The Dog wasn’t a Deterrent, but the 10 Year old was

Brett KreiderChannel 4 Action News in Pittsburgh ran a story last night about a burglary attempt in West Deer that was thwarted by a 10 year old boy.

The burglar ended up being 21 year old Brett Kreider, who lives in the same neighbourhood, who is now a suspect in 8 recent burglaries. As is often the case with most burglars, the accused burglar had just gotten out of jail… for burglary.

The M.O. of the burglar is almost exactly as I’ve laid out in previous posts about how the typical residential burglary happens… the fact that it ended up being a single person responsible for a ‘rash’ of burglaries is also typical.

Here are a few quotes from the story… (you can read the full story here)

The intruder ignored a dog, but when a 10-year-old boy spotted him and yelled at him to get out, he fled the scene.

[Police Chief Joe] Lape said the burglar had already broken into two other homes in the same neighborhood that day.Investigators said the burglar, who operates in broad daylight, usually takes pills, money, weapons and anything else of value that is easily carried away. He has also taken a truck from one of the eight homes police believe he’s burglarized

The really important lesson in the story, comes next…

Police said on one occasion the burglar knocked on a front door to see if anyone was home. When the door was answered, the burglar said he was looking for a dog and walked away.

This is what happens in almost every single burglary… before breaking in, the crook will first knock on the door to check if someone is home. If anyone answers, the crook will make up a quick story about why they are there and leave as quickly as possible.

The vast majority of burglars are not violent and are not looking for drama… if they were, they’d be robbing a bank or holding up a convenience store instead.

The most important advice about home security that you can give your kids, nannies, housekeepers or other people in your home is to NEVER IGNORE THE DOOR.

If someone knocks on your door, you should always let them know that someone is inside. Don’t open the door, but talk through it to let them know that the house is not empty. If you believe that the person at the door is in any way suspicious, call 911. If you live in Vancouver, you can also call us at 604.664.1087.

Barking dogs are rarely the deterrent that people think that they are. The fact is that most house pets, despite a good bark, are still house pets… and a motivated burglar can get by them without too much hassle. A human being, on the other hand, is almost always more trouble than they are worth… even if they are only 10 years old. In almost every case, a potential witness is far too much hassle and the potential crook will move on to the next unoccupied home.

I’ve written on this topic before on this blog back in 2006 with a post titled Answer the Door and another one in April after a Delta teenager ended up having to call 911 from a bedroom closet after a burglar had broken into her home after she ignored the knocking at the door.

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