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After reading a recent post on this forum about the subject, I have a question.  Do you think having a safe in the house is a deterrent against theft, say, assuming it is a large one that might be a little hard to remove, as opposed to one just screwed in to the wall.  What are burglars looking for.  I would suggest that if you have a safe, that is a temptation for them, thinking there could be money in it or jewelry, as opposed to just important papers like escrituros, wills, facturas, etc.  Are they really just looking for things they can easily carry away, such as TVs, computers, ipads, cell phones, and jewelry left lying about.  I would like opinions please, with some people responding who have experienced burglaries on their property.  Thanks for your time.

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As an ex employee of Mosler Safe Co., I warn you about what is sold as a safe. Most "safes" are safe from fire. In the wall or free standing, they are very easy to "peel" the door. They are known as Records Safes. If you ever watched the series on buying storage units at auction you would have seen how quickly the new owners opened them. The doors are thick, but thick with fire insulation. Many user would put the combination on them so the burglar would not destroy it, but it usually had records and petty cash.

A money safe has at least 1/2 steel walls and door. You would most likely not find them here at an affordable price and they must be transported by experienced people. The best defense is to not keep valuables in your home.

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A number of years ago, acquaintances in a gated community were robbed.  They were out of town.  And this was probably an inside job.  The thieves actually broke through the cement outer wall to the garden from the empty lot next door...there were electric wires on top of the wall, neatly bypassed ...there was a major safe, quite large, too large to move, with far too many valuables in it and not insured.  The thieves broke in to the safe with heavy heavy tools, and got it all.  And other friends have lost smaller safes, picked them up, walked out.... or unscrewed.  Lots of ways to get in I think.  

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When trying to protect against amateur intruders, anything that slows them down or presents a problem is helpful so a wall safe might be good. When a pro targets your home it's usually because they are fairly certain they can make serious pesos from the job. They come prepared and usually know exactly what obstacles they will face. May well even have a lookout should you choose to return sooner than expected. The lookout may just warn them to get out or may take action against you to prevent you from thwarting their adventure. Attempt to not look rich and if you are good luck with trusting that maid or gardener or even the alarm installer. When faced with giving your key to a bad guy or having a relative possibly die due to no money for medical care, even the most honest person can be tempted.

The risks of all different kinds of bad things happening NOB are even much greater, IMHO, so protecting our home here the best I can is a task I gladly accept.

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A free standing restaurant I worked in had a heavy steel safe. It was bolted to the floor. Burglars broke in, ground off the heads of the "theft proof " lags and used an office chair as a dolly to roll it out. So if somebody wants your stuff and knows where it is they'll get it if they want it. 

That said, if I was to have a real safe, I'd buy it out of town and install it myself in a hidden location in the house. I'd make sure only my wife and I knew it existed. 

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Arroyo wrote:   Do you think having a safe in the house is a deterrent against theft, say, assuming it is a large one that might be a little hard to remove, as opposed to one just screwed in to the wall.  What are burglars looking for.  I would suggest that if you have a safe, that is a temptation for them, thinking there could be money in it or jewelry, as opposed to just important papers like escrituros, wills, facturas, etc.  Are they really just looking for things they can easily carry away, such as TVs, computers, ipads, cell phones, and jewelry left lying about.

As you know break and enter crimes are performed in a myriad of ways.  Some steal only on a cash and carry basis – anything easily portable and convertible to cash, others go for larger items and have the equipment in which to transport it.   Crooks come in all ages and all sexes and perhaps the modus operandi could be cross linked, albeit generalized, to age.   And do not forget your maid.   Maids are great kleptos of jewelry and all things portable.

 

My suggestion is make your decisions on a few generalities.   One crooks like quiet.   So a noisy alarm can do wonders if set up so its not easily disabled.   Crooks like to be in and out quickly.  So by all means get a small safe and bolt it to the wall.   Do that as a diversion.  They do work well at keeping a maid or other workers sticky fingers from stealing the family jewels.   Don’t keep anything more than a few sheckles inside and a few irrelevant papers.   Hopefully while they waste time removing the safe they won’t have time to pilfer your valuables.   Do not keep cash in the freezer, first place they look.

