How to Protect Your Home Against Knock-Knock Burglaries
Visit your local locksmith for products that can help you safeguard your valuables from theft.
Over the past few years, there have been several sprees of knock-knock burglaries in the greater LA area. These burglaries are characterized by the criminals knocking on doors as part of an effort to locate empty houses to rob. If someone answers the door, they will make up an excuse for the visit, perhaps saying they are lost, looking for work, or selling something.
In the most recent spree, a team of 4 gang-affiliated burglars terrorized neighborhoods for nearly 4 months, committing at least 2 dozen robberies before finally being arrested in June.
The idea of falling victim to these kinds of burglaries can be a frightening prospect. The good news is, knock-knock burglars are very opportunistic and there are some pretty easy steps you can take to make your home a less appealing target.
Always Answer the Door
Knock-knock burglars do not want to rob homes that have people inside—that’s the whole reason they knock. If you don’t answer the door and they break in, only to discover you are actually home, they may react unpredictably. An elderly couple in Camarillo found this out the hard way on March 31, when a knock-knock crew broke into their home thinking it was empty. When the robbers discovered the couple, they pushed the woman down the stairs and put the man in a chokehold before continuing with the robbery.
Remember, you don’t have to open the door to anyone you don’t know, but do at least call out to them so they know the house is not empty.
Beef Up Your Door Locks
Like most thieves, knock-knock burglars don’t employ any fancy lock-picking techniques to break into a home. Instead, they simply kick down the door. You can make this task more difficult for them by investing in stronger door locks—specifically a quality deadbolt. Choose a deadbolt with a bolt at least 1 inch long, and be sure it comes with a quality strikeplate that can be attached to the studs behind your door frame using extra-long screws.
Get a Home Safe
If knock-knock burglars or other thieves do manage to gain access to your home, they are going to look for specific types of items that they can remove quickly and sell profitably. They will probably look for cash and jewelry in the bedroom, prescription narcotics in the bathroom, and electronics in the living room or office. They may also check under beds and in drawers for firearms. While obviously it is not possible—or practical—to keep all your valuables locked up, any barriers you can put in the thieves’ way could help. After all, they want to get in and out fast, not spend time breaking open locked cabinets, drawers, or safes. If you do decide to get a home safe for your cash and jewelry, be sure to mount it securely to the floor or in a wall so that they can’t just steal the entire safe.
If you would like additional advice about specific products that could be used to enhance your home security, please contact RBM Lock & Key at 909-980-3448 or visit our store.