Theft in my home, how to make it safer?

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
A couple of days ago, some thieves entered our home by opening a window and cutting through our solid steel window grill. Since we're in the process of renovating, our house is mostly empty. They went through the entire house, upstairs and downstairs, and didnt find anything worthy of stealing. Some expensive (at least for me) stuff was lying around (eg a brand new xbox x controller that I was going to gift to someone) and some other electronics in the 10-15K range, but nothing was taken. I was alone in the house, my fan was on, door was ajar, but they never came in. So the stuff in my room (laptop, monitors etc) was untouched too.

I'm not sure if I just got lucky or what. That said, I'm really scared now and super concerned about this happening again, esp since it was a SOLID STEEL grill they cut. However, after someone I knew looked at the grill, he said that it had been broken at its weld points. The entire grill is held by 4 small rods in the cement window frame, and those rods are welded to the grill. I was informed weld points are very weak and can be easily broken with a hammer.

In any case, I want to get a new grill with a tamper proof design. How about vertical steel rods embedded directly into the cement, and another layer of horizontal ones. Is this safe? Or do local thieves have access to high tech stuff like liquid nitrogen or whatever?

Also, is it worth going to the police for this? I've had one experience with them in the past which wasnt so good. And I hear so many horror stories.
 

LeGenD123

The One and Only
Sep 5, 2007
3,738
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Lahore
They managed to open a window and breach its steel grill without making any kind of noise?

This is not possible unless they knew much about your house and which window to get through. They had done their homework beforehand. This cannot be a short-time work in one night.

Make a habit of locking a window after closing each, and a safety grill should be strongly secured in walls. Secondly, choose a safety grill which is not easy to breach or cut through; made of pure iron rods preferably.

Potential intruders should not be able to get through any window without damaging it and making much noise in the process. You must have sufficient alert to dial 15 and prepare for self-defense.
 
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baller23

Intermediate
Jul 11, 2015
110
2
13
Karachi
Embedding directly into cement seems safer.
I would also suggest get cameras (NVR) outside and inside your house with motion sensors and built in alarms. You'll get notification alerts to your phone too.
 
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Simonsayz

Active member
Feb 17, 2014
274
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Islamabad
A couple of days ago, some thieves entered our home, but nothing was taken.

Also, is it worth going to the police for this?
Thank Allah for keeping you and your possessions safe, give sadqa and offer nawafil, you were indeed blessed to have gotten out of this unscathed, many have had way worse experiences.

You won't be able to get Police to file an FIR, it's extremely difficult, and the bribe they will ask in every step is disgusting, but the main point they'll make is that since nothing is stolen, the only crime is trespassing and damage to the grill, also, the onus of proof of this crime itself will be on you, Police is extremely corrupt and it's not advisable to be known in their records.

Now, how to avoid recurrence; there is nothing the thieves fear more, than being caught, and they actively avoid well lit & surveilled areas. Install external lights & cameras, AliExpress has these excellent Solar Powered, Motion Detection lights that are just plug&play, don't need any power socket to it, just mount it. They turn ON automatically on sunset to half bright (which is plenty), go full bright on detecting any motion (which is a LOT bright), turn OFF on sunrise, charge up during daylight, perfect. The only con is that they need to have good sunlight exposure to charge properly, but the cord between light & solar panel is long enough to position the panel in sunlight coverage or you can extend the cord, and they have electric powered versions as well.



Install decent cameras and an NVR. Network Cameras (aka IP Cameras) and NVR (Network Video Recorder) operate on Network Cables (aka LAN/Ethernet/CAT Cables), don't go for the old school Analog Cameras and DVR system that operate on Coaxial Cables (aka Dish Antenna Cable). Cover all point of entry areas, camera quality should be at least that much that you can pause a frame and the person's face should be recognisable enough, otherwise it's won't be helpful. HIKvision has very good IR cameras with excellent Day & Night vision, it has app alerts on fence crossing, face tracking etc. I'm not sure what's your budget but good cameras and NVR are expensive, additionally, depending on the size of your house and coverage required, the cable run will cost as well. But cameras specially are a long term investment, even if you have to reduce the number of cameras but get good cameras. If you cannot recognise the face from a frame of video then the whole investment is a waste. Look into the Pro Series with AcuSense https://www.hikvision.com/en/products/IP-Products/Network-Cameras/acusense-products/
 
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Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
Thank Allah for keeping you and your possessions safe, give sadqa and offer nawafil, you were indeed blessed to have gotten out of this unscathed, many have had way worse experiences.

