How did the burglars enter?

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Burglars recently entered my home while I was away overnight. When I returned, I saw two possible ways to enter and exit. In the kitchen, the sliding door to the patio was open enough for someone to easily pass through. In the fireplace room, a large casement window at the left end of a bay window was open, and the casement operator was bent, as shown here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90278919@N00/7049171423/in/photostream
Assuming that I forgot to lock the kitchen door before leaving home, someone could have easily entered and exited that way, without bothering to touch the casement window.
Assuming that the kitchen door was locked, I don't see any way he could have entered through the casement window. There is a screen on the inside held in place by four plastic clips. (One is visible in the above link.) The screen was laying on the floor, undamaged, and none of the clips was damaged. From the outside, there was no damage to the frames of the kitchen door or the casement window, as there would be if someone used a pry bar.
It takes a great deal of force to bend the casement operator; I couldn't straighten it using a bench vise. It is impossible to bend it upwards as shown in the link with the window closed because the bottom of the window frame would have blocked it.
The crank handle was lying nearby on the floor of the bay window. It's only held in place by friction; no need to loosen a screw.
Aside from the loss of the stuff stolen, my only expense was $45 for a replacement casement operator (brand: Truth). The casement hinges and locking bar were okay. The window frame wasn't bent out of shape.
Questions: 1. Can anyone figure a way of getting in, either through the kitchen door or the casement window, without leaving signs outside? 2. If they entered via the kitchen, why fiddle with the casement window? 3. If they entered via the casement window, why take the time to bend the operator?
To see how my home looked, go to youtube and enter "house burglary 07726" to see the 5:32 video. The place looks messy, but nothing except the casement operator was damaged. There was no gratuitous vandalism.
R1
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go to Wiki and search for "Bump key".

to pass stolen goods outside while staying out of sight.neighbors might get suspicious if they saw someone taking out your valuables one by one.

accident.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 04/05/12 8:14 PM, Jim Yanik wrote:

or...
My Peachtree door was manufactured in a manner that prevents it from being lifted out of the track.
The door is wood on the interior and they use a piece of weather-stripped trim along the top of the frame to hold the door in place.
To remove the sliding panel you have to remove the 8 screws that hold the trim in place. Once the trim is removed, the top of the panel can be tilted into the room and then lifted out of the bottom track.
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The sliding door doesn't have a cylinder lock. You just rotate a lever to open/lock it. The casement locks by lowering a lever. Again, no cylinder lock.

They stole a pillowcase, probably to hold all the small coins they stole. The biggest single things were a Konica 35mm camera and a zoom telephoto lens for it. They ignored a laptop in plain view and easy to snatch. They definitely focused on small things (with high value).

That definitely could have happened as they entered, if the operator caught on the top of a shoe. They probably would have fell face down on the carpeted floor, but there was no signs of blood, like from a nose.
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LOL...
Laptops and cell phones and other internet connected/connectable devices are more trouble than they are worth to a burglar, unless the burglar in question knows which parts/software need to be replaced before they can be safely used again without basically sending up a flare saying "here i am, come arrest me"...
The coins, if rare, will be difficult to fence in your local area if you were able to give the police a detailed list of what was stolen...
Also, it sounds a lot like you can not remember if you actually locked the sliding door or window in question, so it will not be possible to positively identify how the burglars entered until they are caught and offer that information up during their interrogation...
~~ Evan
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On 4/6/2012 9:10 AM, Evan wrote:

Only one coin was encapsulated with a grade and serial number. The rest were generic, bullion coins with no special rarity or outstanding condition that would bring a premium above the spot value of gold. The police do have a detailed list.

I'm certain the casement window was locked, as it was too cool at night to leave it open or unlocked but closed. I used the slider door an hour or so before leaving; I'm 99% certain it was locked, but maybe I had a senior moment.
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On 4/6/2012 6:31 AM, Rebel1 wrote:

They couldn't have entered from another door and locked it behind them?
I would guess that common crooks don't use bump keys but I don't know.
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.

That would have taken time, an as I said the door (by Anderson) was on its tracks (and also operated normally).
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Answers:
1. Yes, if the casement window was left slightly open you would not need a pry bar to open it further if you know what you are doing... If the sliding door was left unsecured all someone had to do was give it a tug...
2. As someone else said, the side of your house where the casement window is located may have provided better cover or been closer to the getaway vehicle than the slider and may have been out of line of site from any neighbors who were home at the time...
3. They didn't, that damage clearly occurred when the window was pushed or forced from the outside when it was in the fully open position... You wouldn't be able to do that to the operator when the window is closed as the frames of both the window pane and the window opening would protect that piece from bending that far...
It sounds like you left one or both of these openings unsecured when you left...
It also looks like you were robbed by junkies who needed a fix really badly and they were looking for money in all the typical places people hide it:
In various spots in the kitchen, under couch cushions, under the mattress and in bedroom drawers/closets...
If your house had an alarm system installed in it, your forgetfulness of leaving a door or window unlocked would have only afforded the burglar 3 to 5 minutes of time inside unless you have really terrible police response times in your area...
You were robbed by junkies because a pro would not have left your house in such a mess and would have only taken a small backpack's worth of the most valuable stuff -- i.e. bank statements, credit card statements, extra credit cards you don't carry with you, valuable jewelry/silver, spare car keys so they can return and steal your vehicle at a later date, spare house keys so they can return and burglarize your home again easier the next time, etc... Pro burglars take so little and leave hardly a trace behind, your burglar was disorganized and frenzied and left a huge mess...
You should at once do the following:
If you had any vehicle or house keys which are now missing have the door locks and vehicle(s) re-keyed...
If you had any account statements for a bank or credit card account go missing have the accounts frozen/closed and the account numbers changed...
Consider installing a home security alarm system and some motion detector activated lighting around the perimeter of your home...
~~ Evan
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news:71e39d3e-df6d-455b-91b8-
<< Consider installing a home security alarm system and some motion detector activated lighting around the perimeter of your home...>>
Good idea. Have two very loud bells or sirens installed inside and outside of the house. Junkies freak right out from the noise and leave (so my cop friends say) and even pro burglars get unnerved by an unholy loud racket. Some people even mount a flashing light on the house so it's readily apparent where the noise is coming from. Unfortunately burglars can do a lot of damage and take a lot of stuff in the time in takes for the cops to arrive. That means trying to "evict" them as soon as possible. My alarm flashes all of the inside lights that are on X-10, making the place even more uninviting.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

