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Share Tips on How to Deter Burglars From Entering Your Home

Residents are on high alert in the wake of recent residential break-ins and Tuesday's home-invasion robbery at a south Livermore neighborhood. Here are a few tips on how neighbors are fighting back against crime.

Neighborhoods are on high alert in the . only added fuel to the fire. Residents are now investing in home alarms and other measures to deter burglars from striking their homes.

left the following comment on our article covering the :

"The good people of our communities need to band together for the greater good of our communities and overrun the scurge."

Anyone down with this movement? If so, let's get the ball rolling here and discuss other ways to deter burglars from entering your home and keeping crime away from your neighborhood.

Here's what some residents and Patch readers are doing to combat the recent break-ins:

  • locking gates with padlocks
  • keeping valuables out of sight (in vehicles)
  • cutting PVC pipes to fit all windows and sliding glass doors for an exact fit
  • upgrading locks and placing dead bolts in windows and doors
  • installing motion light detectors
  • mounting cameras at entrances
  • purchasing home alarms
  • getting watch dogs

Some neighborhoods are also checking for solicitor permits. Residents say it's mandatory for anyone soliciting door-to-door to be registered with the city.

Folks also are jotting down and/or photographing license plates of any suspicious vehicles in the area.

In addition, residents are starting active neighborhood watch groups.

If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood you can contact Nicole Aguon with the at 925-371-4978.

If you would like to join the Springtown/Vasco/Scenic area Neighborhood Watch, contact at katlaing@comcast.net.

One last tip. Report any suspicious activity and any unusual persons, cars and behavior in your neighborhood to police by calling the non-emergency line at 925-371-4900.

What measures are you taking to help prevent burglars from breaking into your home? Have any suggestions on how Livermore Patch can help? Tell us in the comments section below.

