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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 12/5/2008


I always had a fear of the house being robbed; even though I live right next door, and it finally happened. Someone came in last night and stole several spools of electrical wire. Roughly $500-600 worth. Surprisingly, they stole nothing else - none of the thousands of dollars in tools, wood flooring, etc. My husband says we are lucky they didn't do a great deal of damage or steal more but I don't feel very lucky! Hubby picked up at neat little video camera at Bass Pro Shop. It is meant to tape deer in the woods but I think it will work well. It is battery operated and motion activated. There is a memory card and it can be hooked up to a TV to watch what it's recorded. There is only one way to get up to our house - so he's going to strap it to a tree facing the drive and see what we get. Wish I would have gotten it before but hindsight's 20/20, right. The camera was a couple hundred dollars but if any of you have similar fears - you may want to make the investment.
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By Jon in Ellicott City, MD on 12/6/2008


So sorry to hear that, Faye. 

I know what it feels like.  My place was broken into TWICE this past summer.  The value of the stuff stolen was about $7,000.  But, as you know, it's really much more than just the money lost.  Someone violated my personal space.  I fumed for weeks after the first break-in.  Like you, I looked at motion cameras, security systems, motion lights, etc.  I went round and round over the right course of action - "Am I trying to catch these guys, or scare them off?"  Of course, I deliberated about it long enough to not have anything in place the second time I was robbed. 

After the second incident, I tried both a camera and a light.  Unfortunately, the motion from nearby trees kept setting them off.  I ended up buying a security system.  It was worth the money/time for the peace of mind.  But I kept thinking that I had SO many other things that I SHOULD be spending my money/time on.

It was actually my workshop that was broken into, and nearly all of my tools stolen.  The first break-in was done with no signs of forced entry.  I'm 99.99% sure it was a crew that I'd hired.  They probably left a window unlocked.  I checked the doors diligently, but never checked the windows because I never opened them.  After the first break-in, I secured the doors and windows.  About four weeks later, I arrived to find the entry door kicked in.  Luckily, I'd taken virtually all my new tools with me, so they got very little the second time. 

No trouble since then, but it still keeps me up at night.  Unlike you, my job site is 25 miles from my home.  The neighbors can't see my house, but it's clearly visible from the road.  In other words, it's the perfect place to rob. 

The police told me that most of the time, when a place as remote as mine is robbed, it's done by someone the owners invited onto the site.  That makes sense.  I'm a lot more careful about the people I hire now.

Anyway, I empathize with your loss.  It stinks that there are people out there that would do such a lousy thing.  Secure your stuff the best you can and try not to let it bother you.

Jon


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 12/6/2008


Thanks, Jon. Yes, I am way more angry about thieves getting away with it than the $$ lost. The police didn't even bother to come out or call back . We had a problem over the summer with people trespassing and we put up a 3/8" wire cable along with a "DO NOT ENTER" sign. A couple of weekenders drove right into it with their truck and it tore right through their grill. We hadn't had it up lately, because we are at the house every day but it is going up every night now - hope they come back! LOL.

I'm in a small town and everyone knows about the house - esp. because it's pretty large and gets a lot of attention. I don't believe it was any of my workers - probably just some local kids. I spoke with my neighbors and discovered that there have been a couple other break-ins over the last few months. I can imagine that you would have sleepless nights being so far away from your site. Has the security system helped? How much longer before you're done ? Good Luck.
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By Jon in Ellicott City, MD on 12/7/2008


Faye,

The security system is really more for my peace of mind.  I felt SO stupid after the second break-in for not doing any of the things that the police suggested I do.  Since then, I've removed everything of quick/easy value from the shop, engraved "Stolen from Jon Shaw,  Cell # xxx-xxxx" on all the tools that were too big to remove, put steel bars in the windows, and installed the security system.  None of that will prevent another break-in.  A determined thief will not be stopped by such passive measures.  But, it will make it more difficult and less profitable.  Plus, if someone does break in again, I'll know that I did what I could to dissuade them.

Hope neither you nor I have this experience again.

Jon

P.S. We're probably 6 months from move-in.

P.P.S Once the plumbing rough-in is complete, I'm planning on putting big signs in my windows saying "There Is NO Copper Pipe In This House!!!"


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