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My House was Burglarized: 10 Ways to Prevent Your Home From Being the Next Target

I came home from work on June 18, 2008 with 8-month-old BooBoo and 5-year-old Boy Wonder to find the door from the garage into the house ajar. “How odd,” I thought as I silently cursed my husband for failing to not only lock the door, but close it on his way to work.

I unloaded the kids, associated diaper bags, backpacks and briefcases only to trip on my husband’s guitar carelessly left in the middle of the family room. “Ugh!” I muttered as I silently cursed out my husband yet again.

I made my way upstairs to find random lights left on and drawers left open. Annoyed, I picked up the phone and angrily dialed my husband.

Husband: Hello?

Me: Yeah, hi. What were you doing this morning? You left doors open, lights on, and a guitar right in the middle the floor. Were you in some kind of hurry?

Husband: Check the back door NOW!

Me: It’s open.

Husband: Lori, grab the kids and get out of the house NOW! Call the cops; I’m on my way.

My heart sank; fear coursed through my veins. Our house, the house we’d selected for the great neighborhood, the house that we’d been in for just over a year, the house designed to protect and shelter my family had been compromised. This burglar stole more than just stuff; he stole my family’s comfort, peace, and personal security.

I can’t put into words the fear, anger, and loss that comes from a home burglary. To imagine a stranger walking through your home taking whatever he wanted for the keeping. The thought even four years later still makes me physically sick. This burglar knew what we looked like by the family pictures on our walls, he saw the baby swing, and yet he stole from our young family anyway.

It’s only fair for me to warn you that a burglary isn’t always as obvious as you might think. There were no obvious signs of forced entry; the police officer had to find where the intruder broke in. Unlike in the movies, my house wasn’t turned upside down. What I was left with were subtle signs and millions of questions.

Did the burglar steal spare house keys or car keys? Will he come back for what he missed? Why was our house chosen?

Why was our house chosen? The million dollar question.

When I came upon SimpliSafe’s burglar trade secrets, it became overwhelmingly obvious why our home was targeted. Take a look at the following burglar trade secrets and take measures to protect your home and your family. If you think a home burglary can’t happen to you, I’m sorry to tell you you’re wrong.

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  • Strengthen your door frame 1 of 10
    Strengthen your door frame
    Did you know that most door frames moldings are pretty flimsy? They are, making it all too easy for a burglar to gain access into your home with nothing more than a crowbar. To strengthen your door frame, install 3-inch screws that reach the wall studs along the frame.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Privacy comes with a price 2 of 10
    Privacy comes with a price
    Every homeowner wants privacy, but high fences and tall surrounding trees and shrubs make your home a prime target for burglars. Privacy for a homeowner unfortunately also means privacy for a potential burglar.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Consider a dog 3 of 10
    Consider a dog
    An angry or noisy dog can deter a potential burglar. The more inconvenient your house becomes, the more likely a burglar will choose another target.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Lock your doors 4 of 10
    Lock your doors
    Simple, right? You'd be surprised how many burglars gain access to homes without forced entry. Lock your doors, use deadbolts, and never hide a key outside your home- a skilled burglar will find it.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Invest in a home alarm 5 of 10
    Invest in a home alarm
    Protect your home and your family with a home alarm system. Use home alarm signs in front and back of your home, along with home alarm decals on windows and sliding doors.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Sliding doors are vulnerable 6 of 10
    Sliding doors are vulnerable
    Not only can older sliding doors be lifted off their track, their locks easily picked by professional thief. SimpliSafe offers several suggestions on how to secure your sliding door, learn more by clicking here.
  • Backyard toys 7 of 10
    Backyard toys
    Toys in the backyard tell a potential burglar that children live in the residence. Children in the residence indicate a mother with jewelry lives there as well. Consider keeping backyard toys in a locked shed or garage.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Use the right deadbolt 8 of 10
    Use the right deadbolt
    Exterior doors should contain high quality deadbolts with throw bolt at least 1 inch long. Unfortunately many home builders install low quality deadbolts with throw bolts less than one inch long to save cost. For your family's protection, check your home's deadbolts and replace them as necessary.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • What a burglar wants 9 of 10
    What a burglar wants
    Burglars are looking for more than just jewelry and electronics. They're looking for spare house and car keys, personal data for identity theft, and prescription pills to sell.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Use a fire safe 10 of 10
    Use a fire safe
    Important personal data, such as birth certificates, passports, and social security cards should be kept in a locked fire safe, or better yet, in a safety deposit box.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

For 5 ways to trick a burglar into picking another target, click here.

Has your home ever been burglarized?

Note: I was not compensated to review SimpliSafe products or services, nor do I have experience with their products or services.

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