Information from Jon Melvin about January 28, 2019 break-in on Vicstone Court:
Several people observed a person, dressed as a woman, with coat and umbrella, rapidly walking the neighborhood and ringing door bells and moving on, or engaging people in various strange conversations. No one let this person in. The coat and umbrella appeared to be a way of not being captured on camera, which are now all over the neighborhood.
Also, 4 boys were observed walking the Vicstone block by a number of people:
This burglary occurred during a short time when I was away from the house, suggesting a spotter, and little was taken and the back sliding door was left open, suggesting a rapid exit.
We do not know if these people above were involved but they were observed by many neighbors before burglary, and the 4 boys on the day of the burglary.
Hal Farichild just sent this update about a burglary last year:
“I am happy to report that the four burglars who robbed our home on 1-29-18 are in jail, awaiting trial. Our video system nabbed them.”
Michael Colby provided a lot of information about break-ins and possible protection which he allowed me to share:
“A key point was the prior extensive security and protection measures we implemented. At the time I know some of our neighbors thought we were a bit over the top. And found our motion activated exterior lights irritating.
· We had an alarm system installed for several years, with battery backup and cellular backup in the event the phone line was cut
· Every exterior facing window and door was equipped with alarm sensors.
· There were alarm system motion detectors placed the ground level near entrances.
· There were motion detection lights installed on the sides of house along its entire perimeter
· The doorjambs in all door frames were hardened, reducing the possibility that anyone could kick in a door
· All deadbolts on any door with a window near it were keyed so someone couldn’t simply reach in and unlock it
· The unsuccessful thieves were only able to force the rear sliding glass door open because we hadn’t placed a device in the track to block opening the sliding door
· We had 2 exuberant, barking, noisy dogs
Within 2 weeks of our attempted break-in another house in Blair Hills was successfully robbed when the burglars climbed over a block wall into the backyard, forced the sliding glass door open and had the luxury of extended time to walk through the house and remove items because there was no alarm system or alarm system activated.
We now live in a townhouse condominium with 2 entry doors on the ground floor and one the 2nd floor. Because of the nature of the building all doors are metal fire rated doors, and all door frames are metal. No one will be kicking in the door frames. All Glass windows, including on the ground floor family room and guest bedroom are highest energy efficient dual pane glass, which means they are thick and difficult to break.
Even with that, we have an alarm system (battery backed up and cellular phone backup) with open/close sensors on all downstairs windows and all entry doors and have motion detectors that cover the entire downstairs and foyer of the 2nd floor entry door. Additionally there are 8 motion activated wireless video cameras, 1 facing each entry door, 2 outside facing each side of the downstairs front door, one inside the garage and one on each side of the outside of the garage. The cameras send captured video to a cloud and those videos are retained for 30 days. And a USB stick on the camera system base stores a copy of all captured videos since install of the system. No one can approach or enter the condo without being recorded on camera.”
“We lived in Blair Hills for 20 years (1995-2015) and never dealt with a break-in/attempted break-in until a few months before we moved out. Even though we had equipped the house with motion sensing lights along the entire perimeter and an alarm system with sensors at every door and window, we still had an attempted break-in. Albeit one in which they didn’t take anything.
The thieves scaled the chain link fence to the backyard, ignoring the motion sensitive lights mounted on the entire perimeter of the house front, side and back.
They tried to break-in by shattering one of the glass window panes in the dining room French Doors and reached in to open the door. The discovered that the door handle was locked with a key on the inside and the door was equipped with a deadbolt that also was also locked with a key on the inside. And the keys were removed. Which we did by intent. All they were able to do was break the inside door handle, not open the door. If they had been able to open the door the alarm would have gone off.
Next, they managed to force the locked rear sliding glass door open (because we hadn’t placed a rod or piece of wood in the track) and open it. From what we can tell when the (very loud) alarm horn went off immediately after the door was slid open and the 2 dogs started barking, while they were trying to push aside the heavy blackout roller shade in front of the sliding glass door, they took off and left the way they came.
We knew within a couple of minutes after the break-in attempt that they had been there because we were called by the alarm company after the alarm was triggered and knew which alarm zone had been triggered.
The last thing we did to the house before moving out was to add a glass break detection sensor above the French doors and to make sure there was always a piece of wood In the sliding glass door track when it was closed, ensuring it could not be forced open.”