The burglar gained entry to the home by climbing up onto a 2nd floor patio and then first smashing a bathroom window (photo below). That particular window had a second layer of plexiglass that the burglar was unable to get through, so he then smashed the window on a wooden door that led to the master bedroom (see left photo… it’s not great, but you can see that most of the glass was pulled out of the frame). This door was protected by a high security double sided deadbolt, however the key had been left inside the lock. Irrespective, the crook used a jacket that he stole from the garage and used it to cover the broken glass so that he could climb through the window without opening the door… likely for fear of setting off the alarm.
Every door and window on the second floor of this home was connected to the alarm, but there was only one motion detector in the hallway. The crook ransacked the master bedroom and an adjoining office but must have decided not to press his luck by going into the hallway where the motion detector would have tripped.
In this case, a glassbreak detector would likely have prevented this burglary from occurring, given that the crook had to break two windows before climbing in. After breaking the glass on the door’s window, some time had to have been taken to remove all of the broken glass from the bottom of the frame to allow for climbing through without getting cut. It is unlikely that the crook would have continued to try and get in had the alarm tripped after his first attempt.
Lessons to be learned?
- Glassbreak sensors need to be installed in every room that has
accessible windows. Glassbreaks are acoustic sensors and will detect
the sound of breaking glass within 25 feet in most situations… so you
typically only need one per room, not one per window. In my view,
glassbreak sensors are the most effective alarm devices as they are the
only device that we can install inside your home that will detect an
intruder while he is still standing outside.
- Double-sided deadbolts only offer security value if the key is not left inside the lock. If it is not possible to place a key above the door (out of reach of someone’s hand if they smashed the glass), consider hanging the key off of a nail a couple feet away… far enough away so that it cannot be reached from outside, but close enough that you will be less likely to just leave the key in the lock.
This burglary was similar to a rash of similar 2nd floor entries in December where the burglar climbed through broken glass. The use of the jacket to climb through the window was also similar to the December burglaries where BBQ covers, tarps and other items were found in victims garages or backyard, and were then used to aid in the entry to the home.
What do you have lying around your yard, or unsecured in your garage, that could be used by a thief to make burglarizing your home a little easier?
Please feel free to contact us to arrange for a free security assessment of your home to identify some of those risks. In addition, the Vancouver Police will also provide a free security review and may be contacted through the Kerrisdale Community Policing Office.