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View Poll Results: Have you been burgled? (without tempting fate!!)
Yes - I have 44 33.33%
No - but I know someone who has 39 29.55%
No - I have all fingers and toes crossed 49 37.12%
Voters: 132. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 27.11.2007, 11:43
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[Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

This thread I've started based on this thread: Burglary - if you have discussion about burglary in general, please post there.

What this thread is for is us all to learn what methods burglars are using to gain entry and what they took. Geographical information is also welcome so that we can help each other not fall victim.

If you know someone who was burgled, please verify the details before posting them. We don't want speculation, we want facts.

We want to help people avoid being burgled.
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Old 27.11.2007, 12:07
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Here is a few from bitter experience:

Be especially vigilent around house moving days. Find out when these are in your building, and if you can find out when people are moving in and out outside these dates.

Get locks on your cellar areas as well as the individual storage units, preferable with separate keys.

Dont hold the door open for anyone you dont know.

Get to know your neighbours better. This has to be a good thing.

Get a security camera covering common areas. This gear is cheap these days.

Keep photos and serial numbers of all valuables.

Be vigilant when you get strange ringing of your house buzzer (or even telephone)

dave





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This thread I've started based on this thread: Burglary - if you have discussion about burglary in general, please post there.

What this thread is for is us all to learn what methods burglars are using to gain entry and what they took. Geographical information is also welcome so that we can help each other not fall victim.

If you know someone who was burgled, please verify the details before posting them. We don't want speculation, we want facts.

We want to help people avoid being burgled.
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  #3  
Old 27.11.2007, 12:38
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Here's one experience from a mate:
  • Ensure the common house door will close on its own
  • Ensure that you deadlock your door all the time. Two turns of the key. One turn means that the door can be opened with a crowbar
  • Thieves in this case took only money. They actually left foreign currency even though it was worth more. €uro and Swiss Franc left around were gone
  • Damage to the typical modern apartment door can lead to 7'000!!
I know for a fact that the crowbar approach was tried at my apartment when I was in Zurich. Possibly the deadlocked door and the dog bouncing off the inside of the door put them off.
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Old 27.11.2007, 12:38
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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Here is a few from bitter experience:

Be especially vigilent around house moving days. Find out when these are in your building, and if you can find out when people are moving in and out outside these dates.

Get locks on your cellar areas as well as the individual storage units, preferable with separate keys.

Dont hold the door open for anyone you dont know.

Get to know your neighbours better. This has to be a good thing.

Get a security camera covering common areas. This gear is cheap these days.

Keep photos and serial numbers of all valuables.

Be vigilant when you get strange ringing of your house buzzer (or even telephone)

dave
The photos and serial numbers idea is really good, plus you should try to keep receipts of all important stuff (basically anything you would want replacing after a burglary) and keep them in a safe place.

I read somewhere ages ago if you make entry to your place as inconvenient as possible it puts a potential burglar off (annoying yappy dog, cactus collection on the window sill, etc.)

Also, if you are on the ground floor, don't leave valuables in plain sight (purses, wallets, jewellery boxes on the table).
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Old 27.11.2007, 12:56
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

From our own experience: If you have a cat flap, put a lock on the window handle inside!
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Old 27.11.2007, 13:09
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Maybe a no-brainer, but see to it that there is no easy access to your balcony because the people downstairs left their garden furniture / ladders / other easy-to-climb-on stuff outside (hapened to a colleague of mine who lives on the 2nd floor). Especially, when the balcony cannot be seen from the street.
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Old 27.11.2007, 13:25
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Be particularly vigilant for the next few months after a burglary. Savvy burglars will know that three months after they have cleared your place out it will be full of brand new stuff replaced by the insurance company, worth far more than the stuff they originally took.

Last edited by Woodsie; 27.11.2007 at 14:10.
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Old 27.11.2007, 13:32
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Friends of mine got burglared and as they had no easy-to-take valuables, the thieves made a horrible mess urinating and ... all over the apartment. The police said it would have been good to have some easy-to-find money lying around.

When I was burglared, the thieves did not even look into the kitchen and focused on the bedroom and the living room. I wrote and distributed flyers in the neighborhood asking whether anyone had seen anything and telling the people to be careful. I got two calls the following weekend where people had stowed away their valuables in the kitchen because of the flyer and were lucky enough not to lose anything of value to them. I know others may go for the kitchen, first, but in any event, put your stuff away.

