Thursday, March 5, 2009
Window-smashing: it's more common than you think
Buz has read several accounts recently of businesses (and some homes) being broken into using the handy/dandy nearby rock. Thug-burglars simply find something nearby and smash a vulnerable window. Recently a fancy, schmancy jeans store in the Mt. Washington Village neighborhood here in Baltimore reportedly lost almost $100K in merchandise when their nice plate glass window was smashed and their store was essentially looted. Of course, they may not always use a rock. But businesses with merchandise and plate glass windows often learn their lessons the hard way (don't we all, though?).
And a business in Hampden along Chestnut was recently broken into similarly--this time it was definitely not a rock, but the thief somehow removed the mail slot close to the door lock, reached in and unlocked the door. Sometimes, this happens to residences too: you'd be surprised how many folks have a great deadbolt lock, but it's locked with a handle, and right next to a window which is easily broken. Burglar breaks glass, reaches in, and let himself in. Most residences typically don't have plate glass windows, though, and most occupants are home at night.
I remember several years ago the Princeton Sports on Falls Road got their windows smashed and lost a bunch of expensive bikes before they left before the police arrived.
Alarms aren't often enough. Of course, if you lost $100K in merchandise, you probably didn't have a working alarm or weren't using it (you'd be surprised how many folks have stopped using their alarms not only because of the expensive monthly monitoring charges, but false alarm charges from their jurisdiction.) Even a dumb burglar figures he's got a good 5 minutes before the gendarmes arrive. So, dear readers, your defense must be in depth.
Take a look at Princeton now: "riot screens" of metal behind the glass-in addition to alarms.
Even the gentleman who owns the fine men's clothing store in Lake-Falls Village has thick security screens as well as alarms and lighting and good solid locks.