A Hole Through the Roof
Alison P couldn’t believe her eyes. Arriving home from work one afternoon, she found her bedroom ransacked and her collection of heirloom jewellery gone. Shocked and more than a little afraid, Alison retreated down the stairs and outside to call the police. But how had the thief gotten inside? Through the roof! Everything downstairs was tidy and untouched, just as she had left it that morning.
It didn’t take the police long to determine that the thieves had come in by cutting through the roof and dropping into the attic. They’d even brought their own tools and apart from the neat hole in her roof and plundered bedroom, had left nothing in the way of evidence.
Don’t let Trends get You
Rooftop entry is a newer trend used by sophisticated modern burglars targeting more affluent neighbourhoods. Motion sensors are frequently not installed on the second floor, while jewelry, firearms and money are often kept in the master bedroom.
There’s a clear upsurge in second-story break-ins, whether through fanlights, vents or holes cut through the roof. From a rooftop break-in every few years to one occurring every couple of months, it’s a growing trend.
Some recent examples; the home that was entered by removing a roof vent. Other homes had the roof cut open. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that tells us most home burglaries happen on the first or ground floor. And entry is usually made at a back or side door with next favored access being through the garage door.
7 Points to Safety
Most of us never realize our roof can be one of the easiest access points into the house. Since roof top vulnerability is becoming more and more an area of concern, be sure to eliminate any features that provide direct access to a roof.
- The exterior lighting in your backyard should illuminate the roof of your home. If you can, get lights that are motion-sensitive. Any burglar who is lit up like a Christmas tree every time he tries to get near your roof will think twice.
- Deny burglars access to your roof by securing ladders and trash bins away from your home; lock them in the garage.
- Get rid of or modify – when possible – design elements that provide access to roofs or upper storys.
- Be certain that all skylights in your home are secured with one-way screws so that the unit cannot be removed to make an easy entrance.
- Secure any roof-access with upgraded hardware and skylights with anti-break window film.
- Cut down or trim trees that provide entry to rooftops and balconies.
- And if you have an alarm system, be sure every exterior opening, including the upper level, is alarmed.
Be Safe as Houses
Your alarm system should go off before the criminals enter your home and not after they’re inside and walking around. By focussing on exterior crime prevention techniques, the interior will be more secure.
You may not have considered a security system for your home yet. You could live in a very low-crime or even a no-crime area but sadly, even your neighbourhood will eventually attract the attention of a criminal element.
It’s those rare occasions when additional means can help deter intruders. Numerous layers of home security are off-putting to burglars, who are usually looking for a quick target; easy in – easy out.
But even with a properly lit building, nowhere to hide and nothing around to use to climb up to the roof or second story, the best line of defence can be the alarm. A home security system will frighten away those thieves afraid of being caught and may apprehend the more brazen thugs who think they can beat the clock.
The target used to be businesses but with house rooftop break-ins increasing dramatically, homeowners need to be aware of the dangers of thugs coming through the roof. Have you or anyone you know been the victim of a rooftop burglary?