Burglars stymied in bid to rob AlarmForce presidentís home
Would-be burglars didnít know who they were dealing with when they cased
out a North York bungalow in the luxurious York Mills Rd and Bayview
Ave. area two months ago. Their target was the home of Joel Matlin,
president and CEO of AlarmForce Industries Inc. and the face of the home
security company known for its two-way voice technology.
At the front of the house is a sign alerting would-be thieves that it is
protected by AlarmForce. However, the suspects, as many as five, were
At 11 p.m. on Feb. 4, while Matlin was enjoying the company of friends
at a Fort Lauderdale condo, he received a phone message showing live
video of a stranger at his door wearing a baseball hat.
ďItís Saturday night. I donít know this guy,Ē Matlin, 63, told the Star.
ďI think somethingís coming down at my house.Ē
The man soon left, but a concerned Matlin said he asked police to
increase patrols in the neighbourhood, called his central station and
told them to be on alert. Before going to sleep, Matlin made one
mistake. He turned off his cellphone.
Had his smartphone been left on, he would have received an email message
notifying him someone was ringing his front door in Toronto at 4:30 a.m.
the next morning. The burglars were back with their faces covered.
They had what appeared to be burglar tools in their hands.
And they were sophisticated. They cut the phone line and were about to
cut the Internet line when Matlinís stepson, Robbie Stepak, 23, heard a
loud digital voice from inside the house: ďPhone line cut, phone line
Roused out of bed, Stepak then heard someone trying to kick in the steel
front door. He began shouting at them through the closed door, and by
the time he opened it, the would-be burglars had fled.
On Tuesday, Toronto police confirmed they have arrested three men who
were in jail in Lindsay on related offences, and charged them with the
attempted break-in at Matlinís home as well as several other offences
across Greater Toronto. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Matlin said new video relay technology, which enabled him to see his
front door all the way from Florida on his smartphone, has provided him
an extra measure of comfort. Whenever he tells people about the
incident, they remark that they canít believe burglars tested his house.
ďBut I donít think they knew,Ē Matlin said, adding he has gained a new
understanding of what other victims of home burglaries go through.
Matlin has one regret.
ďHad I left my phone on, I would have been able to pick it up and answer
my front door from where I was in Florida.
ďBut I didnít. Thatís the one stupid thing I did.Ē