Stephan June 01, 2012 at 07:17 PM
For anyone considering firearms, unless you are using birdshot, any type of round from a shotgun or a handgun will penetrate every wall in your home. If you absolutely must purchase one, take it to the range often and every once in a while when you walk through your home consider its angles, you might need to make a split second decision about travel routes of a round if it comes time to use it.
Michelle M. June 01, 2012 at 09:17 PM
A home alarm system is probably the best way to go. I have set mine off at home by accident a few times; by the time i made it back to my house after a phone call from the alarm company (maybe 3-5 minutes), the police were already there inspecting my home for intruders. If you have an alarm already connected-USE IT. I am an insurance agent and am always surprised when someone is robbed who just simply did not turn on their alarm. An easy fix. A central alarm connection is usually around $35 a month, not bad considering how much it can protect your family & personal belongings.
Chuck Harding June 01, 2012 at 09:30 PM
We had a salesman from ADT come to our house a few years ago to try to sell us on getting a home alarm system, but when our lab started barking his remark as he turned around and left was "You've already got the best alarm system available." True story.
stygean hugh June 01, 2012 at 09:32 PM
If I got a gaurd pet, it would be a skunk, not a dog... Because really, whose gonna f* with a skunk?
Michelle M. June 01, 2012 at 09:37 PM
From what I heard of Tuesday's home intrusion, I think the intruders were armed with handguns. Any dog (no matter what breed) would unfortunately not be much of a threat to a burglar with a gun. I still think a centrally connected alarm that will immediately call the police is the best way to go. Like I wrote before, I've witnessed their response time and it was pretty quick.
Local June 01, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I say cover all your bases. Nothing wrong with having the alarm system, video surveillance, a dog and a gun!
Big M June 01, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Exactly, no one item is going to be the end-all of protecting your house. You have to use multiple avenues of defenses to keep everyone and everything safe.
David H. June 01, 2012 at 11:39 PM
HI All, Here are my thoughts and suggestions: 1. Buy Strikemaster II Pro for all of your doors. It will prevent someone from kicking it in, in a timely manner. They will get frustrated and move on. I have 3 of them, front, back and garage. $99 each 2. Buy security film for your windows. Again, just like the Strikemaster, this is a deterrent and will make it difficult for a criminal to break your window in a timely manner. $400 for DIYers, $2-3K to have someone else install it(maybe less) 3. Buy security cameras. Buy one that allows you to record video, send you alerts when motion is detected and you can instantly watch live video over the web or on your phone. Basic HD kit will run $350, add-on cameras are $250-ish. I personally bought the Logitech Alert cameras. As with anything, they have some minor issues but this is what I would recommend to anyone looking. Also, I caught someone casing my house with my cameras. I was on high alert all day watching my cameras. Turns out they decided to rob my next door neighbors house instead. My point is, if I thought they were going to rob my house, I could have called the police. Continued below...
David H. June 01, 2012 at 11:40 PM
4. Dog - Dogs scare people away and make them think twice about coming in. I honestly believe my neighbor's house was robbed over mine because they heard my dog barking. 5. Guns - I'm not a big gun proponent, but I do own them for home protection and hunting. If someone is coming into my house, I want to be able to protect my family at all costs. 6. Communication - This seems like a no brainer, but I think it would be great to use the power of social networking to help each other out. If people are interested, I would be willing to start a Facebook Page for my area. I think others should do the same for their area of Livermore. I live in Springtown, so if people are interested, I can start it up. Cost - Free. It's easy to post that you might have seen something that looks suspicious. This gives everyone else the opportunity to see what's going on. Honestly, I feel an alarm is a waste of money. Most people buy an alarm AFTER their house gets robbed. I guess in a home invasion robbery situation it might be a bit better assuming it was set off when the criminals entered the house. Also, by the time the alarm tells you someone is in your house, they are already gone with whatever they want to take. And last, false alarms could cost you extra money. Just get fake alarm stickers and front lawn posts. Continued below...
David H. June 01, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Another thing is, don't tell people on Facebook you are going on vacation. Criminals troll the internet for this info and use it as an opportunity to rob you. Also, people rob houses when everyone is at work. They know people are gone and use that to their advantage. My neighbor's house was robbed around 11AM. Anyhoo, that's my 2 cents. Let me know if you think a community facebook page is of interest to you? Dave
Big M June 02, 2012 at 12:12 AM
David, I think that would be a great outlet for all of us in springtown. I believe we live on the same street by some of your previous posts so we could confer on a couple things if you want.
Michelle M. June 02, 2012 at 12:28 AM
What was the point of cameras if you didn't call the police anyways? Any suspicious behavior should be reported to the police regardless. This could have prevented the robbery next door.
Cherry June 02, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Please don't encourage people to buy 2 or 3 small dogs UGH! These yappy dogs are a huge nuisance. Especially when left home alone. Most owners have no consideration for their neighbors & let the bark constantly with no regard of their annoyance.
