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Crime in the country

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  • Crime in the country

    I live on a farm that is on a dead end road. There is a subdivision with about seven houses right across from the barn that is about 1/2 a mile from my house. Between my house, which has three houses, a farm headquarters, and a few sheds, and the barn/subdivision, there is another house. Farther down the road past my house at the place it deadends, there are two more houses that are very isolated. Those people don't have dogs.

    Today the house between my house and the barn was burglarized for the second time in seven years. The thieves kicked in a steel entrance door with such force that the steel bent, went in, and stole a flat screen TV, a relatively new computer, and a rifle that belonged to the house's renter. He doesn't have a dog now, nor does he have an alarm system. He usually is home from 11 or 12 am to about 5, when he goes back to work; but today he went to Memphis, which is an all day trip. My barn was not bothered, nor was the farm headquarters, which is off to the side, nor was my house or the two houses down at the end of the road. The road gets a fair amount of traffic all through the day, and the people in the subdivision can see straight across a plowed and empty (for now) field to his house.

    My feeling is that this is some kind of "inside" job, done by people who know his work schedule; since he is an employer, it could have been done by a present or former employee, or a friend of one of those. It seems odd to me that he would have been singled out when there are so many enticing burglary prospects all around.

    What sort of protection do y'all recommend in this situation? I've suggested a dog but he doesn't seem to want another dog around. In my yard with all the houses we have six or seven dogs among us, all of whom are extremely noisy. People will not get out of their cars when that many dogs come swirling around, barking at the top of their lungs.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    Alarm systems are reasonably cheap to install and probably cost less than a dog to maintain. Of course they don't greet you when you get home!

    When one of my neighbor's daughter took up with the county's biggest burgaler (currently serving two years in another county before he does a year here and then faces felony charges someplace else) we put in systems in the main hourse, tennant, house, and barn. Frankly the barn system is more for fire coverage than anything else as there are folks around almost all the time. (I think thier relationship ended when he kicked in the door to her house one Sunday a.m., beat her up, raped her, and then threatened to kill her if she talked; the sheriff arrived just as he was about to leave.)

    Another alternative is a recording camera system. Even night capable systems can be had for a fair price (I'd not call them "cheap" ) and with a 'Net connection the data can be saved off site. If wireless systems are used they can even be removed and taken along if they owned by a tennant. They won't have much "deterrent" effect (unless you "sign" the property) but might give positive IDs to the sheriff after the fact. Most of our local thievery is by repeat offenders; I suspect that's true in most places.

    Rural theft is a growing problem as thieves branch out. Good luck to you and yours in securing your property.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • #3
      My husband and I have ADT and it's not very expensive for the monthly charge. The installation is reasonable (about the cost of a new TV) I also have in my barn an alarm separate from the ADT that is so loud it comes with a warning. So on top of the ADT a burglar has to withstand an ear piercing siren.

      The warning is not a joke, I set it off by mistake once. It can actually cause ear drum damage.
      RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

      "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


      • #4

        I used to live on a street like that. A dead end street with about 8 houses on it each with 10-15 acres (I miss that, now I am way more secluded). The house on the end of the street got burglarized twice in the 8 years I was there. After the second time (within a year of the first) they got a dog and never had another problem.


        • #5
          Dogs, cameras, an alarm system and a reputation for being someone who will shoot.


          • #6
            Unfortunately, in spite of the reputation of dogs for discouraging burglars there is an awful twist to this. In some cases the burglars will poison all the area dogs and then hit the house or neighborhood right after. I think the theory about the burglars being either employees or someone who is a friend of one of the neighbors and therefore aware of his schedule is right. Around here when they had a burglary spree that lasted several years the weekday afternoon burglaries were when the eventual culprit was getting out of school or was suspended from school. After he dropped out he started doing robberies during the daytime and was only caught after he graduated to robbing banks and businesses-they got him in a drug bust and when they went to search his place found all of the loot that he hadn't resold.