 

If you have a small room or pantry with one door access I think a great idea to build a steel wrought iron ornate door with three locks, top middle and bottom, that opens out.   Your ironworker can make it hard to get into.  Put in an alarm switch on it like you can with a car.   Sure it can be opened but it takes time and special tools.   The reality is, anything can be broken into given the expertise and desire of the perpetrator.  Time and noise are your friends in this equation. 

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My thoughts from several years ago:

If you were my parents, these are the things I’d tell them.  They've been here and they understand completely.  When they come to visit us, they feel very safe, obviously! There are several of us that I believe lived through the worst of times here years ago in 2012. I truly love living here and I’m glad there wasn’t ever the thought of leaving.  

If only we could guarantee that there would never be a break in by the level of security we install.   I use to be a great advocate of the gated communities but not anymore.  There were incidents in the different gated communities.  People get over walls and fences.  We don't want to create fear by chatting about this topic but be realistic.  I'm a huge home security advocate and many people feel they are somewhat on their own down here.  Our home is very secure, in my opinion yet I realize some people wouldn't be comfortable living in the area we live in.  I'm a very sensitive person, could be easily frightened(with reason) and admit it, but in time I do overcome each scare and fortunately, no one else in the family is like me :)  Just so you know that I'm very sensitive, aware and love living here!!!!

I live in the frame of mind that there are potential problems and try to avoid them. In my opinion, there isn't one area that is safer than the next from Chapala to Ajijic.  Others will have their opinion of San Juan Cosala to Jocotepec, I have some opinion but haven't lived there.  There are people in all areas that live without incident and many opinions about degrees of security. Security is a very personal matter.  Each one needs to do what they feel comfortable with.  We have lived in our home for over 7 years without an incident.  We lived in the village, had a break in when we lived in an apartment in San Antonio T. and we learned from our mistakes.  It's important to get used to home security like security for a car.  We get used to it and it's not any big deal.  I have personally driven by many homes and talked with home owners and renters that had an incident and I know that my home is more secure than theirs were when they had problems.  Doing that helped me to realize that the threat was much lower for us because we have been proactive about home security. It isn't fool proof but practical; sleeping and living well makes it all worth it.

Our home defense is layered. Our home isn't visible from the road. High rock wall 9-10 ft with razor wire and thorny vines growing through. Metal electric gates that double fold out so they cannot be pushed open from outside.  If the power were cut, it'd be a royal pain to get any door open.  We know from experience.  The walk thru gate has a high security lock camera intercom.  It is not a flimsy lock that people say are "punched" out.  

Next layer of defense are two police/military trained personal protection guard dogs(ppd).  My dog can attack an armed man in a car.  I can't recommend a work dog or ppd more. If I couldn't have anything, I'd want a ppd.  They're wonderful companions and they know what to do if you're in trouble.    

We have LED flood lighting, decorative bars, especially important for windows and doors left open.  They need to be welded to the house not screwed in or they may be pulled off.   Homes have had their bars cut.  The neighbor heard the noise, which sounded like lawn equipment.

Inside we have two alarmists, they're ankle biters.  The arm biters stay outside, they are NEVER tied up or confined, how then can they protect us if they are confined?  
 
We have the security cameras and are able to check the house while away from any computer or smart cell phone with internet.   Cameras are installed high and out of reach. As a homeowner with security cameras for 7 years now and the many power outages that we have, I can safely say a couple have been replaced twice, one is still an original but humidity and power surges burned some of them up.  We bought a new system earlier this year replacing the old one.  The day the neighborhoods have a homeowner with security cameras covering every street will be a great news.  One doesn’t have to sit and monitor the cameras but check that they are working and if and when they hear of a problem, it sure helps to be able to review the recording.  It is especially helpful to know the day and approximate time.  Our cameras only hold recordings for up to 2 weeks and then it cycles off.   

I sleep with a charged cell phone programed for the Chapala police on my nightstand.  It's recommended to keep an air boat marine horn or battery operated mega phone if you can bring one from the states and or a can of Raid.  Even the alarm on your car being accessible from your key chain could be helpful on your nightstand.  You could install cheap window alarms that are battery operated and will call you or a friend if broken into.  There are electric dog barking alarms that a person in Jocotopec told me works well.  This is a great option for someone who can’t keep a dog.  Some homes have a high level security system with battery backup that will give an electric jolt that could potentially kill a person if cut.  They have sirens that are deafening.  Home owners were surprised the robber wasn’t dead after being thrown when he cut the alarm.  

