The Top 5 Uses for 2-Way Video Intercoms

intercom-usesI recently happened upon an old I Love Lucy rerun, in which the lovable crank Fred Mertz had set up an intercom system linking his guest house to the Ricardos’ main house. The episode originally aired in April of 1957, and it serves as a fascinating reminder of how the most practical technologies never fall out of fashion. In fact, Americans have been using intercommunicating telephone systems since the 1890s, and today, the technology is leaps and bounds beyond anything imagined by previous generations. With long-distance range, high-resolution video capability and even LED illumination, the modern video intercom is an innovative reinvention of one of our most classic communication technologies. Just consider some of the major uses.

Doorbell Replacement

A two-way video intercom system makes for an excellent 21st century doorbell. Communicate with visitors from anywhere in your home, and spare yourself the potential danger of stepping outside to greet total strangers. The home security applications are enormous, and these devices are especially useful for homes with children. If your mobility is limited, you’ll also benefit tremendously from the ability to answer the door without leaving the comfort of your chair.

Baby Monitoring

Homes have been using intercoms as baby monitors for decades, but video monitoring really takes it to the next level. You can easily keep your eye on your little ones from anywhere in the home as you go about your daily tasks, watch television or eat lunch. And since we’re talking about seamless two-way communication, your soothing voice and smiling face are always within reach. When we were children ourselves, we would see this kind of technology on The Jetsons. Now all we’re missing are the flying cars.

Office Communication

When you work in an office environment, it’s important to stay connected. Two-way intercoms provide an invaluable link between colleagues who require constant communication but can’t always be in the same room. They provide a useful visual element that you just don’t get from telephone and conference calls, and unlike Skype, they provide crystal clear audio and video without exhausting your company’s bandwidth. And best of all, if your boss starts to annoy you, you can just turn him off (okay, maybe that’s not such a great idea).

iStock_000011119404SmallCaring for the Sick and Elderly

If you care for the sick or elderly, it can be extremely difficult to keep a close watch at all times, and to meet all of the person’s needs. In fact, it’s easy to turn into a total a basket case when you have to constantly check in and ensure that everything is okay. A two-way monitor can be a real breath of fresh air, as it gives you the freedom to go about your day while still observing and caring for those who depend on you.

Watching Pets

Do you have a mischievous cat who loves to attack the Christmas tree? A stubborn puppy that you’re trying in vain to housetrain? A St. Bernard who constantly digs holes right beneath your favorite azaleas? When you can keep an eye on those trouble areas, you can train your pets with much greater ease and effectiveness. Pets have no understanding of technology; they will just assume that you’re some sort of omnipresent godlike presence who probably shouldn’t be messed with. Or maybe Fido will just forget about the whole thing and go back to licking himself.

Additional Uses

Two-way video intercoms are also great for opening up convenient lines of communication between specific rooms (like the kitchen and garage), and for monitoring your business entrance from inside your office. Can you think of other ways in which you’ve found two-way video intercoms to be useful? If so, please let us know in the comments section. These versatile devices have myriad uses, and they’re extremely popular because they essentially enable you to be in two places at once. Home Security Store offers a variety of expandable two-way video intercom systems to satisfy every conceivable need, and the possibilities are virtually limitless.


Preventing Unlawful Entry – What You Need to Know

preventing-unlawful-entryMovies and television dramas bombard us with depictions of ruthless criminals smashing their way into the homes of unsuspecting victims, whether to commit burglary or acts of violence. It may surprise you, however, to learn that the majority of home invasions occur without the use of force. This is known as unlawful entry, and it’s every burglar’s preferred means of access. It requires no loud noises, it leaves behind very little evidence, and it ensures the greatest chance of undetected escape. Before you start thinking about alarms, surveillance kits and fancy high-tech deterrents, you should begin by focusing on how to prevent this easily avoidable household vulnerability.

Lock Your Doors

It’s absolutely critical that you keep all of your doors locked at all times, and not just when you’re out and about. Nearly two-thirds of burglars enter through the front door, and the majority of them are able to just walk right in. For instance, we recently wrote about a string of dorm room burglaries at the University of Pennsylvania, all of which occurred in rooms that were left unlocked. Many criminals will go from door to door in search of easy targets. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.

Secure Your Windows

When locked doors prove inconvenient, many intruders will opt for window entry. Far too many of us are complacent about our windows, securing them with a simple latch or failing to secure them at all. Furthermore, an open window is like a bullseye to a burglar. Make sure never to leave your windows open more than 6 inches, and secure them in place with a lock or burglar bar. And most important at all, never leave your windows unlocked.

