Theft Prevention

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Laptop Security

Safes

Backup Data

  • Inevitable in city ministry
  • three weeks later... The thief always returns to the scene of the crime (happened twice in my case --Kev-The-Hasty 14:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC))
  • Alarms
  • Key codes on doors
  • Insurance
  • Beware fortress mentality - not always a good thing
  • Making yourself theft proof: store all data off-site - if it is only on the hard drive it is very uncertain. Use an online bookkeeping system (see Accounting Software). Cheap, replaceable and interchangeable office equipment. Keep things out of view.
  • Most thefts happen in daytime afternoons and are crimes of convenience and often commited by addicts looking for things to sell. If a door or window is left open they will take advantage of it over a locked one that requires a noisy breakage for entry. There are few cat burglars. Remember if a criminal was really smart then they would be able to earn a better living. Be smarted than them and less lazy to avoid being an "easy" target.
  • A lock that has the key left in it (or an unlocked lock) is not secure!
  • Maybe more ideas...

Case Studies

Here are some of my experiences and the reflection and changes we made. Perhaps you could add some.

Torquay Break in

Long time ago. Series of thefts till a burglar alarm system was fitted. A safe was installed but not secured and the thieves broke into the back of the safe. Finally the alarm and a fixed safe was install. But it was expensive. Thieves stole cash in this case. Office was empty at night and in a quiet alley-way and not overlooked. Thieves broke a window and entered. Barred the window in end.

Plymouth Burglary

My house - back window - early evening. Smashed internal doors. Cost a lot to fix. Insurance covered losses. Thief missed jewellery, cash box etc. Stole CD's and a laptop. Suspect local person (drug addict) as I heard one of the more obscure CD's playing down the street a few days later! Fairly sure thief returned 2 weeks later to try something as ringing doorbell asking for use of the phone because his testicles hurt! Said no. Observed him walking away pain-free!

Plymouth Office Cash-Box

My fault. Left cashbox on filing cabinet in empty office. I was in back office with front door open... Cig. smoke. 3 weeks later smelt cig smoke again...

Plymouth Car Break-in

Handbag left in view on back seat of car in car park. Ironically thief ran off and hid under my office window, while it was open and I was there to examine handbag. Stole credit card and used it within 30 minutes of break in. Cost more to repair car than was stolen...

Southhampton Outreach Burglary of Sleeping Venue

Inside job of outreach participant!

Brussels Office

Thief entered early morning. Had visited a few properties before according to police. Including neighbours flat. Entered 1st floor window. Tried a couple of windows before getting simple entry. Minor search of office. Missed cashbox in locked set of draws. Missed Video projector in shut but unlocked cupboard. Thief then went from basement to topfloor (5 floors) opening all doors and windows! (was he hot?) Probably looking for ways in for the future. Unplugged phones and alarm clocks on way up. Was disturbed when entered a bedroom of single staff who screamed. Fled on a stolen bike. Only thing taken.

Action: Reviewed all windows and doors. Secured basement windows and doors. Fitted padlocks and small battery powered alarms on windows. Fitted a keypad alarm on the office door. Bought light on sensor for garden.

Conclusion: I think the thief returned a few weeks later. Noise from garden and footprints in wet grass but not able to enter.