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Was that a burgular in my garden just now?!

(17 Posts)
Hedgehog2018London Tue 05-Dec-17 14:27:22

I'm normally a very laid back person but for the last 40 minutes I've felt I've got super-paranoia!

Quick summary of events and back story:
Me and DH are normally at work at this time of day, we commute by train and leave our cars in the drive. I'm skiving at home today and our back garden is very secluded, hedges all around and backs onto a secluded road.

Anyway, I was just in my kitchen and we have a small metal gate that clicks shut in a side passage in our garden. It's always shut (we hardly use the garden in winter!). The gate was shut. I went into the front room for about 40 minutes, I thought I heard some foot steps at some point but didn't think much of it.

Went back into the kitchen to potter and the gate was OPEN!

To access the small metal gate, you have to be in our actual garden.

As soon as I saw it, I got a sudden sinking feeling, grabbed a knife and went into the front room to google information about burglaries (which heightened the paranoia) Because...

According to crime statistics, against popular belief, burglaries do not happen at night time. 65% happen between 10am-3pm as people are likely to be out. 24% of burglaries happen when someone is home. And most burglars live with in a 2 mile radius of the home they've burgled so they can be familiar with your routine and a burglary happens every 18 seconds and is finished with in 10 minutes!

We have extremely old French doors at the back that could be pulled open with great force and another entry in the garden with a really old click lock, no key needed. The window is broken upstairs too. It's all suddenly hit me, how vulnerable our home is to being burgled. We're like a sitting target. We had a large dog for years who unfortunately passed away not too long ago, she was probably the only thing deterring burglars!

I feel like a moron! (a lucky one that hasn't been burgled yet).

As soon as DH comes home from work, I'm going to head out to grab some CCTV to install tonight. Does anyone have any recommendations?? Also, does anyone have any experience of being burgled and how did they get in out of curiosity?

Sorry for the long post. I also heard strange whistling not long after I had seen the gate open. I feel like a paranoid lunatic sitting in the dark typing this out!

Sorry for the long post!

scurryfunge Tue 05-Dec-17 14:31:24

If you thought someone was trying to burgle the place why did you not call police? And wtf were you doing getting a knife?

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Tue 05-Dec-17 14:32:03

Can you call a friend to come over for coffee? Strength in numbers!
Switch on some lights, make yourself visible, hopefully if anyone is there they'll bugger straight off if it isn't straightforward

Hedgehog2018London Tue 05-Dec-17 14:39:25

Scurry- I just felt incredibly vulnerable, incase someone did attempt to quickly break in and run inside I just wanted to feel like I had some sort of protection or at least look threatening!

Zigzag any local friends will be at work at the moment but I'm sure whoever it was has probably gone now I've switched the lights on as you said because it's not straight forward anymore.

I just feel really odd that potentially someone was lurking in my garden looking for an opportunity! - Big wake up call, did anyone else know about the burglary statistics? It's probably just common sense that I'd completely over looked blush

scurryfunge Tue 05-Dec-17 14:44:41

A secluded garden is very tempting to burglars. Can you open it up a bit? Noisy gravel on pathways is a good idea if its feasible. Can you secure your gate?

scurryfunge Tue 05-Dec-17 14:46:40

Also, do you hide your car keys and spares?

Behindthedoor Tue 05-Dec-17 14:49:32

The thieving scum do use whistling to signal to each other.

Monkeypuzzle32 Tue 05-Dec-17 14:54:59

Afternoon is prime burglary time-think about it-its light enough to see, neighbours are less suspicious and you are likely to be out at work or shopping etc.
It's highly unlikely they will come back today but get your doors secured and cctv (if you want but it's easily moved off shot) and also get your lamps and radio on a timer, hopefully you've put them off by surprising them!

MakeMisogynyAHateCrime Tue 05-Dec-17 14:56:52

You need to secure you property in regards to locks before CCTV IMO.

We have an old set of french windows and an old set of sliding doors too (which we are replacing this summer) but we have a special lock which is a metal stick device that attached to the handle and then you push it into the floor to make the door immobile from the outside for the sliding door and special clipping locks for the French doors. We got it from Amazon.
If you order them on prime now you will have them tomorrow.

RestingGrinchFace Tue 05-Dec-17 14:57:51

My house was burgled once when I was a child. We came gone in the late afternoon to find that someone had forced open an old ground floor window, graves a few things (not much worth stealing luckily) and then left through the back door.

Hedgehog2018London Tue 05-Dec-17 15:00:52

Scurry, Noisy gravel is a really good idea, I'm definitely going to look into that. I know I must sound like I'm completely lacking in common sense but I've never even thought to hide spare car keys. That's next on my list. I'm just going to spend the evening making everything less of a target. Thanks for the suggestions!

Behindthedoor, the whistling makes sense now, I just feel odd that something almost happened. Thank god I got up to potter around. Lesson learned!

Not that anyone is probably going to be quite so lacking in common sense as me but hopefully others who've seen this post might tighten their security too. I just always assumed burglars probably came at night with dark clothing when you were on holiday. The naivety! blush

Hedgehog2018London Tue 05-Dec-17 15:05:13

Makemisogony, I'm going to look that up on Amazon now, thank you!

RestingGrinch - That sounds awful, I just completely overlooked how common and quick these things are blush

scurryfunge Tue 05-Dec-17 15:10:23

I'd also advise not putting presents under a tree during the run up. Burglars know this and all they need is a bag to scoop up everything very easily.

MakeMisogynyAHateCrime Tue 05-Dec-17 20:15:29

I think the latest advice is not to hide your car keys because if they come in and spot your car keys they will usually just grab them and get out however if they don’t find keys they are likely to explore further into the building.

I can recommend the window alarm sensors and garage alarms too.

Yoksha Wed 07-Feb-18 15:43:00

We've recently had a spate of 8 burglaries in our immediate street/backing into next street. Latest 2 last night. They've got fob readers & stole one neighbour's car. The starting up of one car alerted the 2cnd neighbour.

We saw them prowling around at 1 am today. Trying our doors and cars. They're not bothered in the slightest about being on cctv. We saw the flashes from them copying the key fob codes. They're very sophisticated. We're just a working class area.

Our neighbours are getting a faraday box for their key robs. It's all rather disturbing.

nancy75 Wed 07-Feb-18 15:49:03

I think most empty house break ins are at school pick up time in the afternoon, if you e got kids it’s almost guaranteed that everyone will be out at that time. We were burgled, they got into our back garden & then in to the house via the kitchen window.
I have got locks on all my interior doors now, so if someone gets in they can’t get out of that room & into the rest of the house unless they can break through heavy wooden interior doors. If I’m in the house on my own I have most of the interior doors locked

Lunde Wed 07-Feb-18 15:51:06

Where does the gate lead. I used to live in an upsidedown house with a secluded garden with forest on two sides. One day when home alone I remember freaking out hearing footsteps on the decking downstairs - I dashed to an upstairs windown and caught next-door's 12 year old son taking a short cut through our garden. He had got in the habit as the house had been empty for 9 months and it was almost ½ a mile extra to walk the correct way

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