You won't be able to get Police to file an FIR, it's extremely difficult, and the bribe they will ask in every step is disgusting, but the main point they'll make is that since nothing is stolen, the only crime is trespassing and damage to the grill, also, the onus of proof of this crime itself will be on you, Police is extremely corrupt and it's not advisable to be known in their records.

Now, how to avoid recurrence; there is nothing the thieves fear more, than being caught, and they actively avoid well lit & surveilled areas. Install external lights & cameras, AliExpress has these excellent Solar Powered, Motion Detection lights that are just plug&play. They turn ON automatically on sunset, go full bright on detecting any motion, charge up during daylight, perfect. The only con is that they need to have good sunlight exposure to charge properly, so might not be suitable for all locations, but they have electric powered versions as well.



Install decent cameras and an NVR. Cover all point of entry areas, camera quality should be at least that much that you can pause a frame and the person's face should be recognisable enough, otherwise it's won't be helpful. HIKvision has very good IR cameras with excellent Day & Night vision, it has app alerts on fence crossing, face tracking etc.
Thank you very much, I will immediately look into all of this!
 

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
They managed to open a window and breach its steel grill without making any kind of noise?

This is not possible unless they knew much about your house and which window to get through. They had done their homework beforehand. This cannot be a short-time work in one night.

Make a habit of locking a window after closing each, and a safety grill should be strongly secured in walls. Secondly, choose a safety grill which is not easy to breach or cut through; made of pure iron rods preferably.

Potential intruders should not be able to get through any window without damaging it and making much noise in the process. You must have sufficient alert to dial 15 and prepare for self-defense.
Yes, this is what we're thinking as well. They probably came inside a few nights just to scope out everything. The surprising thing is none of our neighbors heard anything. However, our house is a little poorly designed on the back side, since a room was added after completing construction. This room and the one above it combine to shelter that window well out of view of all 3 surrounding neighbors.

We have now decided to break that room, thus exposing the entire backside to all neighbors. Also going to install lights there.

An incredibly oversight we figured out. They turned off all our porch/driveway lights because the switches are outside, lol. I think all such lights should have switches on the inside, so they cant be disabled so easily.
 

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
Ok so I talked to a steel worker today and he explained why our window grills sucked. They're made of steel rods, but small ones, that are welded into a pattern. They're embedded 0.5-1 inch into the wall, which means after detaching one side, the other side can simply be shaken off. This is, in fact, what happened.

The plan is to:

1.Replace all window grills in the house with ones that will take hours to get through
2.Install a security camera system
3.Lights all around the house with switches on the inside (right now all the switches are on the outside)


I'm not sure what a 100% safe strategy is (other than 3 german shephards in the house), but I think as long as our house is "difficult" and not the easiest target in the street, it should probably be safe.
 

Majawar

Lone Wolf
Nov 29, 2007
8,876
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Lahore
www.intellectualtitans.webs.com
Good to know you are safe. I will personally prefer to lodge a FIR since its quite easy now to register. The Computerized FIR system has made things easy and swift. Just mention some cash stolen from some drawer etc to make it serious for Police.
Other option is to install Security cameras and DVR. You can easily control the system through mobile etc and keep an eye. You can also go with Electric Wiring around house. It can keep the thieves away (at least the buzzing sound is very scary) .

It is also wise to pin the possible thieves. Usually Gardener, Milkman, Maids are involved. So it will be good to check if anything fishy is going around with them.
 

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
Does anyone have experience with Nayatels security system (NWatch)? I'm considering going for that, going to call them today to find out the features/details.
 

Sub 0z

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2009
1,163
13
43
peshawar
@Fluorescent brother first of all, thank God, no one was injured. 2ndly, no one is paying attention to your detail.

you mentioned your house being "renovated and mostly empty". 3 things i need to know and you must answer honestly,

renovation means , a house redo/upgrade. in this scenario the house is occupied, only because of repairs and work in the house, there is a lot of shifting to different rooms etc. so i need to know, you live alone or what?

2. if the house is being renovated only,why you mentioned its mostly empty? where is the house stuff in any case?unless you meant, the ppl are not present in the house.

3. how long has the under renovation?do you trust the workers who are doing the renovation AND also the servants who are working there?

why im asking such things is because under alot of criminology studies, a random burglary will only happen IF the tenants are being "checked/being kept an eye on or simply being studied". 2. some person is involved on the inside who knows everything about the setup of the house. and 3. since nothing was stolen, they were probably "late". meaning they waited too long. they were gonna rob the house earlier, but bcoz of some complication, they were not supposed to break into your home on THAT day. the reason being, if your house was being studied, and generally a house renovation takes roughly 2-7 days depending on work.so therefore, someone has definitely studied and planned accordingly.
 

