Use These Tips to Protect You and Your Family Against Home Invasions

by June 27, 2013 06/27/13
Rigging a Tarp Shelter 03

Home invasions happen, whether you think they will or not. A few days ago, an unsuspecting homeowner in New Jersey was shocked by her door being kicked in and a strange man entering her house. Obviously he was there to rob the house and while he did get away with some jewelry, he beat and choked the mother of two in front of her 3 year old daughter. Warning: The video below is graphic.

The entire scene played out in front of a nanny cam that was actively recording. While the footage will hopefully be enough to identify the criminal, it doesn’t help to prevent something like this from happening in the first place. Violence escalated quickly and the first obvious step to protect your family against this type of crime is to prevent a criminal from entering your home in the first place. Just know that nothing you can ever do will ever completely prevent a motivated criminal from attempting to enter your house. However, you can take steps to slow them down from entering or having your house so hardened that they’ll make their own decision to avoid it.

Remember this, all security is simply buying time. That’s an important take home and one to never forget. Locks, alarms and deterrents are all just buying time and are nowhere near foolproof. Locks can be picked, alarms can’t send anyone soon enough and deterrents can be avoided by an observant criminal. In this article, we’ll present some tips on what you can do to not only protect yourself and your family, but how to fortify your home to better resist becoming a victim.

Home Invasion vs. Burglary

There’s a notable difference between a burglary and a home invasion, that being you. If you’re home, it’s a home invasion. If you’re not, it’s a burglary, plain and simple. Criminals don’t always know what they’re walking into during the day, but at night it’s a different story. Who knows, in the video above, the criminal could have been as surprised by the homeowner as she was of him. Someone intent on a crime of opportunity will more than likely choose the most opportune time to commit it. You being home does not equal the most opportune time, no matter how stupid the criminal is.

A criminal that breaks into a residence at night is expecting a confrontation of some kind. Hopefully it will be short lived when you shoot them dead, but as we’ve mentioned before in “Dealing with Violent Confrontations” you should always avoid a confrontation if possible. This is the same in a home invasion scenario, not by using the same methods, but by using some forward thinking to deny criminals the opportunity.

Analysis of a Criminal

criminalIt’s important to understand how criminals work during a home invasion and some characteristics of these violent offenders. Primarily they target homes where they’re less likely to face resistance and gain access to important information like pin numbers, jewelry, cash, etc. There’s also the chance that these criminals are just looking for a violent confrontation or a sexual assault opportunity.

Unlike typical burglars, home invasions require homework and these criminals will spend the time to properly target a person or residence. Most good burglars will watch a home to see when the homeowner is gone, but home invaders will go as far as knowing your daily routine. This will include where you work, where you shop and where you hang out. All this information will be collected to determine not only the value of their target, but also the resistance they might face.

These criminals could use deception to approach your residence posing as a delivery man, salesman, or even have a woman accomplice to knock on the door why the agressor waits out of sight. This situation would normally occur during the day and is a technique employed by the criminal as a scout. Always be suspicious of those that you allow into your home, such as the exterminator, carpet cleaner, repair man, etc. If something doesn’t feel right, ask them to leave and request someone else or go with another company. This is also a good time to mention to use a reputable company that’s been recommended to you by someone you trust.

When attempting to enter your residence, home invaders will employ techniques commonly found in CQB (Close Quarters Battle), which are Speed, Surprise and Violence of Action. Speed and surprise are fairly self explanatory, but Violence of Action relates to the overwhelming control these criminal will use to overwhelm their victims and instill fear. This will occur during the first 60 seconds of their initial contact as they’ll be looking to counter any threat they might face.

Working in pairs is to be expected, so remember to always expect that. If you’ve countered one threat, there may be more, so always keep your head on a swivel and remember your situational awareness. You have to be prepared to be restrained with duct tape, rope or zip ties if these criminals do get the jump on you. While they shouldn’t if you’re prepared, you need to know how to defeat these restraints when the opportunity presents itself.

Home invasion criminals have been known to be incredibly lazy while ransacking a home, sitting down to eat, taking a nap, etc. All while you’re restrained and forced to watch in disbelief. We’ll avoid cliches like “watching in terror,” because if you’re reading this on ITS, you’ve hopefully adopted a different mentality and should be rationally thinking about your next move instead of playing the part of the victim.

Ironically, drug dealers are prime targets for home invasions. The abundance of cash, drugs and valuables is highly desired by other dopers and criminals. Not that its a bad thing and we could all care less about them anyway. Whatever is driving the home invader’s motives, this threat is real and one that needs to be taken seriously.

Know Your Neighborhood

neighborhoodThis can’t be stressed enough, only you know when something is awry or out of place, like a strange car parked with multiple passengers inside. Always be cautious of change and shifts in the baseline. If you’re leaving for work in the morning and you see a suspicious car parked around the corner, don’t ignore it. Circle the block and see if its still there when you return. Be a few minutes late for work and blame it on the traffic.

Walking a dog is a fantastic way to know your neighborhood, learning your neighbors patterns, what cars they drive, how many people are typically around a residence, etc. Even jogging is a good excuse to learn the neighborhood. While meeting your neighbors is never a bad thing, letting them know too much about you could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Note what construction vehicles and lawn mowing companies frequent your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to call the police on a strange person/vehicle that looks out of place. You’d rather look like a paranoid idiot, than regret not preventing something from happening.

As mentioned earlier, better criminals will stakeout neighborhoods, observing patterns of when people come and go and when the best time to hit them is. If something feels wrong in your neighborhood, it is wrong. Trust your gut, because if you can’t you’ve got bigger problems on your hands.

Hard Target vs. Soft Target

targetWhile we’ll get into a list of tips further in the article, it’s a good time to bring up the difference between a hard target and a soft target, as this is what criminals are looking for. Think for a minute about businesses and how much security they typically have nowadays. You don’t often find that same level of security at a household, which makes them softer targets. Police will often patrol businesses and main thoroughfares more than they will neighborhoods.

