If you’ve ever served in the military, you’ve heard the term “soft target.” For those who aren’t familiar, this refers to a vulnerable target an enemy could easily take advantage of. In the Army, for example, this might refer to an unsecure depot or unprotected bunker. As a homeowner or business owner, you can think of it as an unlocked door, open window or unlit entryway.
“Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” You’re not waging war across ancient China like Sun Tzu, but his advice still applies. If you are aware of some of the common methods and behaviors burglars use and possess, you may be able to prevent them from taking advantage of you. Below are some common types of burglars and steps you can take to be better prepared:
- Tag Team – One common and highly successful ploy burglars use involves one person coming to your door to "sell" something or to talk, while his or her partner slips into your garage or peeks in the windows to see what’s valuable enough to steal.
Use common sense here, and trust your gut. If someone claims to be from a company, check his or her identity. If someone knocks on the door, you’re under no obligation to open it. Up-to-date locks, alarm systems, and surveillance can stop these thieves in their tracks.
- Old Pro – Burglars with experience know when a property is ripe for the picking. These crooks are patient, but they also know when a risk is too great. They’ll put in the time to find weaknesses in your home, and they’ll wait until they know you’ll be out of town or busy.
Again, self-awareness is an amazing asset. Consider how your home or business looks to a person driving by. How would you break in or vet the property? Be aware of traffic in your neighborhood. Have you noticed a car drive by too often or slowing down when they pass your home? A well-lit building or obvious (and effective) security system can send these shady onlookers elsewhere.
- Self-Server – This person has no qualms who they steal from; if they see an opportunity, they'll take it. This could mean an unlocked door, open window, unattended purse, or a baggy coat or back pants pocket.
Be sure to lock your doors, even if you're home, and shut ground-level windows if you are leaving. Things can escalate quickly and you can become distracted by something you might want to buy in a store. These criminals are quick; they may walk by and notice you aren't paying attention and steal your purse. Keep your purse closed and on your shoulder and be conscious of anything you might be doing to make it easy to steal from you.
Equipped with this knowledge, you’re far better prepared to pinpoint a potential problem and send a would-be villain searching for an easier opportunity. If you feel inspired to update a security feature in your home or business, reach out to us today.