Do tuck away valuables in places that aren't normal and don't tell ANYONE, unless it's a family member or a person who will be responsible if something happens to you.  Some homes have a safe.  DO NOT let anyone know you have one of those...scary, that alone can make you a target.  Even if you only keep papers in it that are important to you and no one else.  Homes have been robbed and those things were crow barred out of cement!  Not worth it.   Do not use your bedroom to hide things.  If your home were touched, the bedroom is one room completely torn apart inside out.  Forget it.  Some people have special furniture with secret compartments, but if that were hauled off what good would it be?  One year a house had even the furniture taken.  I think they may have had a nice piano if my memory serves me right.

If you ever talk to people that had a break in while they went to the store for less than an hour and ask what rooms were destroyed then think about it.  I tell those people that whatever area wasn't messed up, that's where you have to hide your stuff that is valuable.   That’s what I learned after our home was broken into in the village.  

Whatever you do, someone will say it's not fool proof.  Make sure your home isn't the home with the least amount of security and where ever you look whether renting or buying, look at the other homes in the area and whoever has the most amount of security, at least have that much security built into your home.   It's proven, in general, that if you have several homes, the home easiest to get into will be targeted.  

You can do the other obvious things, a timer for lights, leaving the tv or radio on while away.  Join or create a very good Neighborhood Watch Group on Facebook or email.

My feeling is that if we're home, I want a warning.  If we aren't home, we've done the best we can. You may be a person or know of a person that has high walls, can't see his house from the road and that's it, never had an incident.  Wonderful for them!  Some people have guns, some people have machetes and pipes inside.  Some people lock their bedroom doors with extra locks.  You do what you need to do to feel comfortable.  We've got the whole gamete here and know one will complain about keeping people OUT of their stuff and protecting their lives!   

 

 

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7 hours ago, MyHomeSweetHome said:

My thoughts from several years ago:

If you were my parents, these are the things I’d tell them.  They've been here and they understand completely.  When they come to visit us, they feel very safe, obviously! There are several of us that I believe lived through the worst of times here years ago in 2012. I truly love living here and I’m glad there wasn’t ever the thought of leaving.  

If only we could guarantee that there would never be a break in by the level of security we install.   I use to be a great advocate of the gated communities but not anymore.  There were incidents in the different gated communities.  People get over walls and fences.  We don't want to create fear by chatting about this topic but be realistic.  I'm a huge home security advocate and many people feel they are somewhat on their own down here.  Our home is very secure, in my opinion yet I realize some people wouldn't be comfortable living in the area we live in.  I'm a very sensitive person, could be easily frightened(with reason) and admit it, but in time I do overcome each scare and fortunately, no one else in the family is like me :)  Just so you know that I'm very sensitive, aware and love living here!!!!

I live in the frame of mind that there are potential problems and try to avoid them. In my opinion, there isn't one area that is safer than the next from Chapala to Ajijic.  Others will have their opinion of San Juan Cosala to Jocotepec, I have some opinion but haven't lived there.  There are people in all areas that live without incident and many opinions about degrees of security. Security is a very personal matter.  Each one needs to do what they feel comfortable with.  We have lived in our home for over 7 years without an incident.  We lived in the village, had a break in when we lived in an apartment in San Antonio T. and we learned from our mistakes.  It's important to get used to home security like security for a car.  We get used to it and it's not any big deal.  I have personally driven by many homes and talked with home owners and renters that had an incident and I know that my home is more secure than theirs were when they had problems.  Doing that helped me to realize that the threat was much lower for us because we have been proactive about home security. It isn't fool proof but practical; sleeping and living well makes it all worth it.

Our home defense is layered. Our home isn't visible from the road. High rock wall 9-10 ft with razor wire and thorny vines growing through. Metal electric gates that double fold out so they cannot be pushed open from outside.  If the power were cut, it'd be a royal pain to get any door open.  We know from experience.  The walk thru gate has a high security lock camera intercom.  It is not a flimsy lock that people say are "punched" out.  