This also applies to individuals, while looking unsuspecting can often work to your advantage, this may be one instance where it won’t. Appearing non-threatening could make you appear to be a softer target in these situations. If this is what you’re going for, great. Also be aware of how you’re dressed because criminals will look for this. Wearing expensive jewelry, watches or driving a flashy car will attract this kind of criminal scum to you, so be cognizant of this when you’re out and about. Obviously, single females are a prime target, so if that’s you, this article is particularly important.

We’re big advocates of SDRs or Surveillance Detection Routes, the path you take back to your vehicle or to your final destination can reveal a lot about what threats could have latched onto you.

A simple SDR you can run while on foot is to walk right past your intended destination and on a path that you know anyone that was following you would be going out of their way. Using storefront glass and other things to note suspicious characters following you is important. Driving is the same thing, take different paths to and from destinations to ensure you haven’t picked up a tail.

Observation is always key anywhere you are and is the primary tool against recognizing threats before they happen.

Protect and Fortify

So how do you fortify your home to become a hard target and take steps to protect yourself? Education and planning are key, so use these steps below and get started!

Home Exterior

  • Keep your house well lit at night to discourage would-be criminals. Have motion detecting flood lights on low-lit areas around your home.
  • Post stickers and alarm signs on the exterior of your home. Even fake alarm decals and signs can be a deterrent.
  • Don’t leave heavy objects in the backyard that can be used to throw through windows, particularly patio furniture.
  • Invest in security cameras with motion sensors, IR and a solid recording device like a DVR. The cost on these has come down considerably from what they used to be.
  • Make sure your camera recording system is housed in a lockbox so a thief can’t take the recording of their crime.
  • Redundant camera angles can help capture footage of a criminal that has properly cased your house and knows the path they can take to disable a camera before it sees them.
  • Internet cameras can also be a good option if you’re away from your home and still need to monitor them.
  • At the least, have a zone alarm to alert you when someone is coming to the door or up the driveway.
  • Use highly-visible house numbers so that the Police can readily identify your home.
  • Lock your gates using an Abloy Security Padlock and leave some nice surprises on top of the fence if they think about scaling it.
  • Don’t enter your home if it looks like it’s been illegally entered, leave the premises and call the police.
  • Be aware of the trash you leave on the curb. Break down boxes from recently purchased items like TVs and conceal them from prying eyes and the trash man.

Windows

  • Always lock windows, even second floor windows.
  • Use secondary locking devices on windows to prevent them from opening past a certain height. Just one more thing to make it more difficult to gain entry.
  • Ensure windows have vibration or glass-break sensors connected to the alarm system.
  • Consider Solar Screens on your windows which will not only save on your cooling bill, but allow you more privacy and prevent window shopping.
  • Solar Screens also are typically screwed into your window frame, which makes removing them slightly more difficult.
  • Look at anti-break window film as an option. If you have glass doors, make sure they’re double paned and laminated.
  • Fortify basement windows with bars or anti-break window film. Secure windows where A/C units are attached.
  • Put a dowel rod in the track of your sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened if the lock is bypassed.
  • Secure any skylights or roof-access with upgraded hardware or anti-break window film.
  • Be aware of the bushes surrounding exterior windows. Sharp hedges (along with the noise created) will discourage these as entry points.
  • Trim your exterior bushes to prevent hiding places and trim tree limbs that allow second story or roof access.

Doors

  • Use solid-core exterior doors including the door into your garage, which should also have a deadbolt.
  • Get a wide-angle peephole and use it before answering the door, but consider covering it up while not in use. Reverse peephole viewers are readily available.
  • Invest in anti-kick door solutions like a Door Devil to prevent brute force entry. A door chain isn’t going to help one bit, even answering the door.
  • Upgrade your locks to high security locks. Bump-Proof locks, Medeco locks and others like these are worth the investment. Most household locks are simple to bypass.
  • At the very least you should install longer screws into your door jambs and hinges, preferably 3″ screws.
  • Have a spare key hidden in an uncommon place outside your home or better yet, with a neighbor.

Home Interior

  • Get a security alarm with interior motion detectors and set the alarm when you’re at home (obviously not the interior motion detector). Criminals rely on an alarm not being set while someone is home and awake.
  • Insure your alarm is monitored and will continue to work in the event you lose power in a storm or it happens to be neutralized. Look into cellular monitoring.
  • Have a secondary alarm keypad in your master bedroom that can be used to sound a panic alarm or quickly access alarm controls.
  • Have a plan for your family or roommates in your home in the event of a home invasion. Talk it over and know what each person’s responsibilities are. That plan should include ways to escape the home if necessary.
  • Consider a safe room as a rally point where you have the ability to protect yourself and call the police. Stash a spare cell phone here.
  • Keep your cell phone by the bed ready for you or another person to call 911.
  • Keep multiple weapons in places that you’ll likely be taken to in an invasion. Obviously you need to be aware of leaving weapons where children can get to them.
  • Have a loaded gun mounted inside the door to your safe. If you’re forced to open it, you’ll be able to give that criminal more than your valuables.
  • Get a dog. A barking dog will bring unwanted attention to a potential burglar, but don’t rely on your dog to attack a criminal unless trained to.
  • Change alarm codes often and when you have to distribute a spare key, make it to a specific (differently keyed) door in case a key is lost you’ll just have to replace one lock.
  • Record serial numbers of expensive items and have backups of your computer off-site using Mozy, Carbonite or in the cloud somehow.
  • Mark and engrave your property with your driver’s license number (not social) to aid in returning your stolen property or discourage theft in the first place.
  • Discuss the importance of home security with everyone, it only takes one person to forget to lock a door or window.
  • Bolt down safes, filing cabinets and lock up expensive items like bikes and four-wheelers.
  • Shred all personal documents using a cross-cut shredder. This includes credit card offers, envelopes with the name of your bank, etc.

