Dear Fellow Survivalist;
I don’t care what anyone says, the best defense there is, is not needing to defend yourself at all. Surprisingly, when it comes to your home, this is actually possible. Basically, it means ensuring that your home is not an attractive looking target, so that criminals will leave it alone. All it takes to do that, is a little knowledge of what’s going on in the criminal mind.
Criminals can be broken down into two categories: professionals and amateurs. The professionals are those who are lifelong criminals and who intend to stay that way, either because they prefer the lifestyle, they’re too lazy to work or they think that only stupid people work for a living. Amateurs cover a broader range, including those who are out of work and desperate, those who see a target of opportunity and want to take advantage of it, and deluded men who rape women that they know.
This distinction is important, because it determines what they will and will not do. Amateur criminals are much more unpredictable than professionals are. In the case of crimes of opportunity, their criminal action may be triggered by an unlocked door or something left outside. For those who are desperate and rapists, about the only thing that short of a gun, which is going to stop them, is hardening your home so that they can’t break in.
While amateur criminals can actually be much more dangerous, because they are more likely to take risks, professionals are highly predictable. They are seeking two things in choosing their targets: profit and security. They want targets where they are likely to get a lot of loot that they can take to a fence, while at the same time limiting their exposure and the risk of being arrested.
Both categories (but especially the professionals) are going to case their targets, selecting them carefully. If a target doesn’t look attractive, there is a much higher chance of them passing it by, especially in the case of the professional criminals. Amateurs might still attack a home, if they are motivated by emotion, such as in the case of rapists.
So how do you keep your home from being an attractive target? There are actually several things you can do.
You can tell a lot about a family’s affluence by looking in the driveway. The types of cars they have, how expensive those cars are and how new those cars are all show if a family is well off or just getting by. if you have expensive cars, or even any new cars, they should be parked in the garage or backyard; somewhere where the casual drive-by can’t see them.
Worse than cars are the motorized toys that some of us have. Boats, campers, jet-skis and other such toys just about shout from the rooftops that you have money. If you have those things parked in your driveway, chances are you have other expensive goodies inside. That makes your home a good target.
The same thing can be said for kids toys, especially expensive yard toys, such as the electric powered cars, which are becoming more and more popular. If you can afford $300 for an electric Barbie car or jeep for your kids to drive around the yard, you’re probably pretty well heeled. All you have to do, to keep those things from advertising your home to criminals, is make sure they’re put away, when your kids are done playing with them.
Probably the single best thing you can do to dampen the ardor of any break-in artists is to put exterior lighting on your home and run it every night. Better yet, put in lighting with a light sensor, so that it comes on automatically when the sun goes down. With the new LED lights you can get, your monthly electric bill will hardly notice the difference.
Professional criminals want anonymity and lighting denies them that. When neighbors can see their faces, it makes things much more dangerous for them.
Shrubbery in the front yard is nice, adding to the appeal of any home. But when that shrubbery gives criminals a place to hide, especially around windows, it can make it much easier for break-in artists to get in, without being seen. If you’ve got to have shrubs, make sure they’re not beneath the windows.
The other option here is to have so much shrubbery in front of your windows, that they can’t gain access to them. But if you do that, you’ll block light from coming in the window too, making the window more or less useless.
Hollywood withstanding, criminals don’t want to mess with alarm systems. They aren’t experts in disarming them and they don’t have time to mess with it. So they’ll pass by any home with an alarm system, or even a sign from one of the alarm system companies.
If you can get your hands on a lawn sign from one of the major home alarm companies, put it in the front yard of your house, even if you don’t have an alarm. That will be enough to be a deterrent for all but the most serious criminals.
More than anything, you don’t want to let people know when you’re not home. Modern social media has become a boon for those who want to steal what you’ve got. All they have to do is troll social media, looking for people who are bragging about their vacation. Then they check out that person’s profile, to find out where they live.
My wife and I have more cars than we drive, with one extra sitting in the driveway. But before you think that I’m rich, they’re all old cars, so I don’t have payments to make. That extra car makes it possible for me to make my home look like there’s always someone here. As I trade off on which car I drive, it’s not always the same one in the driveway, so not even my neighbors know what’s going on.
Finally, stop the mail if you’re going away, even if it’s just for a few days. A full mailbox is a sure sign that nobody is collecting the mail, which usually means that nobody is home.
Next week, I’ll move on to some more active home defense strategies. In the mean time, keep your ammo dry and your survival gear close at hand.
Chris and Dr. Rich