With the festive season coming to a close, thieves will be on the lookout for any expensive gifts knocking around the home.
The Sun, therefore, has enlisted the help of somebody who should know a thing or two about keeping intruders out of your property in 2023. Lennox Rodgers – a convicted armed robber – spent more than 20 years in jail but, fully reformed, he now works as a security expert.
Previously, Lennox has spoken about how the cost of living crisis could drive up burglary numbers and, in the national newspaper, he has shared his 11 top tips to keep your home and car safe.
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1. Think before you post online
If you stop and think about it, advertising that you’re going away on holiday or posting your pool side snaps on Facebook might not be the wisest decision. Nor is it advisable to use social media to announce the addition of a valuable item to your home.
“During my criminal career, I probably only burgled two houses – and that was because of inside information I’d got, because I knew there were certain valuables and cash available in those homes,” Lennox points out.
2. Pretend you’re at home
Electricity prices might have skyrocketed, but it could still pay to keep your lights and TV on when you’re out to give the impression you’re still indoors. “Burglars don’t like an occupied house, and there is tech available to make it look like you’re in the house when you’re not,” Lennox reasons.
3. Use a noisy front gate
Sticking a bell on your gate can prove a simple way to deter burglars, according to Lennox. Maybe keep the WD-40 in the garage too, as a squeaky gate can “spook” would-be intruders.
4. Store valuables in your loft
Cash in the Attic might have been a popular TV show on the BBC 15 years ago, but it’s not a bad mantra to keep in mind when attempting to keep your valuables in the safest place. “Burglars aren’t keen on lofts, as it’s too easy to get trapped up there if anyone returns to the house,” Lennox explains.
5. Speak to your neighbors
Everybody needs good neighbors, and keeping them on side is “one of the best things” according to Lennox, as it means they’re more likely to spot anything suspicious that is taking place at your property.
6. Deter car thieves
The advent of advanced security systems has, in tandem, led to more advanced methods to break into vehicles. Lennox, therefore, still recommends using a wheel lock and steering lock regardless of the model of your motor.
“It sounds very old-fashioned, but it will certainly buy you some time to try and get the police to come,” he advises.
7. Pretend to have a dog
Our four-legged friends often make the best security guards with their ability to pick up strange noises outside your home and Lennox reckons that, even if you don’t own a dog, it’s not a bad idea to give the opposite impression. “Whether you have one or not, leave a dog bowl by the door and put a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign on the gate. You could even simply play out a recording of a dog barking,” says Lennox.
8. Keep your bikes indoors
Bikes left outside in the garden remain one of the most common stolen items after Christmas, informs Lennox.
9. Be creative with your valuables
Fake food jars or old tins are perfect places to hide cash and jewelry. “Don’t go stashing your cash under the mattress – criminals know all the best places to search,” Lennox adds.
10. Get a doorbell camera
Smart doorbells cameras such as Ring mean you can watch burglars approaching your home on your phone when you’re away from the property, meaning you could contact a neighbor or the police, Lennox counsels.
11. Lock up in bad weather
Last, but not least, Lennox suggests: “Bad weather is the perfect time for burglars to commit a crime, so you have to be more careful when it’s raining and windy. People are less likely to look out when they hear noises, making excuses like, ‘It’s just the wind.'”
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This content was originally published here.