Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two New Methods Criminal Are Using That Are On The Rise

By Matthew Schafer
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved

The common assumption is that criminals are stupid but this really isn’t the case. While it is true that there are many people who are new or just inexperience when it comes to crime, or not very bright, and their attempts are sometimes humorous and make the news, most career criminals are quite clever.  A career criminal is more like an artist and an artist continues to learn and develop their craft and so criminals are always on the lookout to come up with new and innovated ways to make their crimes easier.

Here we will discuss two methods that police have recently noticed that are being used by criminals and are on the rise.  You should definitely be on the lookout for these methods and now what to do if you encounter them.

Number one: A hundred dollar bill under your windshield wiper blade. 

Parking lots are arguably the most dangerous place a person can be in.  Criminals love busy parking lots and this is why parking lots are the number one area that a person is most likely to be attacked, robbed, or abducted.  In fact, 25% of reported rapes occur in parking garages.

How this works is that a criminal will put a hundred dollar bill under your windshield wiper in a place where you wouldn’t see it until you were already driving down the road.  Once you notice the hundred dollar bill you naturally pull over to get out of your car and retrieve it but once you do you notice the bill is fake and you're being carjacked. 

This method works very well because very few people pay enough attention to detect if they’re being followed so a criminal can follow you for a long time with little worry about being found out.  Once the bill is noticed nearly everyone will pull over to retrieve the bill because it is free money and they worry about it blowing away in addition to pure curiosity.  When you do you will most likely leave your car running and door open making it easy for someone to simply jump in your car and drive away.  Since the bill is placed on the passenger side you have to walk around the front of your car giving ample time for the criminals to drive up and one quickly jump out and drive away with your car.

If you notice the hundred dollar bill under your windshield wiper blade while you’re driving you should never stop.  Look in the mirror to see if a car is following you.  You can make a few left turns to see if the car turns with you and if there is someone else in the car you can have them use their phone to film the car so there is more evidence for the police.  Do not drive home because that will tell the criminal where you live, instead drive to a local police station and show them the bill and any information you have about the car that was following you. 

This ruse has been reported to police several times recently and police believe the criminals will only follow the car for a short time and give up if the person drives a good distance without pulling over.  Once you pull into a police station it is very unlikely the carjackers would do anything but drive away and pick someone else.

If you can do not touch the bill because that will get your finger prints on it, rather let the officer retrieve and examine the bill exactly how it was left.

Number two: a rubber band around the latch on your front door

This was first reported by a woman named Kim Fleming.  While she was home alone she heard a loud knock on her front door and wisely she has a rule that she never opens the door when she is home alone.  She reported that the knock seemed to sound hard and aggressive so that made her further suspicious.  After a while she looked out and didn’t see anyone there so she did open her door to check and what she found was rubber band around the latch on the outside door handle.

This method of course only works if you have this particular style of door handle but more expensive homes do often have this type of handle, or very similar where this would also work, so it works out quite well for them as more expensive homes probably have more expensive things to steal.

The reason this works is the rubber band keeps downward pressure on the door handle so when someone answers the door the depressed handle keeps the door from being able to latch again.  Once the door is opened they can throw their body weight attains the door knocking the door open and the homeowner backwards and gain entry to commit a home invasion.  Even if the homeowner did manage to shut the door on them it wouldn’t be able to latch because the handle is still depressed.

Regardless of what kind of door handle you have you should never just open the door without knowing who it is.  If you have a peephole you should use it.  While you shouldn’t have windows next to your door because they could break the window and reach in to open the door, it is a good policy to have a window in perhaps a different room that faces the doorway where you can look out the window to see who is there before you walk over to the door to open it.

Beyond that it is always good to have an additional barrier at your door.  Having a locked screen door on the outside of your front door is always a good idea for this reason.  Even if you did answer the door the person would have to bypass the screen door before entering your home.  While it is true that most screen doors are cheaply made and can be opened with a simple hard pull of the handle this could give you enough time to close and lock the front door.  Having a door with metal bars on the outside of your front door is even better but not everyone likes that look.

It should always be remembered that while most people think that if someone tries to break into their home it will be in the middle of the night that is simply not the case.  Most burglaries happen on weekdays between 10am and 3pm because that is when people are at work and the home is most likely to be empty.  Many home invasions are also done at that time because it is likely the wife will be home alone with the husband at work and kids at school.

Around 6pm is also another popular time for home invasions because this is dinner time and the family is likely to be sitting around the dinner table.  This is great for the home invader because the family will have their guard down and all be in one location so they can all quickly be overwhelmed and subdued.

Another key reason for criminals attacking homes during the day is that everyone is concerned with being broken into at night so they get complacent and sloppy during the day.  Most people don’t have their alarm system on while they’re at home during the day and criminals love that.  Most people will answer the door to anyone without looking to see who it is first.  Also, many people leave their home exposed.

Take a walk around your neighborhood and ask yourselves how easy it would be for you to gain access to the homes you walk by.  How many of those homes have their front door unlocked?  How many have their windows open?  How many leave their garage door open?  Criminals know that very few people lock the door that goes from the home to their garage so if they access the garage they can not only get access to their car, which is probably also left unlocked, but simply open the interior garage door to walk straight into their home.

It can be a pain in the butt to worry about securing your home while you are actually home, especially if you’re working in the yard or you have kids running around but this is what criminals count on. If a criminal is walking around your neighborhood trying to figure out which home to rob and they see you out in your yard working in your garden they know your house is probably left unlocked and they can probably just walk right in while you’re occupied and take what they want.  Another option is perhaps they will come up to your house, open  your door, and then disable the lock so when they see you leave and they know your house is empty they can just walk right in and take their time.

Security is a pain in the butt but it does pay off and it beats being robbed or becoming the victim of a home invasion which can not only prove costly but fatal.

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