Defense Against Crime

01/03/2019

What to do when strangers move into your house!


After two long weeks away on vacation, you’re finally home. It was a great trip, but now

"She says she's got squatters rights."

you’re at the front door of your residence. You open your front door and take a step inside. Then you notice that something’s wrong. The lights are on, but you don’t have a timer rigged up. There’s a half a box of pizza and some drinks on your coffee table and a bath towel draped over the back of your lazy-boy. You’re hit with a jolt of adrenaline — a burglar’s been in your home. Before you can react, a guy wanders into the room. He’s wearing your favorite bathrobe. “Who are you?” he asks.

You scan the apartment. Yes, this is your place. Your stuff’s all here, but it’s being used by someone else. Friend, you’ve got yourself a squatter.  The squatter may not be a cute little girl who ate your porridge, sat in your chairs, and slept in your bed.

Your home is where you should feel safe. It is where you let your guard down and perform your most personal routines. It is where you are most vulnerable. So what if someone broke into your house and was hiding somewhere? It’s the stuff of urban legends, but the following stories are anything but fictional.

Squat happens

Think this is an urban myth .. it is not. It happens. You can actually google stories of this. Perhaps you heard the story of A Washington state man made that made a startling discovery when he arrived at his home a few weeks ago.

Davis Wahlman, of Green Lake, said that when he got to his house he found a couple of lights on and his bathroom window screen in his tub, but said nothing strange dawned on him until he heard some noises coming from his attic the next morning.

“I am kind of jolted out of bed,” Wahlman said. “I hear rummaging around above me, which I know is the attic so I’m like ‘That’s kind of weird.'”

Wahlman tried to figure out what in fact was going on and noticed a light that was on in his office space. The door was locked and when he knocked, he got no response. He then heard a woman’s voice coming from the room.

“‘Jimmy? Is that you, Jimmy?'” Wahlman explained. “I’m like ‘No, it’s not Jimmy. Who is this and why are you in my house?'”

One of the residents of my subdivision had something similar to this happen to him. He came home to find someone sleeping in his home.

Now you think, that’s OK I’ll just call the police…and get them out.  Not so quick.

If police find squatters, there’s not a whole lot they can do. Police uphold criminal law. Squatting is a civil crime. Civil law is worked out in the courts. Once police has determined that a squatter has established some sort of tenancy, the issue becomes a civil matter. By settling into a home in a generally respectable manner, a squatter can create the appearance of tenants’ rights. This appearance alone can confound an easy rousting of squatters.

What is a squatter?

Squatters are people who move into abandoned, foreclosed, or otherwise unoccupied homes or premises. Generally, under United States law, the owners can have a squatter evicted for violating loitering or trespassing laws unless the squatters can establish that they have tenants’ rights or can gain adverse possession due to the property having been completely abandoned by the owner. Other countries have similar laws, although you should seek specific legal advice dependent on where you are. If you suspect you have squatters in your neighborhood contact the police and the homeowners, but stay calm and let the authorities deal with the situation.

What the squat can you do?

  1. Identify the signs of squatting – Keep an eye out on your neighbor’s if they are away or abandoned houses in your neighborhood.
  2. Evaluate the Situation – try to determine if those people have a legal right to be there. You can just calmly talk to them.
  3. Speak to your neighbors – see if anyone else in the neighborhood as additional information.
  4. Know the laws in your city and state regarding abandoned property – as mentioned above getting rid of squatters may not be straightforward. Know what legal steps are available to you to remove squatters. Do not take the removal process upon yourself.
  5. How to deal with squatters
    1. Contact the Police
    2. Contact the property owner, if it is not your home
    3. Determine your grounds for action – depending on what they did in your home you may have lots to do.
  6. To Reduce your chances of getting squatters
    1. Have a Home Alarm
    2. Have Internal and external Cameras
    3. Have your Neighbors watch your house when you are going to be away for a while
    4. Let the Police know you will be out of town and who has access to your house

Resources:

 

PepperEyes Self-Defense, Safety and Security Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. PepperEyes.com is a division of Onyx Knight Enterprises.

10/12/2018

Law Enforcement Christmas Safety Tips


blkfriday2As Christmas shopping season approaches, your local Police Department wishes to assure you and your neighbors that we are taking measures to combat and prevent the types of criminal activity which occur this time each year. We also wish to stress the importance of citizens doing their part to protect themselves by not presenting opportunities for criminals to ruin your holiday.

Where ever possible, additional officers will be on high-visibility patrol around shopping areas, banks, and the like. They will also be available to provide bank escorts for businesses that request them.

A particular problem this time of year is theft from automobiles and residential burglaries. These are the most preventable crimes. If citizens remove the opportunity, the crime is less likely to occur, and some types cannot occur at all.

