Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fort Apache, The 'Burbs.

Indianapolis police have released footage from someone's home security camera in an attempt to catch some daylight burglars.

On first viewing, I was struck by the boldness with which they strolled into the the house in broad daylight after popping the front door open with a swift kick, but on thinking about it, who was likely to see them? Your average subdivision is a pretty quiet place during the day: Mommy and daddy are likely at work and the kids are at school, and the yards are frequently landscaped in such a way to offer a bit of seclusion around the front porch anyway.

That method is a lot less likely to work at Roseholme Cottage thanks to nosy neighbors, a neighborhood that encourages pedestrian traffic, and a steel security door that opens outward.

35 comments:

Paul said...

Steel door is good, oppening out is good. Was the frame built up as well?

I am curious, what does the neighbor do that incourages foot traffic?

Tam said...

Has sidewalks. Is in an urban neighborhood. Has a mix of retirees, young couples, and service-industry people who work odd hours, so that you can't go more than five or ten minutes without somebody going by walking a dog, pushing a stroller, jogging, or riding a bike.

RWC said...

All that for a jug of change. Yeesh.

Go down to the Government Center dude...they'll give you free money.

Keads said...

I'm in the burbs. I have a security door that opens outward as well. Looks like this.

I have a retired neighbor that pretty much keeps an eye out for everything.

Jay G said...

Not one but three retirees, on both sides of me as well as across the street.

And diagonally across is the work-from-home computer guy that I brought to the range a few years back and helped get his LTC in town...

Even though it's in MA, I love my town...

Joanna said...

My grandparents used to live in a secluded mid-60s ranch, set well back from a rural road behind a screen of trees. One day they were burglarized in broad daylight -- the thieves took the good silver, grandma's Mikimoto pearls and a bunch of heirloom jewelry. The kicker is, both of them were home (though not in the house) at the time, and they had a dog (albeit an overly friendly, extremely stupid one). Just goes to show.

CTone said...

There used to be a very insightful show called It Takes a Thief. . . .that show really gave an idea about how easy it is to break into homes. I've worked in a lot of homes in years past, and even put in security systems, and can say that real security is the last thing you get when you buy a new house.

Nathan said...

I work at home. Retired minister to one side, retired IMPD detective across the street.

I just have to remember to make sure the cars are locked at night. Every now and then someone wanders through here in the middle of the night checking car doors, and I almost got stung a month or so ago when I unknowingly triggered the unlock button on my remote from inside the house...except there was nothing in the car worth stealing at the time, which undoubtedly upset the poor benighted lowlife(s) dreadfully. :)

mupedalpusher said...

We have 10 homes in our neighborhood and 4 of them are retirees. The guy across from us is super nosy which is at times annoying but also helpful. We also have an 84lb doberman on the loose, hopefully she will deter many folks from coming close!

Bram said...

I have a mastiff behind the door - come on in. I work at home a couple of days a week - hope she doesn't wake me up while mauling you.

Tam said...

Bram,

The biggest reason it doesn't happen at Roseholme Cottage is that the front porch is often occupied by a stay-at-home writer. With a .45. ;)

Ed Rasimus said...

We don't seem to get a lot of that sort of B & E in rural Texas. I guess the prospective perps in Criminal Junior College get taught about all those bloody guns in all those houses all loaded and owned by people who aren't reluctant to use them in a state which has both Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws.

Peter said...

Tam, as an aside, your link to MauserGirl in the sidebar needs to be updated - she moved.

WV - ingal - yes, both of you are among the "in gals"!

:-)

Tam said...

Ed,

Texas's burglary rate is 969/100k, while Indiana's is 761/100k.

Work on it.

Anonymous said...

One of the things we get here, in the affluent and semi-affluent neighborhoods, is street scum hired for the day to stuff ad circulars in front door handles. One Friday last June we had Junior Scum in the neighborhood doing the deed; I was home and with hand on holstered .45 pointed out my no trespassing sign with the suggestion that removing himself from my property immediately would save him bail money (state statutes in FL qualify the sign as the official "initial trespass warning" after which misdemeanor charges may be applied, complete with a trip through Central Booking. T'ain't much, as the judges routinely accept a "guilty and I won't do it again" plea for no visible penalty, but it does get the fingerprints and mugshot into the system).

Anyway, I'm convinced it's part of a scam, paid for by the advertisers, to allow The Scum to get a close up look at a house to case it for future nefarious activity, and a swing through the neighborhood several hours later to survey which doors still have the flyer stuck in the door handle, to identify houses where no one is home.

That Friday in June? At 3 AM Saturday morning the house 2 doors away was broken into.

While the female resident was in bed.

And unarmed.

She heard them enter, didn't know if she should challenge them, call 911, order pizza, or what. Discussing it the next day, I suggested a nice center mass five round group would have worked well....

I've since changed my behavior some; if I see anyone in the neighborhood distributing circulars I dig out the cheap digital camera, and when they get to my end of the street I walk up and say hi. When they turn to face me I take their picture. Fingerprints they ain't, but better than nothing, and statutes confirm they have no expectation of privacy on a public sidewalk.

sobriant74 said...

I like the door, especially opening out. We have 4 doors into the house (including the one in from the garage), and at least 4 ground level windows you don't even need a boost to get through; it'd require some major renovations to secure the outer perimeter. So, instead we have a gated door inside the house at the bottom of the staircase up to the bedrooms. Its very classy, done in wrought iron and has a 'pretty' design according to my wife. We arched the doorway above it and it kind of has a spanish mission flavor to it. During the day the door stays open against the wall and doesn't really garner lots of attention from family and friends who visit. It won't keep anyone from getting upstairs to the wife and kids for long, but will give me the 10-20 seconds I need to prepare their 'welcome'.