Next layer of defense are two police/military trained personal protection guard dogs(ppd).  My dog can attack an armed man in a car.  I can't recommend a work dog or ppd more. If I couldn't have anything, I'd want a ppd.  They're wonderful companions and they know what to do if you're in trouble.    

We have LED flood lighting, decorative bars, especially important for windows and doors left open.  They need to be welded to the house not screwed in or they may be pulled off.   Homes have had their bars cut.  The neighbor heard the noise, which sounded like lawn equipment.

Inside we have two alarmists, they're ankle biters.  The arm biters stay outside, they are NEVER tied up or confined, how then can they protect us if they are confined?  
 
We have the security cameras and are able to check the house while away from any computer or smart cell phone with internet.   Cameras are installed high and out of reach. As a homeowner with security cameras for 7 years now and the many power outages that we have, I can safely say a couple have been replaced twice, one is still an original but humidity and power surges burned some of them up.  We bought a new system earlier this year replacing the old one.  The day the neighborhoods have a homeowner with security cameras covering every street will be a great news.  One doesn’t have to sit and monitor the cameras but check that they are working and if and when they hear of a problem, it sure helps to be able to review the recording.  It is especially helpful to know the day and approximate time.  Our cameras only hold recordings for up to 2 weeks and then it cycles off.   

I sleep with a charged cell phone programed for the Chapala police on my nightstand.  It's recommended to keep an air boat marine horn or battery operated mega phone if you can bring one from the states and or a can of Raid.  Even the alarm on your car being accessible from your key chain could be helpful on your nightstand.  You could install cheap window alarms that are battery operated and will call you or a friend if broken into.  There are electric dog barking alarms that a person in Jocotopec told me works well.  This is a great option for someone who can’t keep a dog.  Some homes have a high level security system with battery backup that will give an electric jolt that could potentially kill a person if cut.  They have sirens that are deafening.  Home owners were surprised the robber wasn’t dead after being thrown when he cut the alarm.  

Do tuck away valuables in places that aren't normal and don't tell ANYONE, unless it's a family member or a person who will be responsible if something happens to you.  Some homes have a safe.  DO NOT let anyone know you have one of those...scary, that alone can make you a target.  Even if you only keep papers in it that are important to you and no one else.  Homes have been robbed and those things were crow barred out of cement!  Not worth it.   Do not use your bedroom to hide things.  If your home were touched, the bedroom is one room completely torn apart inside out.  Forget it.  Some people have special furniture with secret compartments, but if that were hauled off what good would it be?  One year a house had even the furniture taken.  I think they may have had a nice piano if my memory serves me right.

If you ever talk to people that had a break in while they went to the store for less than an hour and ask what rooms were destroyed then think about it.  I tell those people that whatever area wasn't messed up, that's where you have to hide your stuff that is valuable.   That’s what I learned after our home was broken into in the village.  

Whatever you do, someone will say it's not fool proof.  Make sure your home isn't the home with the least amount of security and where ever you look whether renting or buying, look at the other homes in the area and whoever has the most amount of security, at least have that much security built into your home.   It's proven, in general, that if you have several homes, the home easiest to get into will be targeted.  

You can do the other obvious things, a timer for lights, leaving the tv or radio on while away.  Join or create a very good Neighborhood Watch Group on Facebook or email.

My feeling is that if we're home, I want a warning.  If we aren't home, we've done the best we can. You may be a person or know of a person that has high walls, can't see his house from the road and that's it, never had an incident.  Wonderful for them!  Some people have guns, some people have machetes and pipes inside.  Some people lock their bedroom doors with extra locks.  You do what you need to do to feel comfortable.  We've got the whole gamete here and know one will complain about keeping people OUT of their stuff and protecting their lives!   

 

 

Great advice. Great ideas. 

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I guess if you like to live like that good for you but if I had to live that way I would have left  long long ago.. I have lived in Ajijic  for 17 years  and have an alarm that will warn me if people approach the house nothing more, we have a big arden with lots of bushes so I like to know if someone is around at night.. We have high walls and dogs but I do not count on them to protect us.. We have a cell phone and a phone and that is it.. I just do not want to be surprised in the midle of the night but if we are not there  and we get burglurized have at it.. We do not have any valuable, and the cell phone is with me.. I guess I could lose my laptop and that is about it.. 