Vehicles/Garage

  • Keep a weapon and tools to defeat restraints concealed in your vehicle. You could be kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
  • Keep spare vehicle keys or any important spares in a lock box or safe, not within reach of anyone that might gain access.
  • Always keep the alarm set on your vehicle, even in the garage. Consider a Club or secondary device to prevent theft, even in your garage.
  • Having your the keys next to you while you sleep, you can press the car alarm panic button in a pinch.
  • Consider disabling the release-cord to your electric garage door opener, particularly if you have garage door windows. If this function is needed you can have something nearby to use.
  • Change your factory set garage door opener code, thieves can drive neighborhoods with common openers looking for a doors that they work on.

Skill-Sets

  • Learn skill-sets like lock picking and defeating illegal restraints. If the criminal does get the jump on you, have the means to escape when the time is right.
  • Buy a gun and seek proper training on how to use it. Become proficient and know it’s limitations.
  • Get a concealed carry permit if allowed in your state. Always carry!
  • Don’t open carry if allowed. Why show all your cards if you have the option of concealed carry?
  • Use PERSEC (personal security) when discussing anything outside of your circle of trust, don’t reveal personal details to anyone who doesn’t need to know. That includes over the Internet and Facebook!
  • Letting people know when you’re away from home over Twitter and Facebook is just plain stupid.
  • Log all property into a trusted system with serial numbers, photos and even video that is stored off-site.

Notes

It’s important to note that most home invasions are listed by the offense, such as burgularies or assaults. This means you won’t really find statistics on actual home invasions. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the threat is real. Doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family should be priority number one.

Please share this article with your family, friends and loved ones. Warn them of the inherent dangers of home invasions and how to protect against them. Use the resources we’ve created here on ITS Tactical to develop your skill-sets and practice them to stay proficient. We don’t want to hear any stories of how one of our readers became a victim, rather we’d like to see a news report on you gunning down a criminal during a home invasion. Nothing warms our hearts more than hearing those kinds of stories on the news.

We’d like to also highly recommend everyone around you reads Gavin De Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. It’s by far the most applicable book to exactly what this article is all about. If you have any tips, anything to add to the conversation, or anything we’ve overlooked, please leave a comment below. The more everyone knows the better prepared we’ll all be.


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bobintexas2
bobintexas2

To ME, a DOG is better than an "Alarm", they are hard to beat.  Where I live an ALARM or "cameras" are virtually no good at all.  There is no one to hear it, no one to "come and see about the occupant".  If you have a "picture" of a Thug in a Ski Mask, then what do you have??  NOTHING.  A memento for your relatives of a tragedy that is all.  


But, if you have the MONEY I would say it would be GOOD to incorporate as MANY systems as POSSIBLE to defeat a Home Invasion.  **Get some of ALL OF IT if you can afford it.**  


If you have a Home Invasion, and these guys penetrate your home all the way to where YOU ARE, you have HAD IT.  You will then be killed most likely.  It is nearly always THREE against one, so that means you have to surprise them with Barriers they have NO IDEA you have INSIDE to rob them of TIME.  You must be where they cannot SEE YOU and have a Barrier that takes a long time to defeat and requires special tools for them to defeat.  Oh they won't like that.  


The more TIME you rob them of the more likely they will ABORT.  That is what you want them to do is ABORT.  If you want to emerge this terrible situation UNHARMED you best lick is to make them abort.  


Maybe you can pick some of them OFF as they leave, but if you are down to "Shooting it out" I will make money betting the Occupants will be MAIMED or KILLED.  If you can kill or seriously wound ONE of them, and the others abort, you will have a good chance of "catching them all later".


To ME, the best thing (if you have time to get in it and can AFFORD IT) is a CONCRETE Safe ROOM.  If you can call the "Police" from there with a Cell Phone, maybe they will get there in time to right down a "Report".  The THUGS will be LONG GONE before the Cops put down their Do-Nuts and mosey out to your place.  


Regular Folks just do not have much of a chance against seasoned THUGS.  That is MY belief.  We will HESITATE to be "right" the thugs will NOT, they do not care 'who is right'.  


And then you have to ALWAYS WORRY about the "Inside Job".  Nobody is immune from that.  These guys that always come up with the solution of just "having the right firearm to combat the Invaders with" are just trying to sell firearms.  I own firearms, but by themselves, the Three Thugs have the advantage.  BB

Alex__
Alex__

Wireless alarms are unreliable. Their sensors run on batteries that needs to be replaced on schedule and you have to remember, if you forget about it you're rendering your alarm useless, also wireless frequencies can be jammed and hacked.
Stay away from wireless technologies when it comes to your home and family security. That's just an excuse for the lazy installers no having to get up in the attic to wire your alarm system in the way it meant to be.

I got everything on wires, even my computers, I've spend month on my live wiring 15 drops of cat5e network cable throwout the walls on the entire house for computers, security cameras and security systems. The ONLY thing you MUST have wireless is the cellular GSM unit on the alarm system. That is the ONLY thing that needs to be wireless because burglars can and will cut your phone line wiring from the outside of your property to render your alarm useless.

bobintexas2
bobintexas2

I have lived in a HIGH CRIME AREA since 1971.  The place I have to live on is what's left of our Farm my Father bought in 1958.  The first thirteen years we were here, we had NO criminal problems.  But in 1971 Fox and Jacobs built one of those Government Financed El Cheapo Subdivisions, you know with the Nothing down loans, the inner city folks Flooded IN and the crime has been non-stop since.  In February of 1972 I had a Home invasion HERE and I was by myself.  I was LUCKY, I realized they were breaking in, and robbed then of their "Element of Surprise."  These three guys were not as VIOLENT back in those days, that was 43 YEARS ago.  But NOW if you are invaded, most likely you will NOT live to tell about it.  


I own guns, I can handle them well,  But I get so SICK of every time someone mentions Home Invasion they immediately start selling FIREARMS.  Guns have their Place, I own many and NONE of them are HUNTING weapons, they are Combat Shotguns, a high capacity Rifle, and a number of high caliber hand guns.  But the PROBLEM with FIREARMS (if you are NOT a THUG) is, in a Home Invasion there are USUALLY THREE Assailants, nearly ALWAYS at least TWO.  So if you are BY YOURSELF it is 2 against ONE or THREE against one.  If you have FAMILY, do you REALLY want to go up against Three Dangerous THUGS in a GUNFIGHT with your FAMILY in the HOUSE??  The ODDS are you will ALL BE KILLED or most certainly MAIMED.


