B. Madhu Gopal
Locks on the doors are like an open invitation to burglars
‘House-breaking incidents by day have come down’
While using safety devices do not forget to switch on the systems
VISAKHAPATNAM: Barely 10 days ago burglars broke into the LIC apartments in HB Colony in broad daylight and decamped with 50 tolas of gold ornaments and Rs. 60,000 in cash. When this is the fate of flats in the heart of the city, the plight of people residing in independent houses on the outskirts can well be imagined.
MVP Colony, Seethammadhara and Appayya Nagar are some of the areas where burglaries were committed in the recent past. This is not to press the panic button. Police statistics reveal that housebreakings have actually declined in the city during 2007 compared to the previous year. The number of housebreakings by day that was 74 during 2006 came down to 49 in 2007. Housebreakings by night came down from 340 to 322 during the same period.
Most families are ready to pack their bags and go out on pilgrimages, leisure tours and visit their relatives and friends in other places as the examination season is already on and schools and colleges would close for the long summer vacation in a few weeks.
Locks on the doors are like an open invitation to burglars to break into the house. They indicate the absence of inmates which makes the job of burglars all the more easy. The locks should be strong and preferably be mounted to the inside of the door and locked with a key from outside like the one being made by some lock manufacturers. This is useful as it is difficult for burglars to find out whether the inmates are in the house or the door is locked. Cement ventilators and windowpanes of bathrooms come in handy for thieves to break into houses. Windows are being constructed close to the doors in many houses in the name of ‘Vaasthu’. This makes it convenient for thieves to unbolt the door from outside by putting their hand through the window.
It’s a good idea to keep at least a few lights ‘on’ in the house when the family leaves on a vacation. This gives the impression that there is someone in the house. It’s a wise thing to deposit jewellery and cash in the bank locker or at least conceal them in the most unexpected places before going out on vacation. While using modern safety devices like burglar alarms do not forget to switch on the systems while going out on a vacation.
“The modus operandi of most burglars is to conduct a survey of locked houses during the day and go about their work mostly during nights. While some go about the whole operation single-handedly others go in groups two, three or more. While one guards at the entrance of house, the others loot the house,” says the Circle Inspector of Fifth Town Police Station S. Venkata Rao.
“Day burglaries are done mostly by using the side door or the rear door to gain entry. The thieves have a thorough knowledge of the area and its topography.
Some are chance offenders and they do it only once in their lifetime. It’s very difficult to catch such thieves,” he says.