At Home:

  • Make sure to keep doors and windows locked, even if you are home.
  • When you are not home, leave your radio on low on talk radio.
  • If you have home security cameras, with motion sensors, see if you can also program a lamp to turn on at night when motion is detected. Set it to turn on a minute later.
  • Turn on outside lights at night, motion sensor lights are great.
  • Report persons or vehicles roaming your neighborhood, day or night so police may check them. They may be simply looking at Christmas lights, or they may be “casing” houses to burglarize.
  • Place your tree where the gifts will be less visible from outside. Thieves like window-shopping through your windows.
  • After Christmas, don’t put the empty boxes out on the curb. This makes it easy for burglars to decide which houses to burglarize (ie: new computers, TVs, electronics, video games…). Break down boxes and put them in the trash, making sure to save all paperwork. Also, remember many electronic devices require original boxes for warranty repair.
  • Immediately make an inventory listing the model and serial numbers of new items (and old ones if you haven’t already) and engrave personal markings on them

If Leaving Home (On a trip or just for a little while):

  • Make it look like you are still there.
  • If you have an Alarm System – USE IT –
  • If you can monitor your home remotely – DO IT
  • Timers on exterior lights, interior lights, and TVs will help make it look like you are home. Don’t leave an answering machine message saying you are gone, in fact turning it off would be better. If you have the call forwarding option on your phone use that.
  • Double check Locks on all doors and windows, including second floors and garages. The doors should have dead-bolts; key locks for windows are also available.
  • Have a Trusted Neighbor pick up mail, papers, and ads put out your trash can, and park in your driveway. Give them emergency and cell numbers to reach you.
  • Call the police department to request a periodic residence check (“Keep-A-Check”) while you are away.
  • When you return, look around outside first. If you see any evidence of a break-in, do not go inside. Go to a neighbor’s house and call the police. The burglars could still be inside.

While Shopping or Going Out: 

  • Secure valuables out of sight in your trunk. BUT, Be aware that many cars now have fold-down seats or a remote trunk release inside the car. These conveniences make your trunk vulnerable to thieves willing to break a window.
  • If at a mall or a shopping center, periodically go to the car and lock away purchases so they will not “disappear” when you put them down trying-on clothes or at the food court.
  • Safeguard your purse, wallet, bank cards, and personal information. Identity thieves thrive in this environment.
    • Keep close tabs on your children while shopping. With so many people it is easy for them to become lost. Make sure they
  • Know their full name, your full name, address, phone, and your cell or pager number to reach you if you get separated.
    insist children hold your hand in parking lots. Drivers won’t see them if they run ahead or behind you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings going to your car, going into and out of your house, and while at the ATM.

DON’T DRINK and DRIVE

SantaCoupon

 

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information on the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option

Victor Swindell

06/12/2018

Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas


In my last article, I said gave tips for the Christmas shoppers. In this article, I’m going to cover keeping your gifts and personal property safe.  Lot of us window shop during the holidays, including criminals. The difference is that while you’re looking thru store for things to buy, criminals may be looking in your windows for stuff to steal.  While we may have our minds set on Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men, we often become careless and susceptible to theft and other crime.

The following advice is from the Law Enforcement agencies which can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season. The same advice that I gave in the home invasion series still applies. If you are doing that stuff, you are in good shape.

  • ALWAYS Lock your doors and windows, even if you are leaving home for a quick trip to the neighbors, or need to run to the corner store for a few minutes. A thief only needs opportunity.
  • If you are going to be away from home for hours, days or weeks, have a neighbor or family member watch your house or check it out from time to time. Remember to put your mail and newspapers on hold.
  • If you are going away on vacation please ask your local law enforcement to check your house as you will be out of town
  • Make sure to set your home alarm every time you leave the house.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic random digital timer.
  • If you have a digital personal assistant (Alexa, Google home) see if they have a security skill you can set.
  • Leave a radio, or other music devices (on Talk Radio) or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • make sure that large displays of Christmas presents are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.  This provides thieves a motive to rob you.
  • Be cautious where you ‘Hide’ your presents, thieves know to look in storage rooms as well this time of year.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other decorations, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher, please remember to shake it the 1st of each month.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in or near your fireplace.
  • Be careful when answering your door.  Criminals also like to take advantage of this season to prey on those who are unsuspecting and generous
    • Be aware of Greeks bearing gifts. Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts as a means to get you to open your door.
      • Consider installing a doorbell camera that allows you to talk to the person without opening your door.
    • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during this time of year by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
    • If you are approached by a beggar (er fundraiser), ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.  Most cities require a special license.
    • Your safest bet is to pick your own charities or just donate to a recognized charitable organization.HolidayCoupon

 

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. – Victor Swindell

21/11/2018

Just one inch of wood


  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1.03 million home invasions occur each home-invasionyear.
  • Surprisingly, most burglaries occur between 10 AM and 3PM. Many homes are empty during this time while people are at work. Burglars know this and use it to their advantage.
    However, home invasions can occur at any time of day or night.
  • 3.7 million homes are broken into each year. That’s 7 homes every minute.