Set up Cameras and Signs

With a couple of strategically placed surveillance cameras and home security signs, you can easily turn your residence into a criminal’s kryptonite. Even a fake camera—if highly visible—will stop potential burglars in their tracks, and an illuminated yard sign announces that your home is armed and secured (even if it isn’t). Just make sure that these deterrents are placed in highly visible locations, both in the front yard and backyard. Many criminals will attempt to enter through the back, and we certainly don’t want them to miss the message.

home invasion robberyInstall a Lock Bump Protector

Okay, so this one requires a bit of an explanation. Lock bumping technically constitutes forced entry, because a criminal must use tools to manipulate the lock on your front door. If you’re curious about how the process works, you can learn more about it here. Nevertheless, we’re including it in this list because the process is relatively quick and leaves no evidence behind. In fact, a criminal can rob a home with a bump key and exit without leaving the slightest trace that he was ever in your home. That’s why it’s so important to install a lock bump protector on your front door.

Educate Your Kids

No matter how diligent we are about securing our homes from unlawful entry, our efforts are all for naught if we fail to instill this necessary wisdom in our children. So make sure to teach your kids about the critical importance of always locking doors and windows, and make family safety a top priority. Finally, if you’re looking to take your home security the next level with an affordable and sophisticated alarm system, check out the selection at Home Security Store. We offer the best value on the most advanced equipment around, and we can help you fulfill all of your home security needs.


Only 13 Percent of Burglaries are Solved – How to Beat the Odds

recovering stolen propertyIt’s true. Only 13 percent of burglaries are ever solved, and only 15 percent of stolen property is ever recovered. When you consider that a burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the U.S., it’s not difficult to see why law enforcement can scarcely keep up with the demand, but that doesn’t mean you have to become a statistic. There are ways in which you can maximize your odds of recovering your treasured goods in the event of a robbery, but it’s going to require a bit of planning. And sure, it may be no fun to plan for a burglary, but you’re only tempting fate if you fail to take preemptive action.

Keep a Detailed Inventory

First and foremost, your valuables should all be meticulously catalogued.  Keep a log of names and serial numbers, along with photographs and even receipts if possible. The more details you have, the better. In the event of a burglary, you want your stolen goods to be easily identifiable, thereby ensuring the maximum chance of recovery. Certain items can even be registered for additional protection. For instance, if you keep bicycles in the garage, register them with the National Bike Registry.

File a Police Report Immediately

When a burglary occurs, time is most definitely of the essence. The longer you hesitate, the less likely your property will be recovered. The first week is especially critical. So get in touch with police right away, and provide them with all pertinent information. If the authorities fail to follow up with you, then take the initiative yourself (more on that later).

Set Up Surveillance

Anonymity is a burglar’s secret weapon. These crooks go to great lengths to remain undetected, because once their faces are seen, the jig is up. The mere presence of security cameras can act as a powerful burglary deterrent, but even if the bad guys do infiltrate your perimeter, you can help bring them to justice by recording the footage to an external DVR. There are a wealth of affordable security camera kits available, and if you can afford it, more is always better. Place at least one camera outside, and install cameras throughout the home in areas where valuables are kept.

surveillance-camera-benefits-2Go High-Tech

Recently we commented on a story in Arizona that involved a burglar, a stolen laptop and a GPS device. Basically, the thief made off with the laptop and other valuables, completely unaware of the discreet GPS device concealed inside the laptop case. Police located the thief at his home a few hours later, where they promptly arrested him. Small GPS devices are revolutionizing home security by creating a trail of digital breadcrumbs right to the perpetrator’s front door. Certain computers, phones and tablets can even be optimized with GPS software.

Start Looking

A few days after the burglary occurs, start perusing your local pawn shops in search of your stolen property. You may have to visit a few neighboring cities. If you find something that belongs to you, quietly exit the shop and contact the police. Check the local Craigslist classifieds as well, and visit websites like Stolen911, which document recently stolen property.

Follow Up

In cases like these, you have to be persistent. Sadly, police deal with burglary situations every day, and it just doesn’t have the same emotional effect on them that is has it on you. For them, it’s just another day on the job, so don’t expect the police to report to you with frequent updates. Be proactive, and make sure to keep up with the local news. If a major burglary ring is suddenly foiled in your neighborhood, you may be able to find out if your situation is related, and if your valuables have been recovered.


