In a span of four months, police in Austin, Texas investigated about 25 burglaries where the criminals were able to gain access into homes without leaving any signs of forced entry.
In other words, these criminals were simply picking locks, rather than kicking or breaking down doors or windows.
After months of investigating these crimes, authorities arrested Bruce Larson, 36, and Charles Wysocki Jr., 37, after police observed the two leaving the scene of one of the burglaries in Northwest Austin.
The two men were arrested after stopping at a gas station near the crime scene. Both men have extensive criminal history related to burglaries and being in possession of criminal instruments.
In their past crimes, the duo typically gained entry into homes by tampering with the door locks.
The reality is, picking door locks is easy to do after just a little bit of practice.
Most people think burglars are going to kick in the door or break a window, but nowadays, picking locks is so easy that many are turning to this simple method.
The fact is, 33% of burglars gain access to the home through a front door.
Criminals typically spend less than 10 minutes inside the home they are burglarizing and they often head for the master bedroom after getting inside.
The frustrating thing is, the average dollar amount of property lost per burglary is around $2,200 and police solve only about 15% of burglaries since they occur so quickly.
As you can see, being the victim of a burglary is costly and can be deadly if you’re home at the time.
This is why I encourage you to check your locks and make sure you’re not making it easy for criminals to get inside your home. Here are some quick tips to guide you…
Why Smart Locks aren’t a Smart Idea
These days, so many people are replacing things around their homes with so-called “smart” devices, which basically means they connect to the internet and can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet.
The problem with smart locks is that just like anything else that connects to the internet, they have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
Personally, I wouldn’t entrust the security of my home to a smart lock, at least not at this point in time.
In the next few years, I’m sure we will see improvements with these locks, but the fact is, the companies that make them are more concerned with convenience and less concerned with security.
The Best Door Locks
Schlage B60N Deadbolt. This deadbolt made by Schlage is a Grade 1 lock, which is the highest rating a lock can receive.
It comes with an anti-pick shield, an oversized bolt, and a reinforced strike plate for increased kick-in resistance.
Schlage has built a reputation of providing the highest level of security to homes and businesses and they are a brand I would trust to keep my home secure.
The B60N fits any standard size door and is designed to fit pre-drilled holes. It comes complete with an adjustable universal latch and is simple to install.
Medeco Maxum Deadbolt. This certified Grade 1 lock features solid brass construction, high-tensile steel mounting screws, an oversized, hardened steel bolt and a secure reinforced strike plate.
The deadbolt fits any standard entry door hole, making installation simple.
During testing, this lock was highly rated because of its superior resistance against kicking, lockpicking, and forced entry from attempted drilling of the lock.
In fact, during drilling, this lock still would not open and all the parts remained in place keeping the door secure.
Though a little pricier than other standard deadbolts, it’s certainly a top-quality lock sure to last for years.
Mul-T-Lock Cronus. This Grade 2 Mul-T-Lock deadbolt provides key control, meaning someone will only duplicate keys if you present your specific keycard.
In addition, the lock has drill, pick and bump resistance. It’s made of high quality construction, built to last a long time, and fits most residential and commercial doors.
One of the best things about this lock is that it uses a very specific key that most retailers don’t even stock.
Plus, part of the key actually moves to line up with the lock when inserted, meaning it would be nearly impossible to duplicate they key correctly because of the moving part.
Lastly, I encourage you to look at the brand of locks on your doors.
Many people have the brand Kwikset, which is one of the most common locks in the U.S. and is sold by many hardware stores including Home Depot and Lowes.
The problem is, Kwikset makes very inexpensive locks (which is why they are popular) and the reality is you never want to go cheap when it comes to front door security.
Remember, you get what you pay for and going cheap is not a risk I would take when it comes to the doors keeping your family safe at night.