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
@Fluorescent brother first of all, thank God, no one was injured. 2ndly, no one is paying attention to your detail.

you mentioned your house being "renovated and mostly empty". 3 things i need to know and you must answer honestly,

renovation means , a house redo/upgrade. in this scenario the house is occupied, only because of repairs and work in the house, there is a lot of shifting to different rooms etc. so i need to know, you live alone or what?

2. if the house is being renovated only,why you mentioned its mostly empty? where is the house stuff in any case?unless you meant, the ppl are not present in the house.

3. how long has the under renovation?do you trust the workers who are doing the renovation AND also the servants who are working there?

why im asking such things is because under alot of criminology studies, a random burglary will only happen IF the tenants are being "checked/being kept an eye on or simply being studied". 2. some person is involved on the inside who knows everything about the setup of the house. and 3. since nothing was stolen, they were probably "late". meaning they waited too long. they were gonna rob the house earlier, but bcoz of some complication, they were not supposed to break into your home on THAT day. the reason being, if your house was being studied, and generally a house renovation takes roughly 2-7 days depending on work.so therefore, someone has definitely studied and planned accordingly.
I'm living alone right now for 3 reasons that happened roughly at the same time purely coincidentally:
1.My parents shifted to my brothers house
2.Our upstairs tenants house completed building and they shifted there
3.Before getting new tenants, we decided to get all the paint and polish work etc done
4.After this work was completed, my mother fell quite ill, due to which we were distracted and weren't able to look for tenants. Hence, I've been living alone for around 3 months. Hence, my house has been largely empty and devoid of "stealable" stuff for around 3 months.

Theres pretty much nothing valuable in my house right now. Upstairs is totally empty. Downstairs, theres some random furniture, and the most valuable thing is my laptop and monitors. I think any one who worked in this house would have known this, and probably not attempted a robbery (although I could be wrong). Personally, I think someone noticed I'm living alone (theres some construction going on in 3 houses close to where I am), did their homework, and broke in. I'm just so lucky they didn't come into my room, the door was open and the fan was on so they absolutely knew someone was there.

As for trust, we generally trust the workers because the person who they work for is my fathers life long best friend. However, I know this is no guarantee. I am, though, suspicious of the live-in maid and her husband (who live with my parents, but previously lived here, and know everything about our house). Her husband has a history of lying and stealing, has a history of working with steel (knows how to weld etc), and has many friends friends who also work with steel. Its definitely possible he might have passed on relevant information. Hence, we're looking to replace him on an urgent basis, and meanwhile, my parents don't send him to my place any more.

Te lack of people is also obviously a big reason why the thieves targeted our house. So we're looking for tenants now on an urgent basis. Additionally, we're getting the windows improved in a way so that steel bars will actually have to be cut in order to get through the grill (rather than just breaking a weld point). We're also installing more security lights, and switching their switches indoors. Additionally I plan on reinforcing the gate with larger padlocks that cant simply be cut with a bolt cutter or something similar.

Someone suggested a security camera system as a further deterrent, and I'm looking into that. I can't afford anything too expensive, and right now I'm trying to figure out what to get in a budget conscious way.
 

Fluorescent

Talented
Mar 23, 2017
53
0
1
I'm pretty sure people figured out I was living alone. And they probably reconned the house, probably even came inside to find a good window. And sadly, the back side of our house has a window that is custom built for thieves, considering theres no light there, and sheltered completely from the view of our neighbors. Work is already underway to fix this issue.

I'm just very grateful nothing happened to me. I slept at 3am that night, and the thieves probably came in shortly after that. I wonder what I would have done had I woken up, either due to them making noise, or for something random like having to go to the bathroom. While they didn't enter my room, I'm not sure what would have happened if I'd randomly woken up and ran into them.
 

Sub 0z

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2009
1,163
13
43
peshawar
whats really puzzling is the fact that IF the connected ppl KNOW your in-out, whats scarier is that they probably know where you guys have shfited and tried nicking off things at the last minute. and due to this fact alone, i think its probably best to change both maids, workers etc. anyone related within the in-between house shifttings and dedoing.

in terms of the other suggestions, iv not tried any of the alarms and cameras etc. but i need to really think and put into action regarding it as well. weve been living in this neighbourhood for almost 25years, know most of the neighbours and their "utna baitna" and ofc, anyone NEW, we notice it strictly as well. i wish you good luck and pls try to share some prices and how you go about the security alarm/cameras etc pls

the rest, leave to Allah <3
 
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