At one point, either in real life, on the news, or in a movie, you might have heard about robbers casing a house.
The term casing defines how thieves will watch a home, search for patterns, and decide on the appropriate time to enter and do the robbery.
Do burglars watch houses? To have information on how housebreakers case a house is vital in identifying the signs that they might be targeting your home.
Once you are mindful of these signs, you will be in a better position to deter them by taking the relevant measures. Without further ado, here are some common criminal signs outside houses.
Signs that your house is marked South Africa
Here are the behaviours of criminals while casing a house.
1. A suspicious car parked outside the house
If you spot a suspicious vehicle parked outside your street for a prolonged period and you are sure it is not your neighbor’s or anyone visiting them, this could be a sign that your house is marked. To make matters worse, if the vehicle has dark tinted windows, you need to inform the police. This is because most criminals use stationary cars with dark windows when casing a house to know the owner’s routine.
2. Unfamiliar persons strolling in your street
This is another way to know how robbers mark your house South Africa. With time you will become familiar with people living in your neighborhood. Therefore, if you come across a person pretending to be jogging or walking, but you can see them spending a lot of time watching your apartment, this is a red flag. Even worse is when they do not have appropriate exercising clothing.
3. Somebody photographing your home
This era of smartphones has changed how burglars operate as they can now take pictures of one’s house and walk away immediately. As such, one must be vigilant at all times to spot anyone posing as a paperboy, handyman, or jogger and taking pictures of your home or neighbour’s house. If you spot someone doing that, take their photo with your phone and alert the authorities. It is prudent for you to keep a record of unusual behaviours happening within your area.
4. Newspapers, sticker, and flyers
The use of flyers and stickers is one of the farm attack warning signs that intruders use when surveying a house to know whether there is someone at home or not. For this reason, have a neighbor or a good friend come over your home periodically to remove any newspapers, flyers or stickers placed by robbers.
5. Unauthorized workmen
Let us say that you have previously allowed a plumber from a trusted company to do some repairs within your house. Then a few days later, another uninvited workman returns, claiming that some few things were overlooked and needed to be redone. This is a red flag and could be a robber pretending to be a workman thinking that you were not at home. If this happens, contact the company and ask if they sent someone else to your apartment. If they did not, call the police immediately.
6. Weird markings around your house
Surprisingly, robbers have a subtle way of communicating with their accomplices when marking their targets. They do so by using random items or signs that most homeowners will ignore to alert their fellow criminals that the individuals of the home are away and that it is an easy target. For this reason, take note of items arranged in a specific manner outside your household as it could be communication among the robbers.
Below are some of the signs that your house is marked and its meanings.
- When you see two big stones placed together, it means the owners are two old individuals.
- White objects placed around your home say that your house is an easy target.
- Red objects (can be a soft drink can or cloth) imply resistance. It means that the homeowner is armed and can defend themselves.
- A Z drawn on a stop sign or the road suggests the homes in that street are marked.
- Blue objects denote the house is an easy target, and it has someone to assist with the robbery on the inside.
- Several stones placed in a row specifies the number of persons within the household.
- Piles of small stones indicate that there are dogs in the compound.
- Green objects are direction markers.
- Swastika painted on a path means that the houses in that area are targeted by burglars. Direction of swastika shows the house that is targeted.
In the event you come across unexplained markings on or near your house, remove them immediately. Do not ignore these markers outside your house because they might be an indication that people are planning to attack your homestead.
7. Suspicious calls
Sometimes the robbers will call the house at different hours to see if there is someone at home and then hang up. If you experience this, notify the relevant authorities
What do to protect your house from burglars?
How can I secure my home in South Africa? Here are ways to make your home unappealing to housebreakers.
1. Trim big bushes and fences
One might think that having thick high fences keep intruders off the property but it does not as it serves as a hiding place for them. As such, consider trimming the bushes and fences to allow clear visibility. To add, put some security spotlights or outdoor motion lighting since it is easier to hide in the dark.
2. Social media posting
Never underestimate the modern bugler. They have social media accounts too and will target their victims from such sites. As such, avoid posting about your vacation online as it will leave your home vulnerable. The use of geolocation tags broadcasts to the criminals that no one is home. To be safe, avoid posting about your holiday in real-time and always post it after you get back.
3. Farm security systems south Africa
Farm attacks have become a big concern in South Africa as robbers across the country are attacking farms using military-style raids. To safeguard your farm from getting marked and raided into, invest in some personal security systems. Install either wired farm security cameras or wireless cameras to enhance your farm’s security. To add, always test the alarm system, panic buttons, sirens, and phone at least once a week to be sure they are in a perfect working condition. Also, have an emergency contact of an individual living off your property who can respond quickly in case of any trouble and need help.
Visit the local police station and familiarize yourself with the men in uniform. Also, attend the forum meetings where there are discussions on how to prevent farm robberies around the area.
Lastly, you can enrol in some self-defence classes where you will be trained on how to remain calm, think clearly, and logically whenever you find yourself in such an attack.
4. Dogs on the property
Most thieves want to get into the house and go out as swift as they can. Any noise such as dogs will be a deterrent for them. Keep small dogs like Chihuahua as they cannot be easily calmed down by the robbers as compared to the big dogs.
5. Hallway table
Even though a table in the hallway might be the most accessible spot to place your house keys at the end of the day, it can be easy for a housebreaker to slide their hands and pick the keys. For this reason, keep your keys safe and as far away from the window or door.