…someone tried to break into our house while we were out yesterday, in broad daylight. They broke the lock on our sliding glass back door, and were apparently trying to lift it out of the track (to get around the physical barrier of a stick we leave in the track for added security) when our alarm system went off and apparently scared them away. A couple of our neighbors heard the alarm and came to investigate, but the would-be invader(s) had apparently already fled over the back fence.
I called the police non-emergency number and reported it, and after some confusion, they took the information about it and said that police analysts would use it to watch for patterns in the area, and try to match it to certain suspects.
I have to ask… what kind of idiot tries to break into a house with prominently posted alarm system signs, where they can see the very obvious alarm system motion sensors from the place they tried to break in? And where there wasn’t anything particularly valuable in sight? We don’t even have a flat-panel TV, only a ten-year-old tube TV, and not a particularly large one. I know your average thief isn’t an intellectual heavyweight, but this one must have been particularly deficient in that regard.
In any case, it’s a good thing we do have an alarm system, and that we always activate it when we go out. It’s the first time in the ten years we’ve had it that it has actually caught someone, but I added up all the money we’ve spent on it and its monitoring… if they’d gotten in and stolen just the easily-found and easily-moved computer equipment, it would have cost about three-quarters of that amount to replace, not counting the lost data (the off-site backup would have preserved the bulk of it, but not the last few weeks worth). If they’d taken our (very dated) game consoles, games, DVDs, or any other valuables as well, it would have cost us far more. And who knows how many other sneaks may have been scared off over the years by the advertised presence of the alarm system? Not to mention the peace of mind of having a monitored fire alarm as well. And the latch on that door could have used replacing anyway, though I’d have preferred not to be forced into it.
All in all, we came out of it pretty well.