How to Minimize the Loss from a Burglary

burglary-preventionSo you’ve assembled the home security system of your dreams, complete with state-of-the-art motion detectors, window contacts, glass-break sensors and surveillance cameras. Nevertheless, a crafty thief has infiltrated your ostensibly impenetrable fortress and made off with your valuables. Unfortunately, there are two kinds of burglars who will sweep right past a home security system: the smartest ones, and the dumbest ones. The really smart ones can bypass sophisticated alarms, and the really dumb ones will simply set off the alarm and take whatever they can get in a smash-and-grab fashion. But whether your home is invaded by a criminal mastermind or a brainless bumpkin, there are ways in which you can minimize the loss of valuable property.

Which Household Items are Most Likely to Be Stolen?

Before you can effectively devise a strategy for securing your valuables, you first need to understand which household items are most likely to be taken. According to Property Room, a popular online police auction service, the following valuables have some of the highest reported theft rates in the nation.

  1. Bicycles
  2. Power Tools
  3. Gold Jewelry
  4. Laptops
  5. Cell Phones
  6. Hunting Equipment
  7. Small Electronics (especially Apple products)
  8. Decorative Weapons
  9. Lawn Mowers
  10. Small Boats

Invest in a Sturdy Safe

A large safe can be a costly investment, but it may save you thousands of dollars in loss. Use it to secure jewelry, electronics, cash, sensitive files and more. You can also purchase specialized safes for weapons and power tools. Choose a safe of at least 1.2 cubits, preferably with a bolt-down kit. A safe like this will weigh about 100 pounds empty, and most conventional thieves won’t even bother with it.

Hide Your Valuables Like a Pro

For small valuables, concealment can work wonders. The trick is to be clever about it. For instance, don’t hide your spare key inside of a fake rock on the porch. Everyone knows that trick. Great hiding places include hollowed-out books and coffee cans. Home Security Store even sells a diversion safe that looks like—and functions as—a wall clock. These small spaces are perfect for hiding your fine jewelry, cash, spare keys and small electronics.

preventing-burglariesUse Your Kitchen to Your Advantage

While we’re on the subject of concealment, the kitchen is one of the best places to hide valuables. In burglary situations, thieves will typically avoid this room altogether, because it’s inconveniently located and seldom contains desirable goods. As a result, the kitchen is the ideal place to hide those hollowed-out books, coffee cans and diversion safes. Your cabinets and cupboards are useful for more than just storing your Cap’n Crunch (by the way, Cap’n Crunch boxes also make great hiding places for small valuables…just saying).

Keep Records

Even if a cadre of clever crooks does make off with your prized possessions and disappear into the night, you may not have to count it as a total loss. Keep a detailed inventory of all your valuables, including serial numbers, photographs, dates of purchase and original value. Keep this inventory in a safe place away from your home, and add to it as needed. If you provide your insurance with this information in your time of need, you may be able to replace much of your stolen property at little to no out-of-pocket cost.

Set Up Surveillance

A quality surveillance system may not prevent burglars from invading your home, but it may enable you to identify the perpetrators. It’s important to have a combination of indoor and outdoor surveillance, so that you can have the best chance of identifying faces, vehicles, license plates and—most importantly—evidence. This will make it far easier for law enforcement to catch the criminals and possibly recover your stolen items. Home Security Store offers a wealth of affordable, high-quality home surveillance systems that can give you the added protection necessary to deter would-be thieves and place crooks behind bars. Secure your home today.


When a Stranger Knocks – Home Security Tips for Women Living Alone

safety tips for womenLet’s face it, there are some really bad people out there, and tragically, independent women are often the targets of opportunistic criminals like burglars, rapists, and scam artists. A woman who lives alone is often perceived to be an easy target, but with a bit of preparation, you can prove the bad guys wrong. This isn’t about living in fear; it’s about personal empowerment. With a few simple precautions, you can truly take back the night, and greatly minimize your chances of ever becoming a victim.

Lock Your Doors

In today’s world, this is sensible advice for anyone, but independent women should be especially mindful of their door locks. Criminals enter through the front door in nearly two-thirds of home invasion cases, and all too often, the homeowners leave themselves vulnerable by failing to lock their doors. But don’t stop there. Make sure to secure your windows as well. A simple latch isn’t sufficient to ward off intruders. Consider installing additional window locks and burglar bars.

