2nd Floor Burglary in Kerrisdale

Smashed_windowA couple days ago, a Kerrisdale home was burglarized after a crook gained entry by smashing a second floor window (click on the photo to the left for a larger image).

This was a fairly rare occurrence in that the crook climbed through the smashed glass in order to get in the room. In a typical scenario, glass is only smashed in order for a crook to reach in and unlock a door or window… but in this case, he just climbed right through the broken window and screen.

As there were no alarm contacts on any of the second floor windows, the crook was able to move undetected in the room that he entered. He escaped through the same window and never went downstairs, where he would have set off the alarm.

Other than climbing through the smashed glass, this incident reminded me of a series of second and third floor entries that happened last summer along Angus Drive in Shaughnessy. Over a 4 or 5 week period, more than a dozen homes were burglarized by crooks gaining access through a second story window. In each case, the crooks were able to take advantage of a security flaw that is typical of many older alarm systems: the fact that many only have door/window contacts installed on the main floor and rely on a single motion detector in the upper hallway.

In these burglaries, the crooks would use a ladder to climb into one second floor room and steal anything of value. Rather than moving into the hallway and risking the alarm tripping, they climbed back down the ladder and then moved the ladder along to the next bedroom window. Several homeowners came home to discover that every room on their 2nd floor had been burglarized and no alarm had ever tripped.

An interesting commonality in many of these burglaries is that the crooks appeared to have brought their own ladders… each home was left with fairly obvious ladder impressions in the gardens, but no ladder. We surmised that the burglars were likely driving a roofing truck or other vehicle that would allow them to not arouse suspicion when setting up 25 foot ladders against the homes.


As pointed out in an earlier post, your security is in your redundancy. If you are relying on a single motion detector on your second floor, consider the following options for upgrading your security:

1. Get every door and window on your second floor connected to your alarm;
2. Install glassbreak sensors near any second story windows that are easily accessible by climbing onto a low roof or balcony;
3. Install window blocks or another similar physical security measure on any windows;

4. Check your motion detector… can it detect motion directly beneath it? If not, it may be possibleDt7235_pr for someone to sneak directly underneath it undetected. The image of the motion detector to the right has two separate detection patterns… the obvious one on the front as well as a Look-Down finger on the bottom of the unit that allow it to detect motion directly beneath the sensor.

Incidentally, in newer homes and renovations, we are installing more ceiling mounted motion detectors now that the technology has improved. When installed properly, a ceiling mounted motion detector can offer a wider and more consistent detection pattern.

However, as pointed out in other posts, we believe that motion detectors should be your LAST line of defense… not your first. It is significantly more important to have every single door and window in your home connected to your alarm than worrying too much about the motion detectors.


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