Bay Area Patch Reader June 02, 2012 at 01:46 AM
My neighbor and I have recently started a Neighborhood Watch. I don't know if I'm more aware of things now, because of it, but I feel like we need to be proactive more than ever. Since we started it last month, we've had numerous car break-ins, several suspicious groups of people loitering in our neighborhood and I believe the vacant home across the street from me was broken into yesterday. But on a positive note, I now know the names and faces of over 20 of my neighbors, we got all of the graffiti cleaned up, and we are in the process of getting several "Neighborhood Watch" signs put up to hopefully deter people from committing any future crimes in our area.
hals1 June 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
One item left out is leaving a radio or tv and lights on when leaving the house. Leave the impression that the house is occupied will deter the oppurtunists.
Paige Kuempel June 03, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I live in Livermore and agree with a lot of what has already been posted here. It's a fact that burglers would prefer not to mess with dogs or cameras. Also, just getting out of your house and getting to know your neighbors makes a huge difference. Band together! I know lots of other areas that utilize tools like Yahoo chat groups or even specific applications (OakMobi) to communicate with neighbors. Those things are very important! I work in the Digital Video Security group at Logitech that makes the Logitech Alert system. Our system involves HD video cameras that do not require a PC to be running to record (they have built in "DVR" systems to an SD card). I am working with Kathleen Shoening to come talk to the Sprintown/Vasco area Neighborhood Watch group about what they can do with our products. If there are others that might be interested (and also interested in a discount!), please let me know by replying here! We have had lots of success with the Neighborhood watch groups in Oakland and San Jose - lots of happy customers!
Jim Chu June 04, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Game Cameras I haven't seen them mentioned - what hunters use for seeing what kind of game frequents a particular area. These are sold for as little as $40. Motion activated, they take pictures with 3-5 megapixel resolution, have invisible infrared flash for use at night, and are EXCELLENT for getting tags and high def faces for the police to work on. One $10 memory card can hold months worth of photos. Probably not much use in preventing the robbery, but for the cost of just one of the HD cameras, you can get 5 of these and cover multiple angles. They are easy to mount and camouflage so the bad guys won't even know they're on candid camera. One game camera at each end of a street can get the license plate numbers of every car entering or leaving that street. So if someone on your block gets broken into, you can pull the pictures from both cameras and see when each car/bike/pedestrian entered and exited the street.
B June 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Yeah, I don't think the article was referring to cutting PVC pipes exactly to fit in windows and sliding glass doors to give the appearance of real bars.
David June 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM
They left out get a 45 cal. and learn to use it and use it !!!!!!
Jaime Roberto June 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM
There's no silver bullet to deter burglars. You need security in depth. 1) Get an alarm and use it. If you can't afford an alarm, at least get a sign that says you have an alarm. 2) Get a dog. Personally, I dislike dogs, so I went with option #1. 3) Close your blinds at night so snoopers can't see inside your house. 4) Get a security camera. 5) Install motion detecting lighting. 6) Trim bushes away from your house. Bushes can give burglars the cover they need to break in. 7) Some burglars will scope out a neighborhood in advance, so be unpredictable with your comings and goings (something I was told while living overseas in order to avoid kidnappings). Few people can mix up their schedule with school and work, but do it if you can. 8) Get a gun, but get training on how to use it and practice. And as others have mentioned, think about where the bullets will go, not just yours, but the burglar's. The layout of many houses make using a gun a bad idea.
Bryon Bruce June 05, 2012 at 04:02 AM
I gave the police the exact information on who broke into my house. They would not lift a finger.
Bay Area Patch Reader June 05, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I have a relative who was burglarized last week (not in Livermore). One of the five police officers that reported to the scene, said that he had never been to a home that was burglarized that had a dog. It made sense that this relative had 2 dogs over their 30+ years as their previous residence and had no problems. They've been at their current residence for exactly a year, with no dog, and get robbed.
Bay Area Patch Reader June 05, 2012 at 05:19 AM
This is a great idea! Are there any stores nearby that sell them or are you better off looking online?
Jim Chu June 05, 2012 at 07:28 AM
I've seen them at Walmart in the sporting goods section, at Big 5, and at Dom's. But to get the best deals you'd have to go online. Higher price gets you more resolution and longer flash distance. My folks use one on the private road to their house, two shooting the house from the front and back, and two more inside the house. When other house sharing the road was broken into, the road camera got the tag number that led police to the kids who did it. The same kids also cased my parents house during the previous week - the camera in front shows them drive past the house, then one kid walked up to the front of the house but left when the motion sensing porch lights came on.
