Has your home ever been broken into?

(38 Posts)
felicityscully Tue 13-Nov-12 10:09:45

Just moved to a new house and worried about burglary, especially as there have been a couple of news stories recently involving break ins at night when the occupiers were in.

Have you ever been broken into? Was it day or night? Were you in at the time? How did they get in and what steps have you taken to make your home more secure?

Just want to make home as secure as possible, without going OTT

Thanks

PetiteRaleuse Tue 13-Nov-12 13:15:17

Saskia that's scary. I regularly don't answer my door unless I am expecting someone because I'm scared that it will be a burglar or worse. It would be horrible not to answer the door and then have someone break in anyway.

I have a big dog but he is as unscary as it's possible to be, and would lick a burglar to death before raising any form of alarm. I suppose someone might be put off by his presence but they'd have to not see the wagging tail and general dopiness.

FairPhyllis Tue 13-Nov-12 13:22:22

Yes, someone tried to break in through a back door at about 3am. They didn't realise it was actually a roommate's bedroom - they woke him up, and ran off when confronted with 6ft+ of annoyed man.

We have a very large dark back garden with lots of tree cover which is wide open at the back boundary and accessible at the side through a knee high picket fence. But we rent, so it is up to the landlord to make it more secure. Small leafy American town.

The police arrived within about 60 seconds because this is a tiny town and they have literally nothing to do, then very helpfully went out and arrested the first black man they could find. Except we had already told them that the break-in-er was white confused. Because of this they never caught the actual guy.

Our neighbours have also had break-ins - or walk-ins, more accurately, because they are idiotic students who don't lock their doors and leave computers lying around.

EldonAve Tue 13-Nov-12 13:24:39

yes, at night, we were home and they woke me
didn't get to meet them as they legged it
they took my handbag etc
police were round v quick but they never caught anyone

we got a new front door and more locks and we always lock them all now

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Tue 13-Nov-12 13:30:39

Been broken into twice. Once when I was 15 and living with my mum. They didn't nick much but only because there wasn't much to nick! Bastard was caught. got another jail term. Out early and back doing it again or so I heard.

Second time I was asleep on the sofa with newborn DS in the carrycot asleep next to me. They came in through the back door and nicked my (empty) purse and a bottle of vodka. I was I have to admit more upset about the vodka than the purse once I'd cancelled my cards blush Not half as upset though at the idea some stranger was in my house, feet away from me and my baby and I was so out of it they could probably have taken him too if they wanted to.

I've heard that dogs often aren't a deterrent for bastard burglars. However, Anothe house we lived in was nearly broken into. A neighbour knocked on our door not long after we'd come back one evening to say the dog (german shepherd) had been growling snarling and generally behaving out of character for her while penned into the back garden. Why? because 2 young men were attempting to break into our garage (was detached from the house) and the dog went understandably mad. They apparently tried to shut her up (we even found a trainer in the garden that must have belonged to one of them lol) but gave up when the gate started to give under the dog's weight and legged it before they were eaten The neighbour rang the police but didn't care as there was no actual break in hmm

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 14:44:49

On making more secure, the police advice people are helpful.

Look carefully at doors and windows. I had patio doors which looked ok but hadn't been fitted properly, so the metal rod that is supposed to run top to bottom wasn't fixed in place. The lock was really simple too, so those doors were an obvious weak point.

It was after I replaced those that the panelled back door was smashed in. There are stronger, one piece, doors.

Outside lights with motion sensors can be off-putting. I'd also recommend spiky plants. Anything to make access to vulnerable points of entry difficult and those points more visible.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Tue 13-Nov-12 14:46:30

PetiteRaleuse It is scary! The same man had knocked at our door a few years before - I did answer (he asked if John was in, there is no John here), quite glad I did.

You might be surprised at how your dog will react. I thought mine was a big softy, and he was, just not if you were a burglar grin

DesperatelySeekingSedatives How awful! Being burgled is horrible at any time, but when you're alone with a new baby it would be terrifying.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Tue 13-Nov-12 14:49:54

Adding to what lottiegarbanzo said - gravel is supposed to be a good deterrent too. It makes so much noise it's hard for someone to sneak up undetected.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 13-Nov-12 14:59:07

Another thought is that is does help to know your neighbours. Then they're more likely to know what is usual and unusual round your house and more likely to notice odd goings on or help. Mine were helpful, albeit mostly in the aftermath but one did notice and surprise a burglar, who got away but was seen.

BarbecuedBillygoats Tue 13-Nov-12 15:05:02

I don't think a burglar would risk out dog even thinking an alarm may be off. The postman is petrified of her

In fact we have a cage in our letter box because of her so that solves that problem too

PickledGerkin Tue 13-Nov-12 17:23:31

No but the neighbours have, in fact where I lived before the police were trying people's front doors and if they were unlocked they would shout through the open door saying lock your front door!

It is a typical newish build estate and the police say if you live in a nice area people come to it to nick your stuff.

We are a bit secluded and after my car was professionally broken into on my drive we fitted CCTV cameras ourselves. We also have one by the front door and I can look on my mobile phone in a couple of seconds to see who is there. We usually have deliveries sent to DH's work so I don't have to answer the door.

If I do ever answer the door I shout "I'll get it" so that whoever is at the door believes I am not alone.

We have a metal plated front door and back door and I never leave them unlocked.

Beanbagz Tue 13-Nov-12 17:35:37

No but the neighbours have - twice!

Both times they broke in through a window that was hidden from the other houses on our cul de sac. Stupid thing is they have an alarm which they never bother setting. They also had a sat nav stolen out of their car which they'd left unlocked on the drive hmm

I'm surprised at the times i go to my mum or my sister's house and the front doors are unlocked. Plenty of opportunity for burglers to just walk in. This happened to a friend of hours who lost all his work on his computer (he's self employed and not great at backing up stuff) plus loads of photos from his DD's early years.

We have a super secure scandanavian front door which has a metal plate in so no letterbox (outside post box instead). Plus all keys/phones are kept out of site and we have a monitored alarm. DH works away a lot so i need to feel secure.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 13-Nov-12 17:40:46

Yep, opportunistic like most cases tbh. Didn't take much, think they were just looking for money but made a hell of a mess.

They turned the whole house upside down, even rifled through my bed <<shudder>>

Terraced house, not posh by any standards but not massively rough.

Very secure house, all upvc doors and windows locked. They smashed the back door in with a hammer.

Bottom line is you protect your house as best as you can but then just have to put it out of your mind. If someone really wants to break into your house they will whatever precautions you take. It's shit but true.

It's just a crappy fact of life, don't let yourself get paranoid about it. (Asking for horror stories on here really won't be helping either wink )

I still leave the keys in all my doors. To me it's more important that I can get myself and DS out in an emergency then it is to cause a burglar to take an extra 5 minutes (and cause a fuck-load more damage) getting in.

I've also had a house fire and I know which scared me more!

digerd Tue 13-Nov-12 21:17:33

When I was 14, I woke in the night and thought I heard strange noises, but assumed it was cats. In the morning parents found we had been broken into, can't remember if anything was taken as we didn't have anything in those days of value, except our rented TV.

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