We live 6 to  month of the year in Chiapas in a house in town. Without any protection  Thee was an alarm but it kept going on and we disconnected it.. We have a couple of patios there and high walls and great neighbors and we sleep with all the windows and doors open, never had a problem in the last 10 years and the neighborhood is smack next to the market area and the indigenous colonias which are not the safest...

I cannot imagine living  in an armed camp with guard dogs when we do not have valuables.. 

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11 hours ago, MyHomeSweetHome said:

My thoughts from several years ago:

If you were my parents, these are the things I’d tell them.  They've been here and they understand completely.  When they come to visit us, they feel very safe, obviously! There are several of us that I believe lived through the worst of times here years ago in 2012. I truly love living here and I’m glad there wasn’t ever the thought of leaving.  

If only we could guarantee that there would never be a break in by the level of security we install.   I use to be a great advocate of the gated communities but not anymore.  There were incidents in the different gated communities.  People get over walls and fences.  We don't want to create fear by chatting about this topic but be realistic.  I'm a huge home security advocate and many people feel they are somewhat on their own down here.  Our home is very secure, in my opinion yet I realize some people wouldn't be comfortable living in the area we live in.  I'm a very sensitive person, could be easily frightened(with reason) and admit it, but in time I do overcome each scare and fortunately, no one else in the family is like me :)  Just so you know that I'm very sensitive, aware and love living here!!!!

I live in the frame of mind that there are potential problems and try to avoid them. In my opinion, there isn't one area that is safer than the next from Chapala to Ajijic.  Others will have their opinion of San Juan Cosala to Jocotepec, I have some opinion but haven't lived there.  There are people in all areas that live without incident and many opinions about degrees of security. Security is a very personal matter.  Each one needs to do what they feel comfortable with.  We have lived in our home for over 7 years without an incident.  We lived in the village, had a break in when we lived in an apartment in San Antonio T. and we learned from our mistakes.  It's important to get used to home security like security for a car.  We get used to it and it's not any big deal.  I have personally driven by many homes and talked with home owners and renters that had an incident and I know that my home is more secure than theirs were when they had problems.  Doing that helped me to realize that the threat was much lower for us because we have been proactive about home security. It isn't fool proof but practical; sleeping and living well makes it all worth it.

Our home defense is layered. Our home isn't visible from the road. High rock wall 9-10 ft with razor wire and thorny vines growing through. Metal electric gates that double fold out so they cannot be pushed open from outside.  If the power were cut, it'd be a royal pain to get any door open.  We know from experience.  The walk thru gate has a high security lock camera intercom.  It is not a flimsy lock that people say are "punched" out.  

Next layer of defense are two police/military trained personal protection guard dogs(ppd).  My dog can attack an armed man in a car.  I can't recommend a work dog or ppd more. If I couldn't have anything, I'd want a ppd.  They're wonderful companions and they know what to do if you're in trouble.    

We have LED flood lighting, decorative bars, especially important for windows and doors left open.  They need to be welded to the house not screwed in or they may be pulled off.   Homes have had their bars cut.  The neighbor heard the noise, which sounded like lawn equipment.

Inside we have two alarmists, they're ankle biters.  The arm biters stay outside, they are NEVER tied up or confined, how then can they protect us if they are confined?  
 
We have the security cameras and are able to check the house while away from any computer or smart cell phone with internet.   Cameras are installed high and out of reach. As a homeowner with security cameras for 7 years now and the many power outages that we have, I can safely say a couple have been replaced twice, one is still an original but humidity and power surges burned some of them up.  We bought a new system earlier this year replacing the old one.  The day the neighborhoods have a homeowner with security cameras covering every street will be a great news.  One doesn’t have to sit and monitor the cameras but check that they are working and if and when they hear of a problem, it sure helps to be able to review the recording.  It is especially helpful to know the day and approximate time.  Our cameras only hold recordings for up to 2 weeks and then it cycles off.   