To ME, after decades of CRIME, and after clearing a number of these CRIMES and seeing and even MEETING the people that commit them, let me tell you, if you have not been to PRISON several times and Know what they KNOW, well, they are going to BEAT YOU.  YOU, the good guy, will HESITATE when they won't.  I don't care how much you go to the "Gun Range".


To ME the best thing is to ROB them of IS their GREATEST ALLY the *ELEMENT OF SURPRISE.*  I won't tell you exactly what I have now, but your HOME INVASION BARS on windows should be on the INSIDE of your House where the INVADERS CANNOT see them from the STREET.  If you have say THREE exterior doors to ENTER the house, these doors should be "fixed" where NO ONE can just drive up or walk up and "ring the doorbell".  You should NOT even have a Doorbell on your House.  My doorbell has only been rung ONCE in the last 20 years, and that was by a Deputy Sheriff.  My dogs went CRAY when they heard it, they had never heard one in their life.


The INSIDE arrangement should be "fixed" in a way, that AFTER the Home invaders BATTER down your already hardened up exterior Doors, you should have a SECONDARY STEEL BARRIER INSIDE the house to keep the invaders from penetrating FURTHER.  Your DOGS, I have TWO that are INSIDE the HOUSE, are the early warning system.  My dogs alert as soon as a human sets foot on the property.  They come and wake me up.  So, while the Exterior Doors are being battered DOWN, I am clearing my head and getting one of my 12 Gauge Combat shotguns ready.  Once the Thugs get through the exterior Doors, then they find out if they did not bring an Oxy Acetylene TORCH, they still have a LOT of work to do.  They CANNOT get in to the "Sleeping area" for a LONG TIME if they did not bring a Torch.  Even WITH a Torch, it is going to take awhile.  ALL of their "Element of Surprise is LOST, I NOW have the "Element of Surprise" to spring on THEM.  It is my BELIEF MOST invaders will ABORT once they get IN and see they are NOT really IN, they are now >VULNERABLE< they SHOULD LEAVE.  If they don't immediately LEAVE I can rain hell down upon them.  Where I live it takes one to TWO HOURS for the Sheriff to get here.  (I live in the Dallas Fort Worth craphole)  So, like everybody else, *I* am responsible for my own safety, even MORE SO.  DO NOT allow your friends or neighbors to SEE the interior of your LAY OUT.  You "friends" may be OK, but people they BLAB to might not be.  Secrecy is your ALLY.


And by ALL means, if you are building a "House in the COUNTRY", DO NOT build it up close to the ROAD!!!  It needs to be at least 500 feet from the road.  It should be fixed in a way where the people driving by CANNOT tell if you are HOME or NOT.  That is ONE thing that is WRONG with the set up I live in now.  My father FOOLISHLY built the IMPROVEMENTS about 100 feet from the edge of the road to save a few bucks.  That makes the property so HARD TO DEFEND.  ANYBODY can drive by and see everything HERE, it is all on DISPLAY and they can tell what time I get UP, when I leave, and when I get BACK.  I have all kinds of maneuvers I make to confuse them, but you can only fool them so much.  Also, up close to the Road, the Burglars and Home Invaders will throw POISONED MEAT in the front yard, wait a few days for your Dogs to DIE, and then make a strike against you or your property.  That is what the US Military does in the Middle East, when they get ready to "raid" a neighborhood, they go in and kill all of the dogs they see FIRST, then later come back and "clear the homes". 


This is the way it is where I live ELLIS COUNTY TEXAS.  And everybody wants the place to Grow Some MORE, as if it does NOT suck enough like it is.  BB 

bobintexas2
bobintexas2

The NUMBER ONE way a Home invader gets in is he RINGS the FRIGGING DOORBELL!!!  A District Attorney who lived in the adjoining county to where I live, that was under a DEATH THREAT, and had deputies patrolling his street, this DA's WIFE opened the door when it was rung, the invader SHOT her instantly, leaped over her body and RAN to the Bedroom and Emptied a Full Magazine, (30 rounds) well 29 after killing his wife, but he killed the DA in his tracks.  The DA was a 20 year Army veteran and a gun guy, he owned a LOT of guns, but the bad guy always has the ELEMENT of surprise.  The Invader was a fellow Attorney and at one time a JP.  They caught him, but those two people are STILL dead.  BB

KentClark1
KentClark1

A lot of people don't realize this, but the majority of break-ins happen because you leave your door unlocked. That is a very simple fix. The best thing that you can do is have a security system. It really does help you with your safety.

jaytoolman92
jaytoolman92

It's great that you mentions double laminated glass. I don't know if people even know about it or not. The fact that it basically makes your windows into mirrors and adds strength makes it great to protect your home. It's like someone trying to break into your car through your front windshield. http://www.envirovision.com.au

JessicaWilliam1
JessicaWilliam1

With custom burglar alarm decals, you can prevent your house, office or building more effectively. Where security systems are essential for any building, alarm decals are also important for letting the trespassers know that the building, house or office is protected by security cameras, dogs and the like. In case, if the alarm systems are not installed, only the burglar alarm decals can protect your house from intruders. http://www.printcosmo.com/Decals/Alarm-Decals.html

Alex__
Alex__

I got everything described in this article, alarms (with stickers and yard sign), dead bolts and locks, dogs (big ones), good lit, according to the police my house is a hard target because of where is located,  yet my house got burglarized anyways. By the destruction they left behind it's pretty clear it wasn't their first rodeo. The next door house got burglarized 4 month after mine. We don't live in a bad neighborhood either. Something to note, nothing got stolen on either burglary, the alarm scared them off, but we have the stickers and yard signs !!! They broke in anyways !

So what's next? Hiring an armed security guard?