Don’t Open Your Door for Strangers

They may come dressed as insurance salesmen, home security representatives or delivery men, but don’t necessarily assume that they are who they claim to be. Criminals will don a wealth of clever disguises to gain personal information and access to your home, so if strange solicitors come knocking, just tell them to keep walking. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a security screen door. This will allow you to communicate with visitors without actually making yourself vulnerable to them. For a more cost-effective solution, consider installing a two-way video intercom at your front entrance.

Install a Home Security System

If you think you can’t afford a home security system, think again. There are systems available for homes of all sizes, and for people of all economic backgrounds. The truth is that you can’t afford to be without one. Homes without a security system are three times more likely to be invaded, and if a break-in does occur, you don’t want to be without that extra layer of protection. The mere presence of a home security yard sign is enough to deter a majority of burglars, so even if you can’t invest in a full-fledged system at this time, you may still benefit immensely from a simple sign, decal or dummy camera.

Install Motion-Activated Lights

motion detection lights

Motion-activated lights make powerful burglary deterrents.

While we’re on the subject of burglary deterrents, it’s worth noting that motion sensor lights are extremely useful for warding off potential home invaders. The vibrant light robs them of the darkness that they rely upon and exposes their clandestine activity to the world. You can even find affordable, eco-friendly solar lights that have zero impact on your electric bill.

Don’t Go to Sleep

Okay, so obviously we don’t mean this literally. After all, we all need our 8 hours (well, we try anyway), but you don’t need to make your sleeping habits apparent to the criminal element. There are simple and innovative ways in which you can give the appearance of activity at all hours of the day and night. For instance, with a fake TV light, you can project images that perfectly resemble the glow of a television, but without using any more electricity than a standard nightlight. While you’re at it, consider keeping a couple of pairs of dirty men’s shoes on your porch. This will give the impression that you’re not alone.

Carry Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is a bit of a paradox. You hope you never have to use it, but you don’t want to be without it when the need arises. If you should find yourself in the midst of a dangerous confrontation, pepper spray can quite literally save your life, and now it’s easier than ever to keep it handy. For instance, a few companies are even making pepper spray iPhone cases in a full range of colors. Even if you never need to incapacitate an attacker (and hopefully you won’t), just having the weapon at your disposal will greatly enhance your peace of mind. So take control of your personal safety and security, and live with the confidence of knowing that you will not be a victim.


Dorm Theft Prevention – 7 Tips to Protect Your Stuff

dorm safetyLast week we reported on a recent series of dorm room burglaries at the University of Pennsylvania. It was the second string of burglaries to occur at the famed Quadrangle dormitory since December, and it resulted in the theft of cash, laptops and other valuables. Dorm life already has enough pitfalls of its own: cramped spaces, constant sleep deprivation, and roommates who perhaps don’t shower as often as they should. You shouldn’t also have to worry about losing your MacBook to a sticky-fingered thief. Heed the following tips to prevent becoming the unwitting victim of another dorm room bandit.

1. Lock Your Doors

Don’t roll your eyes at this one. Yeah, it might seem a bit overly simplistic or obvious, but most dorm prowlers will go from door to door in search of those easy marks. Case in point: the recent UPenn burglaries. All 5 victims had reportedly left their doors unlocked prior to the robberies. When you get caught up in the communal buzz of dorm living, it’s easy to become complacent and assume that you’re constantly among friends. But it only takes one sinister sneak to ruin your whole day. We’re not saying that you should be cynical about dorm life, but you shouldn’t be naïve about it, either.

2. Install an Alarm System  

Very few dorm dwellers actually stop to consider the merits of a reliable alarm system, because on paper it sounds like overkill. But you don’t need complicated wiring and invasive installations to secure your space. Even a compact wireless alarm system, like the iSmartAlarm, can protect your dorm room as effectively as any hardwired system, and it’s no more difficult to configure than an X-Box. It can even communicate with your smartphone, sending you instant alerts whenever your security is breached.

dorm theft

It looks like an ordinary book, but it’s actually a clever hiding spot for your valuables.

3. Get Creative

Even without an alarm system, you can still take steps to discourage thieves from pilfering your valuables. For instance, no college student can function without a laptop in today’s academic environment, so secure your workstation with a simple laptop lock. If you have cash, jewelry or other valuables lying around, you can conceal them discreetly in a clever diversion safe. And with a simple decal on your door, you can deter would-be filchers before they even step foot into you room. You have a wealth of creative options at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to use the full arsenal.