I sleep with a charged cell phone programed for the Chapala police on my nightstand.  It's recommended to keep an air boat marine horn or battery operated mega phone if you can bring one from the states and or a can of Raid.  Even the alarm on your car being accessible from your key chain could be helpful on your nightstand.  You could install cheap window alarms that are battery operated and will call you or a friend if broken into.  There are electric dog barking alarms that a person in Jocotopec told me works well.  This is a great option for someone who can’t keep a dog.  Some homes have a high level security system with battery backup that will give an electric jolt that could potentially kill a person if cut.  They have sirens that are deafening.  Home owners were surprised the robber wasn’t dead after being thrown when he cut the alarm.  

Do tuck away valuables in places that aren't normal and don't tell ANYONE, unless it's a family member or a person who will be responsible if something happens to you.  Some homes have a safe.  DO NOT let anyone know you have one of those...scary, that alone can make you a target.  Even if you only keep papers in it that are important to you and no one else.  Homes have been robbed and those things were crow barred out of cement!  Not worth it.   Do not use your bedroom to hide things.  If your home were touched, the bedroom is one room completely torn apart inside out.  Forget it.  Some people have special furniture with secret compartments, but if that were hauled off what good would it be?  One year a house had even the furniture taken.  I think they may have had a nice piano if my memory serves me right.

If you ever talk to people that had a break in while they went to the store for less than an hour and ask what rooms were destroyed then think about it.  I tell those people that whatever area wasn't messed up, that's where you have to hide your stuff that is valuable.   That’s what I learned after our home was broken into in the village.  

Whatever you do, someone will say it's not fool proof.  Make sure your home isn't the home with the least amount of security and where ever you look whether renting or buying, look at the other homes in the area and whoever has the most amount of security, at least have that much security built into your home.   It's proven, in general, that if you have several homes, the home easiest to get into will be targeted.  

You can do the other obvious things, a timer for lights, leaving the tv or radio on while away.  Join or create a very good Neighborhood Watch Group on Facebook or email.

My feeling is that if we're home, I want a warning.  If we aren't home, we've done the best we can. You may be a person or know of a person that has high walls, can't see his house from the road and that's it, never had an incident.  Wonderful for them!  Some people have guns, some people have machetes and pipes inside.  Some people lock their bedroom doors with extra locks.  You do what you need to do to feel comfortable.  We've got the whole gamete here and know one will complain about keeping people OUT of their stuff and protecting their lives!   

 

 

Is this a joke?  This can't be for real - who would live like that?

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My take on this - and it is only an opinion -is that much of the opportunist burglaries are carried out by construction workers, often working for less  than the going rate, hired by opportunist contractors. Others are working under false names, working for cash. Not to denigrate the many hard working folks of San Juan Cosala village, but this often where these workers are recruited. Apparently, many moved there anticipating a construction boom in El Chante - which never happened. Many of them have worked in Guadalajara, and have picked up stimulant addiction like meth. They burn out, and return home to the village. So then they have a chance to pickup some low rate construction work, but it takes them over 2 hours on the bus to travel to the job site and back - everyday. I am pretty sure many of them, especially up here in hills, sleep rough in the surrounding forests and arroyos during the week. They get paid cash on Saturdays, that is when then travel home, cleanup, and hand over their pay packet. It seems to me, that most burglaries in the suburban fraccs and condos, occur near these forests and arroyos. They can observe when people come and go, have access to all types of tools, are strong and wirey. If you are hiring any contractor, who will be bringing in outside labour, ask the contractor for a copy of the voting card for anybody who is going to be on your property (so they are who they say they are) and a criminal record check (less than 100 pesos at the police department). This may be wishful thinking however, because very few contractors are willing to take this precaution. Apparently, many of the younger workers have no voting cards yet.

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Although I agree that very often the burglaries happen when construction workers are around especially if they are not local or if local when connected to some gang.. however I know for a fact that when a woman and her maid were held up at gun point several years ago in Las Salvias. Construction workers from San Juan are the ones who geot the thieves when they left the property and thanks to them  what was stolen was recovered by the woman..  At the time I was helping at the MP and these guys did not want it to be known that they got the guy or that they were from San Juan.. So again we cannot generalized.

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As a contractor who does repair work on my house told me "We built these houses, we can always get in if we want to".

A "good thief" given time can find everything but most thieves are amateurs.  Leave them something small to find and they quit looking.