There are very few "professional" burglars. Most are junkies doing a "smash and grab".
I work in the alarm business, and can pretty much guarantee I'd be able to keep most systems installed in residences from sounding the siren or sending a signal trying to gain access. I would think a professional burglar of high-caliber can do the same.
Without good physical security, an alarm system alone just does not cut it for total security. Hardened openings, thick thorny shrubs around accessible windows, lighting, CCTV, knowing your neighbors, dogs (great for early warning if you get the right one), a defensive weapon available, all contribute to the overall picture.
--
My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said 'No, but
I want a regular banana later, so... yeah.' -Mitch Hedberg
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I have a cheap X10 with window and door sensors along with motion detectors on battery backup. I would have no idea how to get around it. I guess I need a job in the alarm business.
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wrote:

<<I have a cheap X10 with window and door sensors along with motion detectors on battery backup. I would have no idea how to get around it. I guess I need a job in the alarm business.>>
Got a PalmPad or other X-10 RF transmitter. Holding down the transmit key can overwhelm the RF signal coming from the sensors. Try it as you walk through a protected doorway. X-10 has some good uses but as a primary line of defense all I can say it that it's probably better than nothing. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

Try for the pro, and go as far as your budget allows. Don't use ADT or the big nationals, find a local family-owned business where you'll be dealing with someone who can get things done, without a voice-mail-jail. Ask for references from your friends and neighbors. You can spot the guy who wants to sell you 'security' vs. 'paper'. The ADT's of the country are looking to sell a contract, period.

Geeze, the peephole shooter is nasty.
A lot of people that have alarm systems don't even know that alarm screens are available. They are perfect perimeter protection on windows, if one is removed the alarm trips, if you cut through them the alarm trips.
For examples: http://www.alarmscreen.com/ss/index.html http://www.securityscreens.com /

Agreed, from a set of 'fresh' eyes.
--
I wear a necklace, cause I wanna know when I'm upside down. -Mitch Hedberg


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On 4/5/2012 11:50 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Excellent ideas. I'm torn between having a silent alarm that notifies the police so they can catch the burglars vs. a noisy one to scare them away and let them strike elsewhere. I'll start a new thread addressing the pros and cons of each approach.
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wrote in message

Alarms have a high false rate,that aggravates police,and if noisy,aggravates your neighbors. I have also heard bad stuff about ADT,that their sign is like an invitation to burglars.
Noisy alarm infers that your neighbors would actually do something. NOT always true.
Why are the only possible entrances the kitchen "door"(sliding patio door?) or the window? Why couldn't they use a bump key on another door? it only takes a second to unlock a door with one,and it leaves no evidence. they can even lock the door behind them.
also,I've heard that prying up on a patio door can unlatch it and then it can be slid open normally. those locks are not that secure. you need to pin or burglar-bar it.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 4/6/2012 11:21 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

Thanks for the tips. So many things to consider.
R1
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Well over 90% of "false alarms" are user error. So it's people that have a high rate of failure, not equipment. Some jurisdictions will not respond to alarms unless there is alarm verification by means of 2-way audio or video and the central station operator can see/hear something is definitely going on.
--
I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it. -Mitch Hedberg


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<stuff snipped>

But it requires the burglar to wonder if they will or they won't respond. Many burglars have rap sheets and tend to want to avoid re-arrest. A really loud siren INSIDE the house won't irk your neighbors too much but it will make it really hard for the burglar to think straight. Even worse, he becomes afraid he won't hear anyone sneaking up on him with a gun. That's what makes them run.
-- Bobby G.
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Rebel1 wrote:

No need, it's a no-brainier. In a residential situation where people are sleeping always go with a siren. Tell the kids ahead of time what to do if the siren sounds in the middle of the night, have a plan. If you have your motion detectors off at night, and you don't know what caused the alarm DO NOT TELL THE OPERATOR YOUR CODE WORD AND SAY EVERYTHING IS FINE. You do not --know-- everything is fine until the reason for the alarm trip is found, and the house is swept for intruders. If you say the code word out of habit, don't forget to tell them to send help! Secure the family, then either wait for police in a locked room or get out if you can without being seen (MBR exterior door perhaps). If you have a gun, now would be a great time to de-holster and take it off 'safety'. Have pre-determined hand-signals for family members. The siren is supposed to be loud, so you can't hear each other without yelling and giving your location away to the bad-guys.
If you have monitored smoke/heat detectors, you have no option per code, plus that is your wake-up call to get OUT. A similar wake-up noise will scare a burglar and hopefully make them leave! This is the safest option, you don't need to play superhero. You want them OUT, a properly designed system will alert the system *before* he gains entry to begin with. The siren sounds differently on fire vs. burglar alarms so you can discern what part of the system is in 'alarm' without having to look at the closest keypad.
Don't worry about 'catching' the prick in the act, response times are not guaranteed and alarms get a low priority unless you have verification a burglary is in progress. If you have voice/video/witness verification the cops will *haul-ass* to your house in hopes to catch a "live one".
--
I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came
up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a
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