4. Claim What’s Yours

While we’re on the subject of laptops, have you engraved your name onto yours? Many universities recommend that you engrave your portable electronic devices and other valuables. A simple personalized etching can act as a powerful deterrent to potential crooks, and in the event that someone does make off with your hot new tablet, your chiseled signature will greatly increase the likelihood that your stolen property is returned to you when the thief is inevitably discovered.

5. Consider Renters Insurance

Insurance isn’t just for cars, houses and lives. Many major insurance companies offer renters insurance packages designed specifically for college students. These affordable plans offer protection not only against theft, but also against the damages that occur as a result of water, fire and vandalism. It’s a great way to secure your peace of mind and establish an invaluable safety net for this unpredictable period in your life.

6. Empty Out your Car

If you’re using your car as a storage unit (as so many college students are inclined to do), it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning. Don’t leave any valuables in your car, because opportunistic criminals can and will seize upon the opportunity. It’s also a good idea to protect the vehicle itself, using an alarm system and/or steering wheel lock. A skilled car thief can bypass any deterrent, but the vast majority of car thieves are amateurs in search of an easy target. So don’t make it easy for them.

7. Familiarize Yourself with the Dorm Rules and Security Procedures

Last (but certainly not least), take some time to study and learn the rules and procedures. Get acquainted with the RAs and other dorm representatives, express with them any concerns that you may have, and be mindful of any safety recommendations made by your dorm or university. Securing your property is actually quite simple, but it does require you to be proactive. So lock up that laptop, secure your dorm room, and make some college memories.


Penn Basketball Player Accused of Dorm Burglary

door room burglaryUniversity of Pennsylvania freshman basketball guard Tony Bagtas was reportedly arrested last weekend on burglary charges, stemming from a recent string of dorm room invasions at the university. In all, eight burglaries have been reported, but as of this writing, Bagtas has only been charged in connection with one of the invasions at Penn’s renowned Quadrangle dorm. The news was initially reported by the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Surrounding Details

According to reports, all eight burglaries occurred on Saturday, and stolen items included electronics and cash. There were no signs of forced entry in any of the incidents, leading investigators to conclude that the thief or thieves targeted unlocked rooms. Maureen Rush, the school’s Vice President for Public Safety, has since urged students to keep their doors locked at all times. “By leaving the door unlocked, people are tempting someone to come in and take what they don’t have,” she said in a statement.

Rush also noted that burglaries in the area are extremely rare, although another string did occur in December of 2013. Those four burglaries remain unsolved. As for Bagtas, he was charged with two felonies (burglary and criminal trespassing) and two misdemeanors (theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property). He has been removed from the dorm and is scheduled to appear in court on April 8 for a preliminary hearing.

The #1 Rule of Dorm Security

Dorm burglaries are a very real concern for today’s student population. When you consider the lack of privacy and internal security, it’s not difficult for opportunistic thieves to treat the dormitory as their own personal buffet line. As previously emphasized, it’s extremely important to lock your door at all times. Don’t get so caught up in the vibrant communal atmosphere that you forget to exercise common sense.

dorm room security

Tony Bagtas

If you’re taking in the full college experience, complete with ramen noodles and dorm living, consider protecting your space with a quality alarm system. Many college students don’t even consider the value of a security system for their dorm room, because the technology just seems so expensive and complicated. After all, is it really worth it to hardwire a full-fledged security solution in what essentially amounts to a closet-sized room? Well, no, but believe it or not, there exists a wide range of reliable systems designed specifically for simplicity and affordability.

When it comes to straightforward security on a budget, we like to recommend the iSmartAlarm, an innovative security kit designed especially for the millennial generation. It comes with all the essentials, including a control panel with built-in siren, a motion detector, and door/window sensors. But unlike the traditional alarm system, this one communicates directly with your mobile device. It’s perfect for the savvy student on a budget, and if you’re looking for a combination of security and surveillance, there’s even a premium package that includes an iCamera. It starts recording whenever a security breach is detected, and then sends the footage directly to your phone.

Protect Your Dorm

Please stay tuned, because next week we’re going to follow up with a more comprehensive post that delves into much greater detail about dorm security, with a series of simple but highly effective tips on how you can masterfully burglarproof your dorm room. In the meantime, remember to keep that door locked. There is nothing that thieves love more than an easy target, and as a college student, you already have enough financial burdens to worry about.