As far as insurance goes, make sure that your insurance amount is in sink with the value of your property.

And just keep your eyes open
Idgie
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  #9  
Old 27.11.2007, 14:03
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

If you have a loft apartment with a lift straight into it, because you need to use your key to get the lift to go to your floor, there is the temptation to leave the lift-apartment door unlocked.

When I had such an apartment, I was warned that a popular method of burglary access in Germany was to park the lift on the floor below, and climb through its roof to get into your apartment.

The other problem with needing to use a key in your lift to get it to your floor is that it's easy to forget your key when taking out rubbish or checking your post. I used to leave a spare key in the car, but on reading gooner's thread about having his navigation device stolen, that wasn't the safest thing to do either.
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Old 27.11.2007, 14:09
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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This thread I've started based on this thread: Burglary - if you have discussion about burglary in general, please post there.

What this thread is for is us all to learn what methods burglars are using to gain entry and what they took. Geographical information is also welcome so that we can help each other not fall victim.

If you know someone who was burgled, please verify the details before posting them. We don't want speculation, we want facts.

We want to help people avoid being burgled.

--Even if you know the doorbell around 12pm-ish must be your child home from school,never ever just buzz the door open,make use of the in house 'phone' or look out the window to check that it really is your child/visitor whatever,before opening the door by buzzer

-- If your house has so called 'Lichtschächte' ,sort of holes covered with a metal grid above your cellar window( HELP,how are these correctly called).Fix them from the inside with screws and an angle iron(?) system,you can get these things at Jumbo

--Often either ground floor or top floor flats are in danger of being burgled(source a local police officer after our friends flat was burgled) reason,because the easy access to the ground floor flats from outside, and the possibility of not being disturbed inside a house when burgling the top floor flat

--if your house still has the letterboxes inside the house, insist with your landlord to fix them outside the building

-- if you go away for a few days,get a neighbour/janitor/family member to empty your postbox,look after your flat etc,overspilling p.o. boxes are a dead sure sign for any burglar to start working ..............

-- this time of year sees gangs often from eastern countries camping out in the forests to go on nightly raids of,preferably detached houses or semi detached estates ( Einfamilienhaus Quartiere).Often they send the loot out of CH by Post......

Here GRENCHEN;PIETERLEN;LENGNAU are especially prone to this kind of burgling


This link below will guide you to an english site supported by Cantonal Police Forces and lists a lot of helpful hints and tips in regards to various crimes ,especially crime prevention.

http://www.kriminalpraevention.ch/1/en/

and this website has an online shop even to order locks etc to secure your home

http://www.kaufmann-ag.ch/deutsch/einbruchschutz.html
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Old 27.11.2007, 14:15
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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Keep photos and serial numbers of all valuables.
As most people have digital cameras these days make sure you have the photos developed and stored away safely. ie- Not on a computer...
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Old 27.11.2007, 14:21
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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As most people have digital cameras these days make sure you have the photos developed and stored away safely. ie- Not on a computer...
Or, back up your computer onto a USB drive every 1-6 months and leave the drive at work or with a friend. Or use one of the various internet based backup sites.
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Old 27.11.2007, 14:24
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

If you are worried about burglary, go to the trouble of putting down the metal blinds that you find on many swiss houses and apartments.

We were burgled a couple of years back, we live on the ground floor, the burglar just forced the window in the living room and jumped in. He went to the bedroom and checked the clothes draw for hidden valuables, and to my study desk for the same. He took some expensive jewellry hidden there but ignored many other valuable things like my laptop. We think that we actually ´must have come back to the flat when he was there and he must have escaped just then.

Its not a nice feeling at all and my gf is still scared of staying overnight in the flat alone, so my big advice to you all is take as many precautions as you comfortably can to stop this occuring.

In addition, this time of year seems to be the most common time for burglaries.... with the early nights and lots of christmas engagements meaning lots of rich pickings for those excuse my french arsehole bastard thieves.
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Old 27.11.2007, 14:37
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

I just scanned the posts so if this is a repeat then. . . .we should hear it again

Burglars want to be sure that nobody is at home, if they didn t care then they would be Robbers. . . . which is a totally different type of crook. With that said we should all take precautions to make our living spaces look occupied.