Aussie Allan In Thailand
Aussie Allan In Thailand

Great tips, logically presented, and I am not only a now retired to Thailand ex Australian Army rather special soldier.

I am also in the past the owner of 2nd business in the security, close personal protection, and private investigator areas. Hence I do know exactly that nearly all criminals are cowards, who seek victims rather than a known armed and aggressive fighter. Cheers Allan Leigh


Sherlock Who
Sherlock Who

Also another tip: you can keep a open can of wasp spray by your bed to keep assailants from coming close. Normal wasp spay will spay up to 20 feet and will temporarily blind the person  


dfs
dfs

......Or a AK 47 or Glock or AR15 would be better than buying all this.

sylverdrag
sylverdrag

Another detail you might want to put on the list is making sure that none of the cell phones and cameras in your possession store GPS location in the pictures they take, encoded in the photo's metadata. Shockingly enough, "GPS data" are often enabled by default on modern cellphones.

Without realizing it, a lot of people post pictures online which still contain the exact GPS coordinates of the place they were taken. This means that if you were to, let's say, take photos at home (for a kid's birthday or the like) and share it online, you could be providing automatically the GPS coordinates for your house, along with a detailled inventory of your possessions and photos of the layout of your house. 

And of course, it's not just your home, but every damn place you take a photo, making it possible to draw a profile of your habits more accurate than if you were tailled every day for a week.  

Fortunately, some services will automatically remove these info before posting the photos but not all. And even if the services you use do remove the data (like facebook), there is no guarantee that it will remain that way.

stincky1
stincky1

This article has been mentioned on another site:  

Scott Cox
Scott Cox

great article! A must read !

Scott Cox
Scott Cox

great article! A must read !

kf4lhp
kf4lhp

I get rid of all of my cardboard, especially big-ticket purchases, at the recycle center. Toss it in the dumpster and go about my business. I think it's a much better way than breaking down boxes and trying to hide them at the curb.

kf4lhp
kf4lhp

I get rid of all of my cardboard, especially big-ticket purchases, at the recycle center. Toss it in the dumpster and go about my business. I think it's a much better way than breaking down boxes and trying to hide them at the curb.

LeeGill
LeeGill

eguns, I looked into what camera video quality and I found 2 cheap car cameras off eBay. I went with the cheap ones for the pilot testing and a better quality camera will normally do a better video. The exact cameras I purchased were $88.00 for the pair, delivered to my house: Qty x 2 = 2.5" TFT Color LCD 6 LED IR Vehicle Road Eye Car HD Camera Video Recorder DVR, from a seller on eBay named ‘fabulous5812010’. This was not a made in USA item but does the job. For less than $100.00 it made a good test. I also purchased the micro cards online, same day, from Amazon. The maximum capacity of the above car camera is 32GB so I purchased 2 of these: Qty x 2 = SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (amazon.com and locate SanDisk-microSDHC-Memory-Adapter-SDSDQUA-032G). Side note, if you dislike the car camera idea after the fact. These 32 GB micro cards are the series that are very good for cell / smart phones as well as digital cameras (vacation home type as well as field/hunter placed ones). So you have reusable equipment or gift able items on hand!

LeeGill
LeeGill

eguns,

I looked into what camera video quality and I found 2 cheap car cameras off eBay. I went with the cheap ones for the pilot testing and a better quality camera will normally do a better video. The exact cameras I purchased were $88.00 for the pair, delivered to my house:

Qty x 2 = 2.5" TFT Color LCD 6 LED IR Vehicle Road Eye Car HD Camera Video Recorder DVR, from a seller on eBay named ‘fabulous5812010’. This was not a made in USA item but does the job. For less than $100.00 it made a good test.

I also purchased the micro cards online, same day, from Amazon. The maximum capacity of the above car camera is 32GB so I purchased 2 of these:

Qty x 2 = SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (amazon.com and locate SanDisk-microSDHC-Memory-Adapter-SDSDQUA-032G). Side note, if you dislike the car camera idea after the fact. These 32 GB micro cards are the series that are very good for cell / smart phones as well as digital cameras (vacation home type as well as field/hunter placed ones). So you have reusable equipment or gift able items on hand!

LeeGill
LeeGill

I have been recently (past few months) advising people to purchase car cameras (DVR style) and connecting them to vehicle switched power. I have both front and rear cameras; both have 32GB micro SDs on a loop recycles. So far I’ve been able to pull out 2 good .avi files for law enforcement (proof) of collisions to clarify driver accountability and I have noticed a huge decrease in law enforcement profiling. I get pulled over far less now that they “that back SRT8 has active cameras”. They need to have a reason to pull me over, not just random road side checks without cause. I took this step simply because I wanted to ensure something could speak for me on my behalf, in the event I could not.

LeeGill
LeeGill

     I have been recently (past few months) advising people to purchase car cameras (DVR style) and connecting them to vehicle switched power (key ignition). I have both front and rear cameras; both have 32GB micro SDs on a loop recycles. So far I’ve been able to pull out 2 good .avi files for law enforcement (proof) of collisions to clarify driver accountability and I have noticed a huge decrease in law enforcement profiling. I get pulled over far less now that they “that back SRT8 has active cameras”. They need to have a reason to pull me over, not just random road side checks without cause. I took this step simply because I wanted to ensure something could speak for me on my behalf, in the event I could not.

bobintexas2
bobintexas2

@JessicaWilliam1 I have been burglarized 30 times, had a HOME invasion, and three bloody assaults, I have dummy cameras, I have no way of knowing how many they have turned away, those you cannot count, but even REAL CAMERAS will NOT repel an attack.  Youtube is FULL of Crimes "on Camera" and you cannot read the LICENSE number or recognize the THUG.  


Where I live ((Texas), after a crime is committed the Sheriff's Dept always show up with their "Clipboard" about 2 hours after the crime, and they go down a list of questions and the FIRST time you answer with a NO they say, "There is nothing they can do" and drive off.  


