lose it.
Often even with cameras if the thieves are covered up it becomes a guessing game.
The good news is that you have something to offer the police to look at.
Perhaps the person is known to police or targets homes in a similar way each time.
Being protected gives you the peace to sleep at night, go on holiday, and even entertain in the backyard.
Thieves only care about one thing, and that’s money and if you have anything that can be turned into fast cash they will take it.
Lastly, invest in a fire and waterproof safe to store your valuables.
For more tips read Property Theft And How To Stay Protected.
Discussion: Have you ever had your home, apartment, vehicle, or business broken into? Please share your story and what you learned from it.