Last night at 2am I got a surprising wake-up call: the alarm was going off at my rehab project in Tower Grove South. The police were already there and requesting a key-holder to come over. Upon arriving on the scene I witnessed the sobering site of a backdoor kicked in.
Thankfully, my alarm system did its job. Not only did it run off the assailant without any theft or vandalism (other than the door), it also alerted me to the issue and brought the police on site. I know a lot of rehabbers skimp on installing alarms, and even more skip out on having them monitored, but this is proof positive why you should protect yourself.
Another thing this incident reinforces in my mind is that a hand-lock on a door is very easy to break. On the back door of the property in question, that is all that was in place when we bought the place and I was too lazy to install anything more. It looks like a couple of kicks is all it took to break it. Lesson learned. All access points to any property should be secured with a properly installed deadbolt in addition to a standard lock set. Especially on a vacant property.
If you properly secure your properties upon each visit and make sure there is an alarm system and proper lighting (another thing I didn’t have), the odds of a successful break-in are small. I only had one of the three and I managed to get away with only a busted door, which I was going to replace anyway. Still, its better to be safe than sorry as the financial loss and frustration of a successful burglary could have been a lot worse.