Burglary Stories # 1 – Real life experiences of & prevention tips for burglaries in Cape Town & South Africa

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Our ‘Burglary Stories’ will not be a scare-fest! We’re listing all the trends & stories we hear to provide you with useful information to help you make smart choices in protecting your home. These candid accounts of burglaries & other theft & crime in Cape Town will offer you a chance to get to know some of the clever ways that opportunistic thieves are getting their hands on your goods.

Story 1: Rondebosch East

An opportunistic thief snuck onto a property which was equipped with steel burglar bars & security gates. The thief gained access to the garden by scaling the perimeter wall (concrete). A ground-floor bedroom window was left slightly ajar for ventilation & this was enough for the thief to insert a wooden rod with a hook attached into the room & grab small electronic items near the window. Thousands of rands worth of electronics were stolen & because no alarm was activated for that window, the thief escaped with no hindrance.

How this could have been prevented:

1. Alarm system! It may be stressful to activate your alarm every night, but at least ensure that your window sensors are active. If ventilation is a problem & you have no other means of properly ventilating the room, consider exterior sensor beams in your garden that protect the area around your window. Also, open a smaller, overhanging window (fanlight) rather than one of the larger, main openings. Even if you have an alarm system, burglar bars are essential. This is particularly important on ground-floor windows.

2. Expensive items within easy reach. Though an outstretched arm could not have reached the coveted items, thieves often come equipped with numerous items to help them steal. This easily-made rod with a hook attached was perfect for the thief in this situation.

3. Perimeter protection. Wall spikes may not keep out the most determined of thieves, but they will deter some of the opportunists! Also, electrified fencing may have assisted in preventing the thief from scaling the wall in the first place. This is particularly important for residences with neighbours who have noticable perimeter protection. Your house will stand out as the only one unprotected, so if your neighbours have spikes or electrified fencing, you may have to give in & get some yourself or face being targeted more regularly.

4. Exterior lighting! This is the cheapest way to add an additional deterrent to burglary. Place motion-sensor lights (and service them regularly) outside your vulnerable windows (as well as elsewhere on your property).

More stories & tips to come soon!

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3 thoughts on “Burglary Stories # 1 – Real life experiences of & prevention tips for burglaries in Cape Town & South Africa

  1. The number of home burglaries traditionally spike in the summer months. Light timers and Fake TV are excellent solutions to deter burglars. Also, playing anti-theft home occupancy sounds MP3 or a CD (sells on Amazon) in home while away is a great way to trick burglar that someone is in.

    • Thanks, Alex! You’re right – there’s are also articles available on Crimehub by ISS (Institute for Security Studies) on how to deter burglars. Many of them are particular to South Africa, but are a helpful read anyway. Light timers are also so affordable & worth it. I always say that, even if you can’t afford a state-of-the-art home security system, you can do something about your lighting & use nifty tricks like the anti-theft sounds you suggested. Go D.I.Y.!

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