Recently in Point Grey, a couple were out of town during fairly extensive renovations on their house. For several weeks of the renovation, a door was removed that normally concealed their alarm control panel. This provided the trades and sub-trades and everyone else with a perfect view of the equipment and was clearly too tempting for at least one individual.
With knowledge of the location of the panel and a familiarity of the house, the crook(s) used the door with a delay time and ran directly to the panel and cut specific wires to disable the system before it went into alarm. This prevented a signal from being sent.
Thankfully, there was nothing in the house to steal and we assume that the crook(s) must have been disappointed when they got upstairs to the master bedroom to find nothing in it… not even a floor. My best guess is that someone who’d been in the house and knew what to look for, noticed the exposed equipment and came back on the chance that it would be worth their while. Likely it was someone who had simply made a delivery to the house who had been inside to see the equipment but did not get a chance to get upstairs to see what might have been there.
When we learned of the incident… and were unable to reach the vacationing clients … we posted a guard onsite until the system could be rebuilt later the next day. We then deleted all of the user codes from the system and instructed the contractor to call us every morning upon his arrival so that we could remotely disarm the system. We provided a code that would allow them to only arm the system at the end of the day. This eliminated any chance of a re-occurance
Lessons to be learned?
1. Let us know when you are going to be out of town… whether or not renovations are happening… we can change the programming of your alarm temporarily so that there is no delay time between entering the house and the alarm being tripped… there is no need to give someone the extra seconds…
2. If renovations are happening, ensure that your alarm control panel is protected… if it needs to be visible during the course of construction, let us know… we can take special measures to reduce risk
3. Wherever possible, back-up communication (eg. cellular) should be located in a different place than the main alarm control panel that is connected to the telephone lines
4.EVERY person who you authorize to use your alarm system should have a unique code… never give out your code… just call us and we will program a code for any trades, cleaning staff, pool people, etc. With most systems, we can restrict and control these codes as well as track exactly when they are used (or attempted).