Some home burglars in Austin and surrounding areas are very sophisticated. They do their homework and scout homes and neighborhoods looking for the perfect neighborhoods.
Is a burglar targeting your home or neighborhood? Here are some things to be aware of:
Witness Someone Photographing Your Home
It is far too easy for criminals to canvas your home using their smartphones to take pictures. Images of your home can be analyzed to create a plan to intrude your home. Call the police immediately if you see someone taking pictures of your property. Try to get a picture of them if possible.
Unfamiliar People Snooping Around
If you see someone that looks out of place in your neighborhood, report them. It is necessary to use common sense if you are going to be overly suspicious. Not every person that passes by your home is a criminal, so use common sense before reporting someone. Do not approach them on your own, let the authorities handle that.
Unfamiliar Vehicles Parked Around Your Neighborhood
Just like we need to keep an eye out for people walking through your neighborhood, we also need to keep an eye out for strange vehicles. It is easy to go unnoticed casing a homer when you are sitting behind tinted windows. Be alert and aware of the vehicles that are regularly parked around your neighborhood.
Unidentified Markings, Flyers or Stickers on Your Home
Potential burglars will often use commercial flyers or ads to see if a home is well guarded and maintained. They leave them at your front door or around the house and watch to see if they are removed. It may not be and ad or flyer either. There are other subtle markings that criminals use as well. A welcome mat outside the side door flipped upside down, for instance, can also let them know the home is not being fully cared for.
If you pay regular attention to the outside of your home, you will undoubtedly see these flyers, ads or other markings which should be removed immediately. Would-be intruders will see their flyers are gone and likely target a different home that is not as aware.
Strangers, Door-to-Door Salespeople and Other Unsolicited Visitors
It should go without saying that you never want to let a stranger in or around your home. Same thing goes for supposed door-to-door salesmen or someone claiming to be working on utilities. One of the oldest tricks in the book is for a criminal to pose as someone so they can get you to answer the door, so they can case your home.
Make sure any utility workers have proper identification and you are expecting their arrival for an appointment. You are never obligated to open a door to anyone. Consider installing a doorbell video camera so you can see and communicate with whoever is at your front door.