            Warn the neighbor that after he replaces everything he might get hit again-that's apparently a rather popular thing now too.
            You can't fix stupid-Ron White


            • #7
              As the economy worsens there will be more of this, and, I am afraid, they may get more desperate in their attempts. I would not expect a dog, unless an attack trained dog, is going to be much of a deterrent as the people get more desperate.

              I do have to say though, as many difficult places I have lived including this difficult neighborhood in the city, my house has not been attempted. The local juvenile delinquents even went so far as to note on my back fence with spray paint on the outside, that dogs had moved in, when we moved into the house two years ago (it had been empty for several months, and they were using the backyard as a drug/sex meetup most likely).

              As far as alarms go though, I would not sacrifice my hearing for my worldly possessions. I think there are better alternatives as far as alarms are concerned. That, and we better improve the employment/training situation and start building this country out of this depression. That is the best deterrent.
              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


              • #8
                You're right if they really want your stuff, they'll kill your dogs.
                But if you have a reputation, and dogs, they will usually choose your neighbors without dogs and without a reputation. (I've been burgled and mugged and then was prosecutor of burglars for years so I've seen it all in st louis and atlanta and in the country.)

                And yes, as we learned in st louis, if you are burgled and then replace everything, "they" will watch and return in a week or two to get the new stuff. (We were all young, and so all got dogs and that stopped that, a bunch of dogs in a building deters thieves.) In my subdivision in atlanta, all my neighbors without dogs got burgled, but I had 3 dogs, and my neighbors knew where I worked and what I did, so I never got burgled in over 20 years.
                And i've lived in the country, and worried more there about my dogs/cats/horses because country folk can be a lot worse than ghetto folk, because meth is in the country.

                And yes, I know "burgled" is "screet language" for burglary.
                The cameras, if well disguised, will ID the burglar. Then you have to get the DA to prosecute and not slap the burglar on the wrist.


                • #9
                  Most burglers look for "targets of opportunity." They want someting "soft" that will be a relatively quick "in and out." Large, generally unpopulated (sparsely populated) during the day subdivisions are their favorite target (least chance of getting caught and best quality of merchandise). Rural areas have been less favored as strangers are easier for residents to spot and get away can be more difficult in open country. Also, traditionally, a lot of rural households did not hold the same quality of "stuff" as the subdivision.

                  It's also pretty common (particularly in the rural South, West, and Midwest) for people in rural areas to have arms and be willing to use them.

                  Dogs are, in fact, a deterrent as they increase the difficulty of the job. Even a small dog barking can attract unwanted (from the thief's point of view) attention.

                  A determined thief can likely defeat any commonly used consumer protection system. Luckily, few thieves are determined.

                  An alarm system and a dog are a very good combination. Add a camera system and it's about as good as it gets.

                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                  • #10
                    We have an alarm system, and it's inexpensive peace of mind against not only the criminal element, but fire, CO2, and medical emergencies.

                    Modern systems can be equipped with a wireless backup just in case some criminal decides to cut the 'phone line.
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                      We have an alarm system, and it's inexpensive peace of mind against not only the criminal element, but fire, CO2, and medical emergencies.

                      Modern systems can be equipped with a wireless backup just in case some criminal decides to cut the 'phone line.
                      Yup. Ditto. Alarm is the best solution. Break and Enter is a fairly common country offence, thieves know people are away working during the day and target nice looking homes within driving distance of the city for daytime B&E's. Why break into a house that has alarm company stickers all over it when the neighbour's does not?

                      Dogs have their place but they are not fool proof. The house belonging to a friend of mine was broken in during the day, the thieves very kindly locked her two labrador retrievers in the guest bedroom before robbing the house.

                      We have two dogs in the house who rush the door barking if they sense someone outside (contrary to acceptable dog behaviour according to the TV dog trainers but it is okay by me). You can use a by-pass feature on the alarm to disable the motion sensors so that the resident pets don't set off the alarm but the doors, windows are still armed, as well as the motion sensor on any floor that that pets don't have access to.


