Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Preventing crime with wireless doorbells

From a police report published this afternoon on the Salemtown Neighbors elist:

May 31, 2011

Three would-be burglars rang the wrong doorbell Monday when they were casing a home in the 5000 block of Cherrywood Drive.

The wireless doorbell system actually rang at the home of a man who lived across the street. He quickly surmised what was happening when he saw three men kicking in the front door of his neighbor’s house and contacted police. The suspects fled in a black 1991 Honda Accord that had already been identified by South Precinct detectives as being involved in home break-ins.

South Precinct Officer William Whitworth stopped the getaway Honda at Nolensville Pike and Harding Place. Sebastian Stevens, 19, Christopher Walpole, 20, and Alejandro Delaherron, 19, were taken into custody without incident. They were positively identified as the men who had attempted to break into the house. All three are charged with attempted aggravated burglary, possession of burglary tools and vandalism. Stevens, of Zermatt Avenue, and Walpole and Delaherron, both of Paragon Mills Road, are being held in lieu of $20,000 bond each.

Photos of Stevens, Walpole, and Delaherron are being withheld pending lineups in similar home burglaries.

This is an example of what you can do to help protect your home while on vacation & while you are at home.

A family knew they weren't going to be home (on vacation etc), so they gave their neighbor the plug in "chime" connected to their wireless doorbell. When these burglary suspects rang the family's doorbell to see if anyone was home, the neighbor looked outside to see who was at the family's door. When no one answered the family's door, the witness saw the suspects kick in his neighbor's door.
He immediately called the police and gave a good description of who, what, where, how etc. The suspect were soon arrested by responded police.

Ringing a doorbell and waiting to see if anyone is home is a common method that residential burglars use to help pick target houses. Anytime you see strangers knocking or ringing bells at multiple houses, its best to call the police to have them checked out. They could be lost, or salesman or otherwise legitimate, but they could also be looking for their next house to break into.

Similarly, if someone knocks on your door and they seem to stumble with words or their "story" doesn't make sense when they tell you why they knocked on your door, you should always be wary and call the police to have them checked out. (remember, you don't have to open the door just because they knocked, look out the peep hole or a window) If there is any doubt about their legitimacy, contact the police and give a good description of the potential suspects and any car they are using so the police can be on the lookout for them as they respond or patrol your neighborhood in the future.

Another clever neighborhood watch tool.

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