1) These IKEA timers for electronics are really great. Stephanwolf and I have used them everywhere we have lived and have not (cross our fingers for never) had a break in. Use them on your lights make different rooms light up at different times of the evening. More often than not a Burglar will not risk it breaking in.

2) Noise is also a big component. If you leave the radio on during the day there is a chance that somebody is at home, if you have a dog it will make noise if somebody unknown comes in.

4) Leave your curtains open. They don t want to come in if people can see them going through your house. You would be surprised how much of a difference it makes. (but be realistic, no jewelry in plain sight etc.)

4) GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS- this is a concept that seems to not exist in Switzerland. The more you know your neighbors the more they will be aware if something is not right. This is something I have always done. Chat up the neighbors let them know what is going on and ask if they can keep an eye out. We had one neighbor report Stephanwolf s cousin as a burglar because they did not know he was staying with us and they saw him through our window. . . with no curtains of course and we were at work

okay that s my contribution. Good luck to all.

Darkphoenix
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Old 27.11.2007, 15:16
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

-- don't lower the metal shutters and leave the window half open behind them.Unless you have a lock on the bottom of the shutters(but even then its not recommendable), burglars can open a window even more easy!

--DO NOT hide the key to the door in obvious places,such as sellotaped to the inside top of the letterbox,below stones,doormats etc, round your house all this and even more is quickly sussed out by the pros amongst the burglars.

--If you need to leave a key behind for a reason,again hand it to a neighbour or person of your trust and inform them WHO will be asking for the key e.g. the Plumber,your mother etc
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Old 27.11.2007, 15:42
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Many good hints were already mentioned, but this:

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Friends of mine got burglared and as they had no easy-to-take valuables, the thieves made a horrible mess urinating and ... all over the apartment. The police said it would have been good to have some easy-to-find money lying around.
can't have been a serious advice from the policemen! In fact the police recommends to lock precious things and money away. Once a burglar finds a stack of cash lying around, you can't expect that he'll stop snooping around.

It really can pay off to have good locks and close them. A burglar once failed to open the front door of our house. There were screwdriver imprints on the door frame next morning, but the lock resisted.

The winter months are burglar season.

Don't engage burglars. A neighbor once accidentally came home when a burglar was in his appartment. The intruder knocked shelves over at a closed door so he could flee unseen. Burglars may be violent.
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Old 27.11.2007, 15:53
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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--
--DO NOT hide the key to the door in obvious places,such as sellotaped to the inside top of the letterbox,below stones,doormats etc, round your house all this and even more is quickly sussed out by the pros amongst the burglars.
Additionally, do not keep spare door keys on the hall table, or hanging up on a peg in your hall.
Burglars do not like to be disturbed and one of the first things they will do if entering through a window is go to the front door and stick the key in it from the inside. If you return home, you won't be able to get your key in the lock and if the burglars are still in your house, they will hear you trying and make their escape. This happened to us a few years ago.
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Old 27.11.2007, 16:11
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

Peeing and crapping everywhere isn't vandalism, it's nerves.

My Granny keeps her jewellery etc. in the ashes of the fireplace, under the grate.

(No, you can't have her address...)

Predators are opportunists, so think like a thief - which, given the honour system in society here, is great fun sometimes!

In the UK you're more likely to be broken into while you're at home, as everyone uses alarm systems in their houses, which, once activiated, alert the Security company. This causes untold frustrations to the neighbours having to get up at all hours to answer the call, but also is highly deterring to burglars. However, when you're in, the place is often less secure, so remember to be vigilent about open balcony doors, unlocked cars etc.

But hey, the statistics say it isn't going to happen very often, so "don't have nightmares..."
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Old 27.11.2007, 16:15
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

I've added a poll so that we can have a statistical indication - for example I am only one removed from a burglary so I choose the second option. Votes are private so nobody can target you
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Old 27.11.2007, 16:37
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Re: [Lessons learned] Burglary - how and what?

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I've added a poll so that we can have a statistical indication - for example I am only one removed from a burglary so I choose the second option. Votes are private so nobody can target you
I've voted yes, but it happened in the UK, not Switzerland.

I can completely sympathize with anyone who feels their private space has been violated and wants to move home afterwards.
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