Herb Russell June 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I wish there were more people in my neighborhood who would join a watch. I live on Silver Oaks which for anyone who doesn't know, it's that street parallel to Madeira, right next to the train tracks. There are transients from the tracks that sleep under the 1st St bridge and then come onto our street for the daily dumpster dive and patio checks. Then there is the LVM gang. Whether or not you believe there are gangs in Livermore and doubt their validity, they do exist on my block. After numerous burglaries, car break-ins, thefts from our patios and drug deals on our street, they ARE a problem. Apart from the 'LVM', 'XIV' and individual tags, they congregate near my apt, smoking weed, drinking and partying. Last year another gang member came over here and was stabbed. Being a Father of 3 I am concerned with the way this neighborhood is deteriorating. Unfortunately many only get involved AFTER they are victimized or either don't care as long as it doesn't effect them. So as far as I'm concerned communication is one of the best defenses. It's impractical to have a large dog in my apt with 3 adults and 3 kids living here already! A gun won't work cause I'd end up using it on a punk kid (seriously!) Cameras & motion lights are hard to get approved in apts as well. So really, good old fashioned, looking out for one another seems like a pretty good idea in my mind. The PVC is a GREAT idea as well!
Bay Area Patch Reader June 07, 2012 at 09:16 PM
You are right, Herb! Communicate with your neighbors, call the police regarding ANYTHING you see (all that you listed above). I had a resident attend my neighborhood watch meeting that said she called the police about everything, but especially the suspected gang members that lived across the street from her. The police soon had a log of calls regarding this one address and the landlord was able to evict them. Be sure to report any graffiti you see so it can be removed. Let the gang members get the hint that they're not wanted without you having to use any firearms :o)
Herb Russell June 07, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Unfortunately Patch Reader, there is no physical address I can link these people to. I know where they hang out but that's about it. The Police are well aware of the crime on our street. And it's not so much Silver Oaks Way that's the problem, it's the location being right next to the tracks. People come from the ther side of town, commit crimes and then take a quick 2 minute jog and can be literally miles away from a cars' perspective. So to be wrangled up from the cops would be difficult considering how far they'd have to drive to apprehend the suspects. There is a neighborhood watch sign on our street but the kids usually smoke pot right next to it, ironically. There's also a house on Madeira that traffics something and the suppliers and patrons are dealt with from the back yard which happens to be on Silver Oaks. How I know this? Well I haven't always been a saint! LOL! It's just that this street happens to be geographically convenient to the crime element on this side of town.
Jim Chu June 20, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Herb, if you observe what you think is drug trafficking, you should call LPD and report it. Why? Because after several reports the landlord WILL evict the troublemakers. My friend lives over on Pine St. and the residents of a house there were dealing. It took several complaints over the course of a year, but those people are now gone. Yes, it takes time, but it's better than doing nothing. And don't count the cops out if the criminals cross the tracks. There's a saying that, "you can't outrun Motorola." Police will use radio to get help on the other side of the tracks. Don't just do nothing. By calling in crimes or suspected crimes, you at least give LPD a better idea where they need to devote resources, even if they don't always catch the criminals.
Stella B July 02, 2012 at 08:37 AM
Strikemaster ll may be hard to kick in, but everyone of the punks has bump keys for just about every kind of lock, they get the specs for the key cuts off of u-tube, they put the bump key in the lock tip it down WHACK it with a shoe and BAM, they're in. The whole process takes no more than 20 seconds and is relatively quiet, the shoe somewhat muffles the sound. Cameras, if they know they are there, these guys are criminals, they will figure a way around cameras if they want your stuff bad enough. Lots of motion lights and a dog that loves you are going to get better results in my opinion. Not many criminals can handle barking dogs or being in the spotlight, their first thought when this happens is to run.........
Stella B July 02, 2012 at 09:32 AM
people, having guns means you have to be willing to use it, do you really think you would shoot someone, or would they steal the gun from you too? Be real, guns are a bit extreme and there are a lot of people out there who really shouldnt even touch a gun because they dont even have a clue how to use it. Lots of motion lights,...any one who is up to no good will run when the place lights up like a stadium.... and dogs, it really isnt the particular breed but how you bond with your dog. My opinion is that pretty much any dog, any size, will by instinct, protect you or at least bark like crazy if they are shown love. If you have a loving bond between you, a dog will do what it feels it has to when protecting the ones who they love, Dogs have been known to do amazing things when helping/protecting their loved ones. As far as expensive locks and cameras, and alarms, Hello......they are CRIMINALS.... if they want what you have they will figure a way around these things, and it doesnt take long at all. They have bump keys, which the specs can be found on you tube, a bump key and whacking it with a shoe, it takes 20 seconds and makes very little noise. cameras, they avoid em, use disguises, will block them, distroy them, or even steal them..... and alarms, they are in and out so fast, by the time the cops get there they are long gone and already on to the next crime by then. We are talking about CRIMINALS, they dont care.

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