16 Tips for Home Security
Every day we receive videos and stories from our users showing how Wyze Cam has helped them lead a more convenient life while providing peace of mind.
Looking for a simple way to give back, we reached out to Detective Sergeant A.J. Bishop from the Franklinton, NC police department for his help on spreading advice gained from the trenches.
Officer Bishop has a total 10 years on the force: 6 years as a patrol officer, 2 years as a Patrol Sergeant, and 2 years as a Detective Sergeant. When it comes to experience you need not look any further.
When we asked about his day-to-day responsibilities Officer Bishop said most days consist of following up on reports for various crimes. As a Sergeant over investigations, he is responsible for overseeing all investigations for his agency. Officer Bishop works closely with surrounding agencies, as well as members of the community, other officers, and school officials.
- What is the most common way homes get broken into?
In my experience, the back door is the most common way to break into a house. Generally, a back door is out of sight of the general public. Criminals love to hide, and for the most part you cannot see a back door from the streets that go by houses.
- What can homeowners do to prevent break-ins?
Some of the ways I have told homeowners to better protect their homes is by making sure your doors are locked. Be sure to leave some exterior lights on at night, it never hurts to leave a radio or TV on during the day. If a criminal thinks someone is home they are more likely to stay away from that house.
Do not post pictures of expensive items you own on social media. You never know who can see the pictures. Be sure to close the blinds on windows when not at home. Obviously, cameras work, although they help more with the investigation if something were to happen, but they can also be a deterrent if criminals know [that] a homeowner has them.
- What has been the most effective form of burglary deterrence you’ve seen?
Cameras and nosey neighbors are very effective. If you have a sign up that lets criminals know they are being recorded then they tend to stay away. As I said before, criminals like to hide. They generally do not want to be on camera. Nosey neighbors are great. If you trust your neighbors, then let them know when you are not going to be home. If they notice someone coming around your house, they will most likely call you or notify law enforcement.
- What hour of the day do most break-ins occur?
Home break-ins are more common during the day, however car break-ins, and outbuilding break-ins tend to happen more at night.
- What should a homeowner do after coming home to a break-in?
Try not to touch anything and notify law enforcement. The chances of recovering forensic evidence are a lot greater if the homeowner doesn’t walk through the house, and nothing is touched.
- What are the most stolen items during a home break-in?
Electronics, guns, and jewelry are the most common in my experience; items that are easy to pawn or can be sold quickly on the streets.
- How often are stolen items recovered?
Items recovered are really on a case by case basis. It depends on the type of items, location, and if there is any information on the suspects, or if the items have distinguishing features.
- Are there any common patterns in home burglaries to which we should pay attention?
I would say no. Typically, a criminal does not want to keep going to the same area because of the chances of running into law enforcement. They know once a break-in is reported that officers are going to patrol that area more often. Also, in general criminals are lazy; which means they are going to go for easy targets. If homeowners take a few extra steps to try and make their home a harder target then generally criminals will not want to go around it.
- In your experience, does the presence of a protected home sticker or sign deter crime?
I think they do. Especially with today’s technology of security systems, with cameras, and other security accessories, they tend to make some criminals think twice about going around the property.
- Where is the best place to mount a camera for home security?
I always suggest inside the residence facing the doors. If a criminal comes [through] the door on a motion-activated camera, by the time they get to the camera to shut it off, they have already been recorded. Cameras that face the driveway or street work well also; criminals tend to case the houses before breaking in. A camera often will show a person walking by, or vehicle making multiple passes by a house prior to a break in.
- Any recommendations on discreet areas to mount a camera?
It would depend on the type of house, or apartment. A houseplant, or next to a TV or other electronics so that the camera does not stick out or draw attention. That’s another case by case basis.
- What is the best way to communicate suspicious activities caught on video to local Police Departments?
Obviously calling 911 and filing a report is the best way. Having the capability to share video either through an app or via email to get the officers a copy works really well also. If the break-in is in progress or just occurred being able to get good suspect information to officers quickly is a key to catching the suspect.
- How often does video evidence play a role in identifying and arresting suspects?
It’s becoming more common than it has ever been before. Overall it makes the solvability rate go up on various crimes if you have a good video of the suspect.
- Has your community seen a decrease in crime or break-ins with the use of video surveillance?
We are seeing a decrease. Home surveillance cameras are something we are pushing to gives the citizens more protection, and assist us in solving more crimes.
- Should homeowners make the presence of a camera known to potential burglars or keep it discreet?
I think letting it be known that cameras are present is a good thing and it is a good deterrent to keep criminals away from your home.
- What are the pros and cons of using indoor cameras versus outdoor cameras?
Indoor cameras tend to get closer views of the suspect’s features, and details of the crime, however, they don’t usually show what direction they left the house in or what type of transportation they had. Outdoor cameras tend to show a wider view of the overall scene, but don’t typically show what the suspect does once inside the residence, what they touched, what they stole.