The One question that will always get rid of them is, "Did you get their LICENSE NUMBER?"  If you say no, they just say, "There is nothing we can do."  and drive off.  Also, even if you CATCH them YOURSELF if they are KNOWN drug offenders, they will NOT go after them because they want to WAIT, "until they run a stop sign and have some DOPE in the Car."  The reason for THAT is, they get to keep the PROPERTY in a "Drug Crime".  Those "Property Forfeiture Laws" have so CORRUPTED the system.  it is a MONEY MAKING RACKET for them, yet it fills up the prisons and the TAX PAYER gets robbed AGAIN because the TAXPAYER has to FEED the low life during his incarceration.


I have NEVER had a Drug Dealer Steal anything from me, but I have had BANKERS, and insurance people rob me BLIND.  They should let all of the drug people out of Jail and lock up the REAL Criminals, the "Bankers, Insurance People, Real Estate Appraisers and Stock Brokers".  They steal more money in a day than the rest of them all year.  BB  

bryanpblack
bryanpblack moderator

@Alex__ Sorry to hear about what happened, was it a door kick-in? I'm glad to hear your alarm did its job and I'd say it was successful in protecting the contents of your home. You may have incurred damage, but it sounds like it could have certainly been a lot worse.

bobintexas2
bobintexas2

@Sherlock Who @Sherlock Who That WASP SPRAY thing is not good.  First of all it is ILLEGAL.  Federal Law Prohibits using a POISON for self defense and Texas law prohibits it too.  This is a urban legend thing that has been going around for a LONG TIME.


If you are working in your Garage or work shop, and get attacked by some crazy person, if you pick up some wasp spray from the workbench and spray the assailant you Probably can get by with that, it would be an emergency act of desperation.  I am NOT an attorney, but I think around where I live it would not be an issue in such a happenstance.  I cannot guarantee that. 


But to go Buy, Keep and CARRY WASP SPRAY with the INTENTION of using it as a WEAPON is ILLEGAL!!  And it is NOT that effective anyway.  


I don't like Sprays of ANY KIND.  A guy I used to know was a BOUNCER in a night club, he was fighting somebody out the door of the Club, and then the BIG CRAZY guy was starting to get the better of him, so he MACED the guy.  Well most of the Mace blew back in the bouncer's FACE, and blinded HIM, and the Mace that actually hit the Assailant was just enough to REALLY Piss him off, he was so ENRAGED after that, the thug beat the Holy Living HELL out of the bouncer.  After the bouncer healed up, he threw away every bit of Mace he had.  And NEVER used it again.


I used to carry Wasp Spray with me when I did Real Estate Appraisals, because I could kill Wasps with it and not STAIN people's Houses etc.  At HOME I use Diesel Fuel to kill Wasps.  But the wasp Spray, I have had IT blow back on ME with minimal discomfort.  You know, if that stuff was very harmful it would be TOO DANGEROUS for the USER to use against WASPS and the company that makes it would be SUED in to a HOLE in the ground.  But it is STILL Classified as a POISON and you cannot LEGALLY spray a HUMAN with it.  I carried a GUN for "Humans".  I believe if you FEAR someone enough to SPRAY them, you probably have Probably cause to SHOOT THEM with a Firearm.  I never heard of a BULLET or Shotgun blast "blowing back" on to the shooter.


That is an URBAN LEGEND story that has been going around since about 2009.  This is America you can do it anyway you want, if you think that is a GOOD IDEA to use Wasp Spray go ahead, but you MIGHT want to Consult with an ATTORNEY FIRST.  You MIGHT take a chance and ask a Cop, but they are WRONG all of the time, they are NOT lawyers.  They BLUFF all the time.  


I would NEVER spray someone with something I could not EAT, because that is PROBABLY what they are going to make you do, they are going to make you EAT IT, or Shove it where the sun don't shine.  Wasp Spray, in the end, is nothing but false security by people that do NOT really know how VIOLENT and how TOUGH some people ARE.  BB

bobintexas2
bobintexas2

@Sherlock Who That WASP SPRAY thing is not good.  First of all it is ILLEGAL.  Federal Law Prohibits using a POISON for self defense and Texas law prohibits it too.  This is a urban legend thing that has been going around for a LONG TIME.


I you are working in your Garage or work shop, and get attacked by some crazy person, if you pick up some wasp spray on the workbench and spray the assailant you Probably can get by with that, it would be an emergency act of desperation.  I am NOT an attorney, but I think around where I live it wold not be an issue in such a happenstance.  


But to go Buy, keep and CARRY WASP SPRAY with the INTENTION of using it as a WEAPON is ILLEGAL!!  And it is NOT that effective anyway.  


I don't like Sprays of ANY KIND.  A guy I used to know was a BOUNCER in a night club, he was fighting somebody out the door of the Club, and then the BIG CRAZY guy was starting to get the better of him, so he MACED the guy.  Well most of the Mace blew back in the bouncer's FACE, and blinded HIM, and the Mace that actually hit the Assailant was just enough to REALLY Piss him off, he was so ENRAGED after that, the thug beat the Holy Living HELL out of the bouncer.  After the bouncer healed up, he threw away every bit of Mace he had.  And NEVER used it again.


I used to carry Wasp Spray with me when I did Real Estate Appraisals, because I could kill Wasps with it and not STAIN people's Houses etc.  At HOME I use Diesel Fuel to kill Wasps.  But the wasp Spray, I have had IT blow back on ME with minimal discomfort.  You know, if that stuff was very harmful it would be TOO DANGEROUS for the USER to use against WASPS and the company that makes it would be SUED in to a HOLE in the ground.  But it is STILL Classified as a POISON and you cannot LEGALLY spray a HUMAN with it.  I carried a GUN for "Humans".