How to Prevent Daytime Burglaries

daytime burglaryDid you know that 62 percent of burglaries happen during the day? The majority occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., because people are less likely to be home during those hours. If you work the 9-to-5 grind, you need a home security plan that accounts for those critical moments when your home is unattended. Unfortunately, only about 23 percent of reported burglaries are ever solved, and only about 15 percent of stolen property is ever recovered, so when it comes to home security, prevention really is the best cure. Some of these tips might seem simple or self-explanatory, but far too many Americans still have no security plan whatsoever. Even the most seemingly obvious measures can go a long way in protecting the space between those four walls.

Install a Home Security System

If you don’t already have a reliable home security system installed, now is the time to start shopping around. Thanks the emergence of new streamlined, wireless technologies, it’s now easier than ever to purchase and set up an affordable, reliable system for your home. At Home Security Store, you can find a wealth of versatile, all-inclusive kits starting at less than $200. Whether you decide to shop here or somewhere else, the important thing is that you arm your home.

Expand Your Existing System

Maybe you already have a security system that you’re happy with. The next step is to assess your kit and uncover any weaknesses. Are there motion sensors strategically situated throughout the home? Does your system include glass break detectors? Do you have surveillance cameras set up around the home? Do you have yard signs or window decals that alert potential burglars of your impenetrable security? How about door and window contacts? Even the smallest additions to your system can go a long way in improving and optimizing your home security.

Lock Your Windows

Maybe you’re thinking, “Duh! What kind of idiot doesn’t lock their windows when they leave?” Believe it or not, far too many of us are leaving our windows unlocked or even open. Approximately 30 percent of burglars enter the home through unlocked doors or windows, and many burglars will specifically move from house to house in search of an easy entry point. So always make sure to lock all windows, and install a secondary locking device on any window that only contains a latch.

730590_43423433Get a Dog

Now please don’t misunderstand. We would never recommend that you run down to your local shelter and pick up a dog solely for the purpose of guarding your home, but if you’re already considering adopting a little canine companion,  it’s worth noting that the mere presence of a dog can serve as a huge burglary deterrent. As professional burglar Walter T. Shaw told MSN Money:

Little yappy dogs are a huge turnoff. I would never go into a house that has one. They’re a huge deterrent because they just don’t stop barking and can be heard by neighbors or their owners if you’re checking out the house a day before going in.

Report Suspicious Persons

Remember the classic John Hughes film, Home Alone? For all their farcical ineptitude, criminals Harry and Marv did one thing right: They cased the homes they were planning to rob over the holiday season. They didn’t just select random houses and start smashing windows. They familiarized themselves with the neighborhood, learned the daily routine of each home on the block, and determined which families were leaving for Christmas vacation. A skilled thief will spend days or even weeks casing a neighborhood, so if you see a mysterious van of people parked across the street for days at a time, or if you encounter suspicious solicitors who appear to be ringing your doorbell under false pretenses, contact the police right away.

Be Mindful When Home During the Day

As previously mentioned, thieves will sometimes go door to door dressed as solicitors, simply as a means of surreptitiously casing a home. They might pose as insurance salesmen, government workers or even home security installers. For instance, someone might claim to be an alarm salesman, and then start asking personal questions about your home security system: Does it have third-party monitoring? Is the system up to date? Is it tied to a landline? Don’t answer any personal questions about your home or family, and don’t grant anyone access to your home unless you personally know them or are expecting them.


Burglary Suspect Leaves ID at Crime Scene

surveillance security cameraAs we often say at Home Security Store, there are very few burglars who truly qualify as professional. The dastardly criminal masterminds who tiptoe effortlessly through high-security environments and escape undetected with priceless pieces of artwork are far more common in popular heist films than in the actual public landscape. Most everyday burglars are in fact quite sloppy and unskillful, just looking for a quick score. Case in point: Travis Rice.

Not Quite Ocean’s 11

The Sun-Sentinel recently reported about two burglary suspects (and possibly more) who allegedly broke into a car dealership in Plantation, Florida and got away with files, license plates, car keys and 4 cars, worth an estimated $43,984. Not bad for one night’s work, but there’s just one problem: one of the suspects, 21-year-old Travis Rice, left his ID at the scene of the crime.

