A Bolted Down Safe without a Monitored Alarm is Not Safe…

KPTV newsclip imageFox 12 in Portland reported a story today about a pair of burglars who Police believe may be posing as door-to-door Window Salesmen.

The video clip of the story implies that the impostors never got inside of the victim’s home, but a couple of days after their visit, a Portland homeowner had his safe targeted in a burglary.

Irrespective of who actually committed the burglary, the notable part of the story was the fact that the victim was keeping $13,000.00 cash in a safe that he had bolted down in his master bedroom closet.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

On Tuesday, Lee said he found his home trashed. Thieves stole rare coins, jewelry and $13,000 from his safe. Lee said the burglars broke in through a door and used tools from his garage to break into his safe.

“I had it bolted to the floor,” he said. “Evidently, it wasn’t as safe as I thought it was.”

There are few lessons from this story… the first two are the same as in my post about the Apple Store in New Jersey getting emptied in 31 seconds:

(1) You CANNOT make it physically impossible for someone to break in; and

(2) Five-Minute Proofing is the most important security tactic.

Of course, the most fundamental lesson is that you should not keep large amounts of cash in your home… put it in the bank. If you decide that you want to keep cash at home, by all means, put it in a safe and bolt it down. But, if you do not have a monitored alarm that will alert responders that someone is trying to get at your safe… they can take as much time as it takes to remove it.

The time that it takes to remove a safe is a lot less than most people think. Safes, even really, really heavy safes, are only difficult to move around when you are trying to be careful not to damage the walls (or anything else). If you don’t care about making a mess or breaking anything, moving a safe isn’t that hard. Just ask Lindsay Lohan.

Relying on a safe, just like relying on an alarm, often provides a false sense of security. Your security is in your redundancy. It’s all about putting multiple steps/tactics/measures in place.

If you have a safe, but do not have it monitored, you might want to think about how important the things that you have inside of it are. You might be better off spreading your valuables all over your home rather than keeping them all together in one easily movable box.

SIDE NOTE: In the video, the reporter mentions that the homeowner thinks that the impostors were looking for “window burglar alarm tape” on the windows. That’s fairly unlikely given that foil is rarely part of an alarm system that has been installed in the past 25 years.

If they were looking at the windows, it’s much more likely that they were simply looking through them in order to see if there was anything of obvious value that was easily reachable inside.

If they were savvy enough to look for alarm equipment, they would have simply cut the telephone lines.

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