That is an URBAN LEGEND story that has been going around since about 2009.  This is America you can do it anyway you want, if you think that is a GOOD IDEA to use Wasp Spray go ahead, but you MIGHT want to Consult with an ATTORNEY FIRST.  You MIGHT take a chance and ask a Cop, but they are WRONG all of the time, they are NOT lawyers.  They BLUFF all the time.  BB

RyanArbuckleSr
RyanArbuckleSr

Sherlock Who, I would advise against the wasp spray! It can and most likely would be considered use of deadly force, as wasp spray is a known poison.

judgejohnston
judgejohnston

@Sherlock Who How do you know that?  I hear it all the time. I know that pepper spray, buckshot, and 9mm + P works. I just haven't seen any test results on wasp spray.Maybe it does, but why take the chance?

LeeGill
LeeGill

-When you get this camera there will be a camera, thin square battery, windshield mount, USB connector and a power source (that plugs into a cigarette lighter in car, like 8 feet long cord). The thin battery is charged off the car power when connected and can be set to continue to record after the car is turned off. I also have motion detection on, so it turns on when people walk across the front / rear of the car. The battery will hold enough power to run independently and shuts down in absence of movement.

LeeGill
LeeGill

-When you get this camera there will be a camera, thin square battery, windshield mount, USB connector and a power source (that plugs into a cigarette lighter in car, like 8 feet long cord). The thin battery is charged off the car power when connected and can be set to continue to record after the car is turned off. I also have motion detection on, so it turns on when people walk across the front / rear of the car. The battery will hold enough power to run independently and shuts down in absence of movement.

tarditi
tarditi

LeeGill Good call - this is very popular in Russia (hours of youtube footage from Russian dash cams) to either defeat opportunistic aggressive drivers or corrupt law enforcement

eguns
eguns

LeeGill This is a fantastic idea. Do you have suggestions as to how to go about doing this? Devices, method, installation, etc etc?

tarditi
tarditi

@LeeGill Good call - this is very popular in Russia (hours of youtube footage from Russian dash cams) to either defeat opportunistic aggressive drivers or corrupt law enforcement

eguns
eguns

@LeeGill This is a fantastic idea. Do you have suggestions as to how to go about doing this? Devices, method, installation, etc etc?

Alex__
Alex__

@bryanpblack Yeah, the front door was badly kicked-in, nothing left of after, they completely destroyed door, hinges, frame and locks (yes, the locks were also destroyed) and were laying on the floor, that tells you how much force they used to bust my front door open. It cost me $500 to replace the door on a Sunday, plus $250 to replace the screen door with an iron gate, plus $400 worth of cameras, $600 for the guard dog and who knows how much money worth of materials I already have with me and the labor to install the do it yourself project of cameras installation, I make a living on systems and networks so wiring the house, installing and configuring custom IP cameras is a piece of cake for me, so you can tell despite nothing was taken I got robbed anyways. Now I've purchased a guard dog to add to the pack, and I've installed HD cameras around the house and inside, I monitor the house from work and my cell phone every time I can and so far I can tell no one dares to get close to the house, not even the mail man but the random dumb solicitor who don't know how to read the sign that clearly states "No Solicitors". I caught one live on camera once and called the cops on him while he was standing in front of the door reading all my warning signs he got stopped for soliciting without a permit, that's not the reason I called the cops but because he seemed to be the kind of people who steal mail from your box, was acting like he was trying to locate the my mail box but I don't have one and has something on his hands that resembled pretty much like stolen mail. I don't have a mail box to keep people from stealing my mail/packages, I've been using for many years now a PO Box and it works like a charm and with email notifications you only need to stop by the post office only when you have mail, no more going to check the box just in case you've got mail.My next project I can't do it myself, but I have my windows scheduled for replacement for the past 2 years since before I got break-in, since then I've been thinking on how to beef up even more my security, I came across the idea of bars on the windows and iron fencing on the front, I decided instead to move the cost of building an iron fence and/or bars on the windows and purchase tempered glass dual pane windows instead, is cheaper and it keeps the good looking of the house instead of looking like a jail, since I have to replace them anyways so might as well..., good luck now trying to break thru the windows ;-)

LeeGill
LeeGill

The setup: I tapped into my switched power. This is a feed off the car is from the turn key ignition. That wire from the turn key switched power goes to a push button toggle (standard on / off) switch (I’ll explain why later) and from this toggle switch I have a female car cigarette connector. My female cigarette power source meets the car camera male connector, behind my glove box. So quick glance summary: Car key ignition wire tap, to a toggle on/off switch (manual), to female cigarette socket, behind glove box.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The setup:

I tapped into my switched power. This is a feed off the car is from the turn key ignition. That wire from the turn key switched power goes to a push button toggle (standard on / off) switch (I’ll explain why later) and from this toggle switch I have a female car cigarette connector. My female cigarette power source meets the car camera male connector, behind my glove box. So quick glance summary:

Car key ignition wire tap, to a toggle on/off switch (manual), to female cigarette socket, behind glove box.

bryanpblack
bryanpblack moderator

@Alex__ Thanks for the follow-up and lessons learned. There's great info in your post and some great considerations for anyone looking to upgrade their own security.

The guard dog is a great idea and I especially like moving away from using your home mailbox completely. 

Upgrading the windows is a good move as well, but you also might want to look into a security film options that 3M makes to prevent glass breaking.

Thanks again for sharing,
Bryan

eguns
eguns

LeeGill Great little DIY. I'm going to look into what system/set up may work best in my vehicle. I think your set up is done really well but I think I may need to work on the rear camera placement for my vehicle. Good thinking on the wiring as well, having the option to power them off the battery or let them run on their own is a nice touch. How are low light images when using those particular cameras? Have you explored running this setup off of existing rear parking cameras on vehicles equipped with such?

