Tuesday, December 9, 2003
What Would You Do: House Robbery
In the State of Florida, there's a burglary every three minutes... and those numbers tend to spike during the holidays. Tonight ... the Nightteam's Charles Perez talks with a former cat burglar who tells us what you should do to protect your home.
(WSVN) -- Once a burglar is in your home ... he quickly moves from room to room ... taking your valuables.
In the den a wallet and camera. The bathroom ... jewelry. And a watch in the bedroom.
Former Burglar Walter Shaw says, "I'm checking all the probably place for jewelry."
Other thieves go for electronics ... stripping the entertainment center in seconds.
"He doesn't care so much about jewelry ... it's the electronics. Because he can sell it quick."
Walter Shaw made a career out of breaking into people's homes. He also spent over a decade in prison.
He says, "My kids grew up while I was in prison."
And now he is showing us what a thief looks for when he's looking for a good target.
"Someone wants to protect their property ... light it up light it up. Light it up from the water and light it up from out there."
Shaw says a dark yard invites trouble.
You also need to get rid of tall hedges like these close to the house.
"I know they want privacy, but you're going to pay for it with your life. If you keep these down ... and you're trying to break in. They're going to see you."
Shaw says he could be in and out of this window in seconds.
Keep in mind ... thieves are always looking for the least conspicuous way into your house. Like how many of us leave the garage door opener out in plain site. Think about it - we go all around town ... leaving a key to the home right there on the dash.
"You go to a restaurant, where's your clicker? My garage clicker? It's in the car."
A smart thief doesn't even need to take your garage door opener. He can get the code, find your address ... then buy a cheap garage door opener and be in your home ... no problem.
And once a thief is in your home ... be warned, they probably didn't come alone.
"If they're that far in here, nine times out of ten they're going to be armed."
The wrong thing to do ...
"I walk downstairs I see somebody in my living room. Why would you do that? Because I'm a guy, I've got an ego. And I think I'm going to solve the situation. And, he's going to shoot you."
Never confront a burglar ... instead what should you do - lock yourself in a closet or bathroom... have an alarm panel in every room... and call for the police.
"They're going to charge you a fee if it was a false alarm ... but who cares? Right ... who cares if they charge you 25-30 dollars for a call? You're saving your life."
And remember ... jewelry and TV's can be replaced ... your life can't.
Next week, how safe are you at mall?
Charles is going to show us what to do if you're being stalked while shopping.
That's next Tuesday at 10:00.
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