                      • #12
                        Oh, oh, I better tell Clancy and Abby that their behavior is unacceptable by "tv dog trainers". Well, maybe I will just give them a treat. I want my dogs to let me know when someone is outside. Guess I won't be hiring any of those "tb trainers". Thanks for the laugh.
                        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                        • #13
                          get a couple of geese...they make noise at strangers(and family) and can be vicious. Not going to do serious harm, but the phrase 'getting goosed' came for a reason.
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

                            An alarm system and a dog are a very good combination. Add a camera system and it's about as good as it gets.

                            Add motion sensor lights and a beretta and I agree. The dogs and the alarm system were good enough for me until I had my kid. You can have my TVs, computer, iPod, whatever you can carry, but God forbid if I'm ever in a position of having to protect my child I need to know that I can.

                            Thieves are getting brazen. Not too long ago some stole the copper downspouts off Legislative Hall. Locking stuff up, making sure it's easily identifiable and not easily carted off your property, maintaining the appearance that somebody is always home can also be good. Nothing is 100%. The geese might not be a bad idea though. When I used to work for Child Protective Services I carried pig's ears in my bag and never met a dog that I couldn't deter. I did get chased back to my car like a sissy by an aggressive goose though.


                            • #15
                              Another view of home security, or why horror movies really don't have to last two hours:


                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                              • #16
                                Agree on the geese. They are LOUD when strangers are around and a lot of people are quite afraid of them. I'm sure our geese, dogs, and the radios that are on timers have turned potential problems away.


                                • #17
                                  ADT and then add a couple cameras with motion detectors attatched... Then you get pictures of the folks who stopped by for the cops.
                                  Or SPY TECH to do some of this yourself. they are very helpful !!


                                  • #18
                                    If you put in a camera system I recommend putting cameras inside the house as well. They don't always use the door to get in and you can't put cameras at every window. Ultimately they want to move around inside to steal your stuff. Pair the cameras with a monitored alarm system such as ADT and you reduce your chances of being robbed and having them get away with it. Put up signs as a deterrent! You don't want them to even try it. I was robbed twice in 2008. The first time they apparently stayed in my house the entire night while I was gone. All the lights were on, they ate, they drank liquor, peed in my toilet several times without flushing...it's creepy. And my home was torn to hell, nothing unturned. They came back a few weeks later to relieve me of everything in my garage...tools, lawn mower, etc. Now I have an excuse to not mow the lawn. How nice of them.

                                    Remember, robbery isn't the only thing we have to be worried about. There are perverse wackos out there that like to kill people for the fun of it...and of course rape. Not too far from here a woman was brutally raped in her own barn where the man was waiting for her.
                                    Altamont Sport Horses
                                    Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                                    Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                                    Birmingham, AL


                                    • #19
                                      Guilherme...aspirated coffee on that commercial!
                                      They had the right horror movie theme going on too...attractive woman in nightie. Only thing missing is she wasn't trying to run through the woods in a thunderstorm wearing 6" stilletto heels too.
                                      I avoid break ins by never wearing cute nighties and my hair usually looks like I combed it with a weedwacker. (and I'm armed and have a noisy GSD )
                                      Geese make great warning systems and in many cases attack animals. However, they'll honk up a storm at almost anything and after a while neighbors tend to ignore the warning honks.
                                      Security system...and letting neighbors know you'll be out of town and being on good terms with them so they keep an eye on your place. Never underestimate the nosy neighbor keeping an eye on your place.
                                      You jump in the saddle,
                                      Hold onto the bridle!
                                      Jump in the line!


                                      • #20
                                        "Geese make great warning systems and in many cases attack animals. However, they'll honk up a storm at almost anything and after a while neighbors tend to ignore the warning honks."

                                        Geese don't honk up a storm at almost anything. They are better than dogs are about barking. -- Dogs see someone walking down the street they bark. --Geese ignore them unless they come on the property and then they let loose. Our dogs bark at the mailman, the geese don't. Ours don't honk when we come home but if anyone else comes drives up the driveway, we hear about it. They seem to know what shouldn't be on thier property.