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: If asked on an inspection about the device. Ensure you say that it’s there to speak for you in the event you cannot. In a fatal collision it may be your only representation of the events. External vehicle conflicts that you can’t run (escape) from; evade as much as possible and move to the front or rear camera views. Learn to always keep you back to the car and defend. If you’re going to die the biggest jump start for law enforcement to act upon is the details recorded. The stronger the evidence is for them to work with the better chance at swift, secure justice. Hope this helps. Save travels.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: Additionally, you can remove the car camera battery and have the cameras turn on, only when dedicated power is provided. If you don’t care about what happens when your car is off, pull the little thin battery out. If you have no thin battery in the car and you are driving around. You can use the inline manual toggle on/off switch to instantly turn off front and rear camera recorders. I suggest planning you cabling and wiring for any DVR setup and you can choose how you want your car cameras to record ad-hoc whenever you want them. Car cameras are basically same size as radar detectors so you might be pulled over if you’re living in an area (like me) where they inquire about it. Very big, important note. These are not password protected access devices. If you’re pulled over with a potential cause and they are unable to prove anything. These units become fair game for them to review (audit) what’s been recorded. 2 car cameras are a good idea because if the road side stop (and camera audit) occurs. You have a second active camera recording the events and delays you encounter.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: You want the primary power source to be on key switched power to ensure any power you provide to the unit(s) is controlled. There is no need to ‘remember’ to turn on or off anything. Zero concerns with letting it stay installed as designed and have any power source problems. If you have a dead battery someday, this is not a factor to be concerned with (type thing). The manual on/off inline switch is there so you can remove the direct power source from charging the battery for events; 2-3 day car shows where the car is turned on for very short durations; extensive car storage where car is turned on for short periods of time. It’s always wise to have a manual inline intervention to avoid (or eliminate) electrical issues from the system. If the batteries are in the cameras and you manually toggle off the power; the cameras stay alive until batteries drain out but only the device rechargeable batteries die out, no impact to the car system.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Rear camera: I placed the rear camera driver’s side, mid height on glass, about 4 inches away from edge. This puts the device out of your line of sight when looking in the rear window. I have a second power line from the mentioned above manual toggle on/off switch that goes onto my car trunk. My SRT8 has a battery in the trunk but I have both camera power sources from the same manual toggle (we’ll get to why later). The power cable from the camera goes into the side material and routes into the trunk same male to female connection. I did the same cheesing with the extra length and I have the extra length placed against my rear strut brace. The Velcro holds the cable real nice and the Velcro to the strut brace behind the trunk material is tight enough there is no rattling.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Front camera: I placed my front car camera middle windshield, passenger side, right up top, behind the rear view mirror. The windshield disc is very high up on the windshield. Placement is pretty much anywhere you like. Mine is so high up, central windshield. I have the power cable tucked into the roof line front central, across to passenger down column (I pulled off my column and tucked it in). It works its way behind the glove box; cheesing (coiled) the extra length circular to prevent breakage (military habit). I used Velcro computer wrap. Anyhow, plug male into female. Should hear a camera tone for it turning on (at least I did).

eguns
eguns

@LeeGill Great little DIY. I'm going to look into what system/set up may work best in my vehicle. I think your set up is done really well but I think I may need to work on the rear camera placement for my vehicle. Good thinking on the wiring as well, having the option to power them off the battery or let them run on their own is a nice touch.


How are low light images when using those particular cameras? Have you explored running this setup off of existing rear parking cameras on vehicles equipped with such?

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

If asked on an inspection about the device. Ensure you say that it’s there to speak for you in the event you cannot. In a fatal collision it may be your only representation of the events. External vehicle conflicts that you can’t run (escape) from; evade as much as possible and move to the front or rear camera views. Learn to always keep you back to the car and defend. If you’re going to die the biggest jump start for law enforcement to act upon is the details recorded. The stronger the evidence is for them to work with the better chance at swift, secure justice.

Hope this helps. Save travels.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

Additionally, you can remove the car camera battery and have the cameras turn on, only when dedicated power is provided. If you don’t care about what happens when your car is off, pull the little thin battery out. If you have no thin battery in the car and you are driving around. You can use the inline manual toggle on/off switch to instantly turn off front and rear camera recorders. I suggest planning you cabling and wiring for any DVR setup and you can choose how you want your car cameras to record ad-hoc whenever you want them.

Car cameras are basically same size as radar detectors so you might be pulled over if you’re living in an area (like me) where they inquire about it. Very big, important note. These are not password protected access devices. If you’re pulled over with a potential cause and they are unable to prove anything. These units become fair game for them to review (audit) what’s been recorded. 2 car cameras are a good idea because if the road side stop (and camera audit) occurs. You have a second active camera recording the events and delays you encounter.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

You want the primary power source to be on key switched power to ensure any power you provide to the unit(s) is controlled. There is no need to ‘remember’ to turn on or off anything. Zero concerns with letting it stay installed as designed and have any power source problems. If you have a dead battery someday, this is not a factor to be concerned with (type thing).

The manual on/off inline switch is there so you can remove the direct power source from charging the battery for events; 2-3 day car shows where the car is turned on for very short durations; extensive car storage where car is turned on for short periods of time. It’s always wise to have a manual inline intervention to avoid (or eliminate) electrical issues from the system. If the batteries are in the cameras and you manually toggle off the power; the cameras stay alive until batteries drain out but only the device rechargeable batteries die out, no impact to the car system.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Rear camera:

I placed the rear camera driver’s side, mid height on glass, about 4 inches away from edge. This puts the device out of your line of sight when looking in the rear window. I have a second power line from the mentioned above manual toggle on/off switch that goes onto my car trunk. My SRT8 has a battery in the trunk but I have both camera power sources from the same manual toggle (we’ll get to why later). The power cable from the camera goes into the side material and routes into the trunk same male to female connection. I did the same cheesing with the extra length and I have the extra length placed against my rear strut brace. The Velcro holds the cable real nice and the Velcro to the strut brace behind the trunk material is tight enough there is no rattling.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Front camera:

I placed my front car camera middle windshield, passenger side, right up top, behind the rear view mirror. The windshield disc is very high up on the windshield. Placement is pretty much anywhere you like. Mine is so high up, central windshield. I have the power cable tucked into the roof line front central, across to passenger down column (I pulled off my column and tucked it in). It works its way behind the glove box; cheesing (coiled) the extra length circular to prevent breakage (military habit). I used Velcro computer wrap. Anyhow, plug male into female. Should hear a camera tone for it turning on (at least I did).

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