8 March 2017

6 Safety tips to help stop cat burglars in their tracks

Criminals know that a home security system is only as strong as its weakest link and that this often lies in the roof of your home, unless you have adequately secured it against cat burglars.

Blue Security operations manager Brian Jackson said the company had noticed an uptake in the number of incidents where cat burglars have scaled up onto the roofs of homes to gain entry in recent weeks.

“Homes in Amanzimtoti, Kingsburgh and Chatsworth and a business premises in Westmead recently fell prey to cat burglars who removed roof tiles to break in and steal goods. These gangs made off with items ranging from a cellphone and an iPad, to copper piping and a braai stand,” Jackson said. “All four of the recent incidents occurred during broad daylight between 10.30am and 5.30pm,” he said.

Jackson offered the following six tips to secure the external area of your home, garden and roof to ensure that there is an early warning system in place to alert you to any unwanted intruders. An early warning system buys you time in an emergency to press your panic button and to lock your family in a safe room from where you can call the police and your security company.

1. Make sure that your perimeter wall or fence is adequately secured with an electric fence that is connected to your home alarm system.

2. Install an anti-gatecrashing kit and connect it to your home alarm system.

3. Make sure that you have sufficient external infra-red beams in the garden to sound the alarm.

4. Cut back any bushes that could be used as a hiding place near your perimeter wall and near your house to thwart stealthy intruders.

5. Secure the windows and walls of your home with infrared strip beams that will sound the alarm if anyone tries to climb up the side of the house to get onto the roof.

6. Install infra-red detectors in the roof of your house or business premises so that criminals will be detected as soon as they break in, if they have somehow managed to bypass all the other layers of security.

Jackson said criminals had been caught red-handed in roofs over the years.

“Fortunately, it’s not always so easy for criminals to clamber out of a roof to escape arrest when we and the police arrive at the scene. We have on many occasions managed to catch criminals red handed in the roofs of properties that had adequate alarm systems to detect them, or where residents pressed their panic buttons to alert us to the break-in,” he said.

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