In the first incident, thieves smashed through a sliding glass door, went straight to the Master Bedroom and stole the safe from the closet. The safe was at least 500 lbs. and was about the size of a large dog kennel. The burglary occurred sometime between 8:00pm and 2:00am. Unfortunately, the homeowner had a significant amount of jewelery in the safe. The safe had never been professionally installed as the homeowner believed that it was far too large and heavy to be stolen.
When the owner came home and found the smashed glass, she called the Police. Due to an incredibly busy night for the VPD, they were unable to attend. Although she was not yet a client, she then called us. Two of our Mobile Team members arrived within a couple minutes and helped to clean up the glass and arrange for the sliding door to be secured. We stayed at the home over night and then one of our Technicians came by the next day to takeover and expand the existing alarm system and switch the monitoring over to Provident.
The second incident occurred at a home where the alarm system was not armed. The thief gained entry by prying open a basement window and heading straight to the room where the wall safe was located. In this case, the crook(s) did not follow the pattern of the vast majority of residential burglaries. Unfortunately, the safe was located in plain view in the mechanical room where any service provider (TV, Telephone, Furnace, Water tank, etc.) for the house would have definitely seen it.
In this case, whomever broke in had to have known exactly where the safe was located… a fact that the Police are definitely following up on now.
Lessons to be learned?
1. A safe only provides security if it is professionally installed.
to read a post on this topic from April 2006. If the safe
is not bolted down, it does not matter how big it
is or how many people you think it would take to steal it. The reality is that it is far easier to get a safe out of a home
than it is to get it in… given that if you are a crook, you are not worried about damaging the walls as you remove it.
2. Do not advertise that you have a safe.
Do not give any incentive to a potential crook to choose your home. Do whatever you can to conceal the location of your bolted-in safe. Many of our clients have hidden their safes in locked closets that are alarmed separately from the main house alarm … ensuring that the ‘safe room’ is armed 24/7 and that any unauthorized access will be responded to immediately. The concept of five minute proofing is especially important when protecting a safe. You must ensure that an alarm is tripped and that response is on the way before a crook can even touch your safe.
3. Keep your safe armed 24 hours a day.
As noted above, consider having your safe connected to your alarm system as a separate partition. Often, we install magnetic contacts on safes, as well as on the door to the closet/cabinet that they are installed in. These contacts are controlled by a separate keypad and are always armed. The keypads are used to ‘shunt’ the alarm for a pre-defined timeframe (20-30 minutes), rather than actually ‘dis-arming’, after which the alarm automatically re-arms. This will ensure that even if your main house alarm is disarmed, your safe is always protected.