As mandatory lockdowns end in many cities and states, a new threat is looming that has nothing to do with the Coronavirus. And, if you’re not prepared you could lose your money, your property, and maybe worse.
The fact is, as businesses shuttered and people flocked home when the virus first broke out, criminals honed in on the “low hanging fruit,” and began robbing businesses. Which makes sense in the criminal mind.
Homes were packed with people…
But businesses were ghost towns. Soon, burglaries of these empty businesses skyrocketed. A few cases in point: Cisco’s Barbershop, a community staple in Denver, was broken into after lockdown rules forced it to temporarily close.
“I’m a family-oriented traditional service barbershop. We do lots of things for the community: giving young kids jobs to make a couple bucks sweeping up… free cuts, and turkey dinners we gave out for Christmas,” Cisco Martinez, who runs the shop, said.
For all the community good will, a couple of criminals repaid Mr. Martinez by swiping anything that looked valuable – including two birthday presents from clients. Then there’s Bravo Pizza, in Limerick Pa…
Bravo’s door was smashed in with a rock and a crouching criminal went through the shop, stopping to grab a few sodas and boosting spare change.
Little smash and grabs like this, are flaring up everywhere, along with bigger and more brazen thefts. Now, however, businesses are opening back up, and more people are leaving home to work again.
In this underworld’s version of supply and demand, supply is shifting back to private homes. And don’t forget, in many places they’ve cut inmates loose from jail to “protect them” from the virus.
So, you have legitimate hardened criminals on the prowl. Criminals who know everyone has been purchasing at online retail stores like Amazon during the lockdown and that more homes are about to be empty again during work hours.
It’s like an early Christmas for thieves. Bottom line: expect home break-ins and burglaries to surge back to pre-quarantine levels or even higher.
Before all the virus craziness started, a home burglary occurred every 15 seconds. So, you need to shore up your home’s security before this potential crime wave hits your town. Here are some basic things you can do to protect yourself…
First, make sure all your doors are locked. Obvious, right? But an unbelievable 4% of all burglaries happen because the burglar waltzes right in through an unlocked door.
(You probably just heard the story of Tom Brady accidentally walking into the wrong house when he thought it was the house of one of his coaches.)
Then, equip your front door with a good lock and dead-bolt because 34% of robbers come through the front door. (Schlage or Medeco)
Next, make sure your back door is secure – 22% of thieves break in through the back door. Don’t forget your garage doors, and any door leading into the house from your garage, as 9% of burglars bust in through the garage.
Plus, if you don’t already have a security system (or a sign in the yard saying you do), consider one. That’s because homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into.
On top of that list, you need to have a plan of what you’ll do in the event of a burglary because you never know if you’ll be home when it happens.
My personal plan involves having several guns located throughout my house that are in rapid-access safes, but figure out what makes the most sense for you.