If you would, open either your front or your back door and look at the deadbolt plate. There is just one inch of soft wood protecting the safety of your home – your door casings cannot protect you from a thief kicking your door in.

This is what usually happens!

Yesterday, I was watching the local news and saw this story: http://www.live5news.com/story/30476518/daytime-burglary-string-reported-in-moncks-corner-13-homes-hit

According to the FBI Crime data, the easiest way for a criminal to get into your house is just to kick in your door!   Those same crime reports indicate that every 12 seconds a home is invaded by going right through the front or back door. This is called door frame failure.  The same statistical data indicates that 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon is the biggest break-in time.

So what can you do?

There are numerous steps that you can take to make your home less attractive to a burglar.

  • Have good door and window locks.
  • Install Door kick plates such as the Strike Master II or others. You can get them at090610_webcamthieves local hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. This makes it hard to kick your door in.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places. Please know that the one key hider rock in your yard isn’t fooling anyone. If you going to use a hider rock have lots of similar rocks in your garden and blend it in. or put it under the mulch around a plant in your yard.
  • Ask the police to come to give you a safety inspection, and they can make good recommendations…this is a FREE Service.
  • Install a Home Alarm System. Shop around for the system that best fits your need and income. This can range from Simply Safe, to ADT.
  • If you can’t afford one, you can simply buy the Stickers and a Sign to make them think you have one.
  • Get a good barking Dog.
  • If you don’t want a dog you can do a few things, such as just post a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign or even purchase a Barking Dog Alarm.
  • When you are not home, leave the radio on talk radio.
  • Secure your windows. This could include window alarms or many other ways that you can Google.
  • Leave lights on, or if possible have programmable lights. Some modern alarm systems allow you to control your light, you can tie these light to motion sensors. so that when the alarm senses motion, 30 seconds later a light comes on.
  • Secure Sliding Doors and Windows
  • Tall shrubs and overgrown trees are welcome hiding places for robbers to wait until the coast is clear to get into your house
  • If you are home in the daytime, come out every so often to look around. If all of your neighbors did this. I would cut down on crime.
  • USE Your Locks. You would be surprised at how many burglars simply open unlock doors and windows.
  • If you happen to be home when someone enters your home without permission, have a way to deal with them.
  • Read this blog for more tips.

PepperEyes Self-Defense, Safety and Security Store is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information about the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.  by Victor Swindell

31/01/2018

Thank you Lawdy I’ve won the sweepstakes


Yesterday I got a phone call from a friend of mine saying he had won some bletter1ig bucks in sweepstakes.

Right away I go in to ‘It’s a scam mode’.  What he told me is that he had got a call that he won a big prize in the PCH sweepstake, but it wasn’t the grand prize. He had talked to the lawyer and all the taxes had been paid and that they should have the check on Friday!.
Sound too good to be true…right?

I asked if he had actually entered the sweepstakes. He said yes.  One of the biggest red flags is winning a sweepstake you didn’t enter.

So I asked…did he know the lawyer.  He said “No, it was the sweepstakes lawyer…blah blah blah blah”
I said, “Ok, but you know anyone can come on the phone and say they are a lawyer, I get calls from people who claim to be from the IRS, US Commerce Department, you name it”.

And the person went on and on.

So I told him, first I don’t think you pay income taxes on money you haven’t received yet

According to http://mysweepstakescontests.com/online-sweepstakes-to-win/pay-taxes-on-sweepstakes-winnings/

“according to the US law, prize money won in any form should be reported along with your income to the tax authorities by the end of the year when you file your tax accounts without fail.”
So when people mention paying taxes up front… well, let’s just say.. I think it’s a scam.  I’ve gotten a call where the person told me I had won a million dollars, but I needed to pay the taxes via a money gram first.


I asked my friend if they had to pay anything to get this money- They said no.  He also assured me that he did not give the sweepstakes any personal info like Social Security Number, or bank account info.   I hope this is so, but this also serves as a flag, because this serves as a flag.  Hmm, now I’m wondering, how they paid the taxes without the social security number. You should only receive a 1099 Form with basic info.  I need to call him back and ask.

 

Now, I told him that when they receive the check, to deposit it and not touch it for a month. 1) You want the check to clear – it could be fake. 2) You don’t want the check to be reported as stolen.   I’ve actually received a FAKE cashier’s check. Even the bank could not tell me it was fake. However, after doing some research, I found out that it was a well-known  craigslist scam

I wish my friend well…but remember to be wise and cautious when ‘FREE MONEY’ is involved. Scammer prey on the weak, greedy and desperate.

Follow up:  When the big day came…no one from the PCH Prize Patrol showed up. He as disappointed.

Here is a Resource on PCH Scams
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-recognize-publishers-clearing-house-scams-896723

PepperEyes.com Self-Defense Products is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, survival and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high-quality discount self-defense products. Survival kits and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

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