Neighborhood Security

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
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garylm-p40
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Neighborhood Security

Postby garylm-p40 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:45 pm

We've had a wave of home break-ins in our stake recently. The neighbor behind me got hit last week, and now the alarm companies are going door-to-door, selling their systems, and security signs are popping up on front porches.

Last winter there was a strange pickup truck roaming the neighborhood taking snowblowers off front porches. They even hooked up and drove off with an unlocked cargo trailer.

The policeman that worked with my neighbor said that there are so many burglaries going on now that it is unlikely that they would catch the thieves in the act, even if your alarm service auto-dialed the police at the moment that your alarm went off.

The person who robbed my neighbor showed up on video camera at a convenience store, trying to use a canceled credit card. Even though the cashier recognized the person caught on tape as a regular customer, the police still haven't been able to find the person.

We haven't instituted a neighborhood watch in our area, but my in-laws who do neighborhood watch say that thieves are so bold now that they do their crimes in broad daylight, in plain sight, and even taunt the watchers coming and going.

I wonder if there is anything outside of prayer that can be done to deter crooks. It's pretty depressing to think how helpless we are. Perhaps there is a tech answer to protecting our neighborhoods.

I've thought about putting up an infrared illuminated camera to capture all traffic in and out of the neighborhood. There are probably privacy issues that would require permission from all the neighbors who might have their actions recorded. And even with a face or license plate on video, I don't know what the police could do with that information. And there's not enough time on the evening news to show everyone's robbery videos and beg for leads. Video systems can get quite expensive, and I wonder if it would be possible to get a number of neighbors to cooperate in a video surveillance project.

Another idea that might work is to simply have a very noisy alarm that makes it painful to be inside your house and maybe have it be noisy enough to wake up the retired couple next door.

Any tech ideas?

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:00 pm

High tech
GPS locators on you expensive equipment (computers, cell phones, wallets, jewlery box) they won't pervent a robbery but they will help you catch and recover the stolen goods.

APRS is similar to GPS equipment but if you have your Ham License they are easy to build. A story to go with this:
A Ham operator left his car outside his house during the night. It was stolen and he called the police and told them exactly where it was going

A little introduction about APRS: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ajmckinnon/aprs.htm

Just a few ideas.
- David

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garylm-p40
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Postby garylm-p40 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:01 pm

APRS sounds like fun. But when the police impound your car as evidence, they may not let you retrieve your HAM rig.

The best we can hope for is to keep the crooks out in the first place or minimize the damage if they do get in.

How about tech as a deterrent? Interior or exterior lights on timers? How about an electronic dog with a loud bark? I'm thinking maybe have a DLP projector that shines random shadow patterns on the walls and ceiling to make it look like people are moving around inside.

Any success stories of cooperating with the neighbors? Maybe have a shared neighborhood spreadsheet of who is home and who is away and who else has access to the house, and emergency contacts, and cell phone numbers, and what deliveries are expected, and who will be mowing the lawn and collecting the mail?

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:39 pm

I'd go to the police for suggestions. Start a neighborhood watch.

The best thing of course is to find ways to make your stuff less attractive to them. Lock things up. Make it harder to break in. Mark all your stuff so it's harder to fence.

By in large, technology isn't the answer to this problem. Improperly applied, it can even lead to legal trouble.

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Postby rmrichesjr » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:37 am

garylm wrote:...

How about tech as a deterrent? Interior or exterior lights on timers? How about an electronic dog with a loud bark? I'm thinking maybe have a DLP projector that shines random shadow patterns on the walls and ceiling to make it look like people are moving around inside.

...


That's an interesting idea unless the bad guys figure out it's a DLP projector and break in to steal the projector, or until a neighbor sees motion inside the house and knows you're away and calls police.

The neighborhood spreadsheet with information on who's home and who's not could be problematic if a neighbor, a guest of a neighbor, or a cracker who has control of a neighbor's computer gets hold of it.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:12 am

I've been asked to keep our topics more closely related to technology for Church issues. While protecting our families and neighbourhoods from thieves is great, it falls somewhat outside of what our forums are to be focused on.

Thanks for understanding.

Tom

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garylm-p40
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Postby garylm-p40 » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:40 am

tomw wrote:I've been asked to keep our topics more closely related to technology for Church issues.


That makes me sad. I'm going to miss the 500th post celebrations.:p

Living in a neighborhood in which at least 70% of the residents attend the same Church, at the same published time, for the same 3-hour block, on the same day of the week, leaving all of our homes unattended in a predictable pattern, I thought security solutions might be Church and tech related.

I suppose I could limit my discussion to more Churchly pursuits, but if I don't feel secure in my neighborhood, there are not going to be many Churchly pursuits.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:27 am

garylm wrote:Living in a neighborhood in which at least 70% of the residents attend the same Church, at the same published time, for the same 3-hour block, on the same day of the week, leaving all of our homes unattended in a predictable pattern, I thought security solutions might be Church and tech related.

I suppose I could limit my discussion to more Churchly pursuits, but if I don't feel secure in my neighborhood, there are not going to be many Churchly pursuits.

I understand your point. To be honest it can be very difficult to separate out relevant topics to this forum vs topics that would be better suited for other forums elsewhere. Especially if you live in Utah and in communities with high populations of members, it is easy to see almost any technical issue being related to the Church.

Think of myself and the other moderators as the umpires at a baseball game. We sometimes have to make calls about a post that others may not agree with. It's part of the job. But it in no way means that someone who throws a "ball" is not an excellent participant. We value everyone's input and ideas. We have just been charged with keeping the "game centred around the rules". ;)

Tom


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