ways to look like I'm home during the day

We’ve had some daytime burglaries in our neighborhood and I find there’s not much I can do to prevent someone from breaking in. The doors are all locked during the day but of course, windows can be broken.

Seems like looking like someone is there is the easiest way to protect my house.

What can I do to make people think there is someone home during the day?

THis might be more suited for general questions, but I’ll try it in IMHO first

Go to Home Depot or the equivalent and pick up some cheap electric timers. Hook these up to lights (with CF bulbs to same electricity and therefore money) and Radios. Have lights go on at different times during the day and the radio kick on for part of the day.

You did not say if you live in a house or apartment. For a house, letting someone park a car in your driveway would help, but might be hard to coordinate.

Contact your local police, they almost surely have a brochure with better tips than I can think of.

House alarms are not that expensive depending on the options you get.

A dog. Or a recording of a dog that will play, preferably with some kind of motion sensor.

Alarm company stickers for your windows.

You can buy cheap small alarms for your windows and doors that make a noise when the circuit is broken, might not be enough for your neighbors to hear but might be enough to scare anyone away.

Check around your house for any plants that will obscure your house from the road. I got broken into in the daytime because I let a bush grow to tree size which hid the culprit from view of the very busy road so he could break into the window behind it.

Plant some prickley, pointy plants under windows that someone might choose to break into. Of course this could be bad for you if you ever have to escape out your window or repair a window from the outside.

I once had a few beers with a convicted (and therefore not very successful) burglar. He gave me several hints about how not to be burgled. Things I recall were:

Put up security stuff at the front of your house (barred windows, alarms - real or fake) they will encourage the burglar to rob your neighbours. They don’t go around the back unless you are their target

Get a dog - this will encourage the burglar to rob your neighbours.

Never put your bins out if you are not at home.

Never leave your bins out after the rubbish is collected.

Never leave a radio or TV on while you are out. If the burglar hears one going and knocks on the door and no-one answers he knows you are gone for a loooong while.

A friend of mine used to be a cop and then became a surveillance operative for insurance companies. He told me that being not noticed is all about getting people to make assumptions about what they see. For instance, if you have to sit in a parked car to watch someone/somewhere you sit in the passenger seat and pretend to read. Because you aren’t “the driver” people assume that you are waiting for someone who is visiting someone nearby.

So possibly an old, dirty pair of shoes and a gardening implement left “casually” out the front may convince someone you are taking a break from gardening.

I think I have been burgled 3 times and have had 2 failed attempts. Unfortunately the truth of suburban burglary is more like this (failed attempt number 1):

I am, by chance, at home on a work day. There is a knock on the door. I answer the door and am confronted by someone who, in my experience (former psychiatric nurse), appears to be a drug user with many years before the spike. Through the locked screendoor we have this:

“Is Rob here?” he asks.

“No mate, there’s no-one of that name here. In fact there is no-one called Rob in this street. Would you like me to call the police? Maybe they can help you find him.”

“Oh no that’s OK I must have got the address wrong.”

“What address did he give you? There’s no number out the front here. Are you sure you don’t want some help from the police? Just stay here and I’ll go and call them.”

But when I return with the phone he is gone and so is the parked car out the front with the other guy sitting in it.

If I’m not home I get burgled.

The other time a neighbour spotted 2 guys knocking on my door. She asked them what they were doing and they said, “We’re visiting the guy who lives here.” She asked them what my name was and they had no idea so she told them to fuck off because she was calling the police. They ran away. Funny thing was she wouldn’t have weighed 110 pounds.

As others have mentioned, I’d go with putting alarm stickers on the windows. An actual alarm system isn’t much more useful if we’re talking about smash-and-grabs and a system connected to a central is even more dubious IMHO. If you don’t mind the look of bars on the windows, that will be the best deterrent.

Otherwise, go watch Home Alone for some tips at making it look like the house is occupied. :slight_smile:

I thought this exact thing so when I had my alarm installed I added an outside bell. The kind business’s use with a tamper proof case. It’s so loud it shakes the walls. Never had a break in of any kind. I also installed a lockable steel strap over the phone box outside my house to prevent cutting of the phone lines.

I have an ADT system and their moto is they secure Fort Knox. Made me feel secure.

I thought that was a suspicious encounter I had a couple years ago. There was a guy parked in my driveway for a few minutes, so I went to see what was up. He seemed startled that I went outside, and I asked him what he wanted. He asked if “James” was there, or some other name I didn’t recognize. I had only lived in the house for a few months, but I knew everybody who had lived in the house for the last three years. He seemed rather upset when I told him that, and took off quite quickly. I thought something was funky; it didn’t occur to me at the time he was probably scoping the house out.

Put a small sign by the doorbell saying:

'Stay at home dad in residence.
USPS & couriers please give me time to answer the door."

I’m putting one up because, in my case, it’s true, and whenever there’s a package, they always assume no one is home. They just ring the damn bell and leave right away. Then I either have to call them or traipse out to the airport to get my wife’s land’s end order.

I speak from experience of having been burgled and subsequent conversations with police when I say this is absolutely not true. One of the first things they try is to go round the back so they won’t be seen from the street. To prevent this, you need to ensure that the escape route from round the back is difficult. Lock your garden gate. Make sure you have a high fence. Make friends with the local nosy neighbour and SAHMs.

I may be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure the Army secures Fort Knox.

If you get timers, get the kind that had a random setting. You set it to turn the radio on at 8AM, and it goes on around 8AM. Nothing screams “Timer” like a light that always turns on at exactly the same time.

Actually I used to work for Wells Fargo / ADT and they did a number of government buildings. I can not swear that we did Ft Knox, but I cant swear we didnt. I never tried looking it up.
And as a hoot … all the alarm companies have panic alarms with a different alarm company. Added security so you cant knock over an alarm center as an inside job.

How about a small sticker by the door:

"This property insured by Smith & Wesson.
Do you feel lucky, punk?"

It seems like a good idea to minimize the impression that you have good stuff to steal. For example, avoid having a big screen TV clearly visible through the windows.

Did you get the 13,000 armed troops option?

My landlord is a cop, and his only comment was “They USUALLY come in from the back. And the bathroom window is a popular choice of entry.”

I’m a little lucky. My landlord lives in the main part of the house (visible from the street), and I live down the side. Another guy lives in the garage at the back. We are all shift workers, so the odds are there is somebody present on the property at any given time. I access my flat through a locked side gate, and unless there is somebody watching me enter or leave, there is no way of telling there is a self-contained residence down there (this is bad for getting deliveries etc, in fact the only people who have ever knocked at my gate were the bloody Jehovah’s Witnesses - but there’s no stopping those guys). I don’t leave TV or radio on, but I do leave a light on (I get home at 11pm). Apart from that, the only psychological game I play with burglars is that, when I leave, I spin the chain on the gate around so that the padlock is on the inside, in the hope that the crooks will assume somebody has come home and left it that way.

At not so serious tip I got once was “Leave your radio loudly on 2KY (our horse racing channel), and they’ll assume you have nothing worth stealing.”

Move to the reddest state in the union where every, everybody has a gun and is now sooooooo pissed, that they are looking for a reason to use it. :D:D:D;)

Put some washing on the clothes line.