Excuse Me, Sir…You Forgot Something

According to the Sun-Sentinel Report, Rice unknowingly dropped his state identification card during the invasion, while retrieving a cell phone from his pocket to use as a flashlight. The entire botched job was caught on surveillance video, and the ID was handed over to the local police department. Rice had reportedly acquired the ID only three weeks earlier, at the recommendation of his probation officer.

But Wait…There’s More

A misplaced ID is enough to build a pretty solid case, but Rice didn’t stop there. He also reportedly posted pictures of his bounty on Facebook shortly after the burglary. The Sun-Sentinel notes that in one photo, Rice is seen crouching down and making hand gestures while dangling keys from his mouth. According to Det. Robert Rettig, the images show Rice wearing the same clothes as one of the suspects in the surveillance video.

home surveillance systemSecond Suspect Still on the Loose

Rice was ultimately arrested for his alleged crime and held without bond on charges of grand theft, burglary causing damages over $1,000, and probation violations. Police are still searching for the stolen cars, and Rice’s alleged collaborators are still on the loose, but the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is being urged to call Broward Crimestoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).

What Have We Learned?

As with any major news story, there is quite a bit that we can learn here.

1)      An accomplice may or may not keep his mouth shut in the interrogation room, but a wayward ID card will rat you out every single time.

2)      Facebook is a great tool for law enforcement, because criminals just love to incriminate themselves through social media. Usually, the police have the last LOL.

3)      If you’re going to heed your probation officer’s recommendation to obtain a photo ID, you should probably also heed your probation officer’s recommendation to stop committing crimes.

4)      If you’re going to rob a car dealership while surrounded by $15,000 worth of surveillance cameras, don’t forget to smile.

The Surveillance Connection

Even if Rice hadn’t left his ID at the scene, he would have likely been caught before too long. As previously mentioned, the dealership is monitored by a $15,000 surveillance system, and Rice is prominently seen in the footage. Surveillance cameras are the secret weapon of residential and commercial security, especially in this age of high-def video and DVR technology. If you’re considering a system for your own home or business, check out the selection of high-end security cameras at Home Security Store. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy quality surveillance, and even a basic system can vastly improve your safety and peace of mind. Sadly, most criminals won’t leave their driver’s license on your living room floor, so be proactive about your home security.


Invisible Burglars and Anti-Cloak Technology

invisible burglarsWhile the subject of home security and combating invisible burglars may sound like the plot of a campy science fiction movie, it isn’t. This is because very savvy criminals know how to make themselves invisible or, in better words, circumvent certain types of sensors by camouflaging or “cloaking” themselves in such a way that their radiation is not picked up by these sensors. Rest assured, however, that a number of DIY home security devices are offered with the right technology to combat against these so-called invisible burglars.

Not Your Average Criminals

Burglars who intentionally camouflage themselves so as not to be detected by security devices are not of the everyday variety. As we’ve informed many times before, the average intruder is not terribly sophisticated and many are in the business simply to support a lazy lifestyle, a drug habit or they are part of a street gang or just looking for a quick score for any number of other reasons (including all of the above). This is not to suggest that these ne’er do wells are not dangerous or that homeowners do not have to give much thought to outwitting them, but rather we mean to highlight the fact that most don’t go to great lengths to learn how to bypass strong security systems.

On the other hand, criminals specializing in high-priced burglaries– that is break-ins that will net significant gains such as priceless artwork, expensive gems and rare collectibles are of a different ilk. Some are not average thieves at all, in fact, but specialize in kidnapping wealthy, high profile individuals or worse. These criminals tend to take a considerably more focused approach to learning their craft. They carefully plot their approaches and eventually learn how to circumvent even the most complicated and robust security systems. It is these types who are most likely to go to great lengths to disguise their bodies in such a way that their presence neither registers on nor triggers a home security alarm.

Anti-Cloak Technology

There is a solution to stop these types of criminals, however. Known as anti-cloak technology (ACT), home security manufacturers have designed dual technology devices, which make it nearly impossible for an intruder to go undetected. Take, for example, the DIY home security solution provided by RISCO Group which is also featured in our main store. This sensor features an incredible range of up to 28 by 60 feet and automatically switches between passive infrared and microwave technologies whenever it senses that someone is attempting to mask radiation in order to bypass a security system.

Who Needs Home Security With Anti-Cloak Technology?


Win a Kindle Fire HD
Kindle Fire HD Giveaway
Latest Video

iSmart Alarm - Man Vs. Woman

Get your Free Report