Top Ten Tips to Protect Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Your Valuables!

With the economy, crime and violence continuously rising, it's no longer safe to leave your car and houses unlocked even in neighborhoods that were once safe.

Just last week, my friend's came home from work to find they'd been robbed. Someone had broken in through the doggy door and helped themselves to her jewelry.  It didn't seem like the dog had done anything to defend the house, but it was apparent that the robbers had left in a hurry for some reason.

The detectives took statements, collected a ton of fingerprints and spray painted footprints. They were very thorough. 



The next day the thieves were caught at a local pawn shop when one of the investigating detectives was there retrieving my friend's jewelry.  They were trying to pawn someone else's stolen property. Unfortunately, the pawn shop owner had ripped all the stones out of the jewelry so it would be easier to sell making it impossible for some of the jewelry to be repaired. And there's a chance that the pawn shop owner may be in trouble for receiving and selling stolen goods.  At least there's a happy ending for my friends.

Thieves caught, security system now installed, good idea for a top ten.  
footprints of the robbers, spray painted by police 

Here's Top Ten Tips to Protect Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Your Valuables!





1.
When you're gone, let your neighbors know - what to expect and what your house sitter looks like. Maybe even let them meet. I've had a neighbor call me and say they thought they saw someone lurking around the house, so we came home. It was a false alarm, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

2.
Don't leave a key under the mat, or under those fake rocks - those places are so well known, it's usually the first place anyone looks.

3.
Bolt your safe to the floor, and make sure your valuables are in the safe! - When I was a kid, I remember our house was broken into, our safe was one of the items taken. They snatched it and brought it to a nearby field, where they broke into it. Then my parents had to worry about identity theft. What a mess. After all of that was handled, they bolted the safe down through the inside, to make it more difficult to be taken. 

4.
Get a safety deposit box - I heard they are reasonable with price and well worth it. For those who aren't comfortable with banks and all that, if you can find a clever hideaway in your house go for it, but be advised that bathrooms and refrigerators are common areas that people go for first.

5.
Keep your personal things backed up and locked up - things like personal information and photos should be backed up on an external hard drive and stored in a separate area, perhaps in your safe?

6.
Don't advertise your valuables - I would suggest curtains. It's no one's business what you have inside your home. All I have to do is go down the street and just from driving by, can see what most families are watching for TV, and what entertainment system they have. If it's that easy for me, think of how easy it would be for someone to case your home. (pretty scary!)

7.
Make it look like someone is home - leaving the lights on a timer or leaving the radio on makes it look like someone is there. 

8.
Security - Security systems can be great. You can save even more hassle by putting the security sign saying there's security, in the windows. 
Statistically, homes with dogs are less likely to be robbed, but I wouldn't rely on that. It still happens. A lot of people who own dogs are not afraid of them, or know that the animals can be easily barricaded. To reduce possible physical abuse, or post traumatic stress in your 4 legged family member, hang a 'beware of dog' sign up and don't rely on one tactic to protect your household. 

9.
Information - Most people know by now that it's pretty easy to steal someone's identity. If they can get your birth date, your mother's maiden name, and your social security number, they could take credit cards out in your name or even worse. It can be quite the pain to take care of. 

10.
If your rugs are getting cleaned (and things like that), make sure someone is home. I'm talking one time strangers. I've cleaned houses since 2007 and have never stolen anything, but my clients stayed home until they were comfortable with me and I've had the same clients for 5 years. Never let delivery people in your house. You have no idea what they do in their "off time."


My friends recognized one of the thieves. It was a delivery guy that had visited their house once and apparently saw easy access through the doggy door. He didn't even go inside. It can be that random.

So be aware and protect yourself and your family. You can never be too safe.






This post will be linked up with Oh,Amanda!
:: TopTenTuesday is a Top Ten post you write on your blog. It can be anything you want, long or short, but it does have to be a list of TEN. Link up with the founder of TopTenTuesday at Oh,Amanda. ::




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