Rabbit said...

Between the "Steal Here, Die Here" (in two languages) sign in the window on the back of my house, the 8 foot privacy fence, the owner, the freakin' HUGE Siberian (think dire wolf) and the infrared cameras, I'm beating the odds so far.

Good thing, too. The neighbors are within the splash zone of Claymores.

Anonymous said...

Steal here die here could be twisted to a statement of intent. Hope you don't have to use it.

I have roommates who spend time at home with the kids while I am at work.

Ragnar with the double bitted ax would be a frightening last sight.

Bram said...

When I owned a house in Las Vegas, every house on our street was burglarized - except ours. Back then we had a bullmastiff who made a point of growling at the construction workers building houses behind ours. They didn't know about the HK91 under the bed.

Robert Langham said...

Burglars make many people absolutely miserable. I'm not surprised when folks shoot them dead. Two meth heads with a habit can hit a three houses a week in a town, spreading trauma and drama like an oil-slick.

Old NFO said...

Outward opening doors are the 'first' step... and a good one! I have a camera running all the time on my front door, since I'm in an apartment, and it has 'caught' maintenance coming in, but always announced and they have left a note each time. And the only good burglar is a dead burglar...

Moriarty said...

I follow the School of the Long Driveway, complete with MURS detectors.

Last weekend, I was in my study when the system announced visitors. Shortly after, two guys appeared on my porch, apparently intent on passing out literature. Quickly tossing a jacket on (and over my 1911) I went out to greet them... the conversation went roughly like this:

"Good afternoon! Beautiful place you have here!"

"Yes. Did you miss the two 'No Trespassing' signs on the gate?"

"Ummm... well, the gate was open..."

"And there are two 'No Trespassing' signs on it. Please respect them." (Turns on heel, slams door.)

Somehow I think that's the last time I'll come home to a Watchtower on my front porch.

Jeff said...

That sounds like the MO of choice here in Vegas. Most front doors just take one good kick.

It's a helluva lot easier than trying to crawl through a broken window or hack the garage door opener.

Rabbit said...

"Steal here, Die here" is more a simple statement of consequences. This is Texas (or Sparta, if you prefer).

On the other hand, warning labels thwart the purpose of natural selection.

Rabbit.

Ed Foster said...

The opening outward door is something I encountered several decades ago, in a rather violent part of the world. A hell of an idea, as long as the frame is steel and lag bolted into a thickness of three or four 2x4 studs.

Perhaps not the best idea on the windward side of a farmhouse in snowy Minnesota, assuming you want to leave before spring, but for 95%of us a superb idea.

As for the farmhouse in Minnesota, isn't it odd that burglaries happen least in places where the nearest cop is half an hour away? The dog barks, Pa grabs the shotgun from the closet, and all that happens afterward is the sound of assholes and elbows being skinned, to the sound of rapidly retreating $100 sneakers.

There's a lesson there somewhere.

Tam said...

Ed,

"...isn't it odd that burglaries happen least in places where the nearest cop is half an hour away? The dog barks, Pa grabs the shotgun from the closet, and all that happens afterward is the sound of assholes and elbows being skinned, to the sound of rapidly retreating $100 sneakers."

In a world of $100 sneakers, Pa is likely to be shuffling papers in town when the goblins show up on the front porch, while the dog barks to alert an empty house, which is why said goblins do so in the daytime...

Anonymous said...

"...nosy neighbors and pedestrian traffic..."

Ugh. Heavy price to pay.

"...occupied by a stay-at-home writer. With a .45. ;)"

Now that's a security system.

AT

rickn8or said...

"'...occupied by a stay-at-home writer. With a .45. ;)"

Now that's a security system.'"

The writer is there to protect burglars from Huck the Attack Cat.

Bradley said...

Was i the only one that noticed they were wearing SEIU Purple? Not saying they are in the SEIU but that purple to me, any purple, means thief!

Joseph said...

CTone is correct, a new house is not secure, I'm in the process of buying one. At least I am going to have a monitored alarm system. Eventually, the crappy doors will be replaced with more secure ones. Windows at least will have anti-smash film on them. The first things I am going to do is replace the deadbolt screws with 2 1/2 in. screws and put 200 deg. peepholes in all doors. Just a start; the doors will have to be replaced and the frames strengthened. And the roomie taught to shoot; she already has her eye on a .38. She is disabled and will be home most of the time. At least she used to hunt wild pigs years ago...

Justthisguy said...

Our street is watched over by the LPGA. (Ladies' Professional Gossip Association)

It's that rarest of things in this town, an actual neighborhood. I know all the kitties and most of the dogs, too.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. The rot was starting to set in here, but fortunately the Real Estate bubble burst before more than a couple of damnyankee neurotypical golf trash moved in and put up ostentatiously vulgar McMansions.

Golf trash are a serious problem around here. This county has over 150 golf curses and exactly one shooting range. One of the reasons I stopped listening to Neal Boortz is that he has proven his lunacy by voluntarily paying money to live here at a later date than, say, 1960. Ask Michael Z. Williamson, or look on his web page, about the loathesome LEOs around here.

Walt said...

Saw the aftermath of a daylight burglary in Indianapolis in 1965. One house was stripped bare. It looked like somebody had moved out. The house next door was in the process of being stripped when the crooks were interrupted by a neighbor who wanted to ask where the residents were moving to. The burglars hopped into the loaded moving van and moved.

Wayne said...

Did anyone else notice all the snow on the ground? This was done quite some time ago and they're just now putting out that this took place.

Tam said...

Yeah, I think releasing the video to the public is detectivespeak for "Well, okay, you've stumped the panel."