If I were going to burgle your house, I'd start with the refrigerator, then the bedroom, then radiate out from there.  There are literally 1000s of places to hide stuff in a house.  They can't look in all the places.  People start looking at eye level and lower, seldom look up high. If you don't mind doing a little repair work, buy a cheap safe and have it installed, just don't put anything of value in it.  Or go get a handful of costume jewelry and toss it in.    

Camera, even fake ones. mounted high tend to deter thieves.  

Go on Google and google "lock picking".  There was never a lock made that can't be defeated.

I went down to get an emission sticker and they couldn't get the lock to the office open.  They went next door to the metal shop and an old guy with a crowbar and a hammer destroyed the lock with 2 blows.  Mexican "master key".

When I lived in GA, I lived deep in the country.  Had a big yard and garden.  Bought 2' of 8" plastic pipe, a glue on end and a screw on end and buried it in the corner of the garden.  Not very convenient, but totally safe.  However, I had 2 old maids that lived 1/2 mile away that were better than a camera.  They had binoculars and saw everything that moved. 

 

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3 hours ago, Joyfull said:

I agree with you Guinness. I don't think I would live here if I had to have that much security.

Mexicans live like that...is the only way for them. police does not care about complaints.

The other alternative is furniture with hidden places to hide valuables...

 

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This sounds terrible, but it makes sense. I was always told to make sure that my house was not the first or second or even third easiest house to break into. That way if there has to be a burglary in your neighborhood, make sure your home will not be the one they choose to break into.

I have a very good exterior electric and alarmed barb wired fence and or wall around our perimeter. Have a dual door bell, one labeled  for the watchman, and the other for the owner.(Make it publically known that you have a watchman)  Have multiple cameras, both fake and real making your house not looking like a safe house to break into.

Also make sure that the alarm systems have battery backup power so that someone cutting the power to the house doesn't turn the alarms off. Let the potential burglar know that you and your watchman are armed and that we don't want to harm you. I could go on and on.

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On 7/28/2017 at 1:34 AM, MyHomeSweetHome said:

My thoughts from several years ago:

If you were my parents, these are the things I’d tell them.  They've been here and they understand completely.  When they come to visit us, they feel very safe, obviously! There are several of us that I believe lived through the worst of times here years ago in 2012. I truly love living here and I’m glad there wasn’t ever the thought of leaving.  

If only we could guarantee that there would never be a break in by the level of security we install.   I use to be a great advocate of the gated communities but not anymore.  There were incidents in the different gated communities.  People get over walls and fences.  We don't want to create fear by chatting about this topic but be realistic.  I'm a huge home security advocate and many people feel they are somewhat on their own down here.  Our home is very secure, in my opinion yet I realize some people wouldn't be comfortable living in the area we live in.  I'm a very sensitive person, could be easily frightened(with reason) and admit it, but in time I do overcome each scare and fortunately, no one else in the family is like me :)  Just so you know that I'm very sensitive, aware and love living here!!!!

I live in the frame of mind that there are potential problems and try to avoid them. In my opinion, there isn't one area that is safer than the next from Chapala to Ajijic.  Others will have their opinion of San Juan Cosala to Jocotepec, I have some opinion but haven't lived there.  There are people in all areas that live without incident and many opinions about degrees of security. Security is a very personal matter.  Each one needs to do what they feel comfortable with.  We have lived in our home for over 7 years without an incident.  We lived in the village, had a break in when we lived in an apartment in San Antonio T. and we learned from our mistakes.  It's important to get used to home security like security for a car.  We get used to it and it's not any big deal.  I have personally driven by many homes and talked with home owners and renters that had an incident and I know that my home is more secure than theirs were when they had problems.  Doing that helped me to realize that the threat was much lower for us because we have been proactive about home security. It isn't fool proof but practical; sleeping and living well makes it all worth it.

Our home defense is layered. Our home isn't visible from the road. High rock wall 9-10 ft with razor wire and thorny vines growing through. Metal electric gates that double fold out so they cannot be pushed open from outside.  If the power were cut, it'd be a royal pain to get any door open.  We know from experience.  The walk thru gate has a high security lock camera intercom.  It is not a flimsy lock that people say are "punched" out.  

Next layer of defense are two police/military trained personal protection guard dogs(ppd).  My dog can attack an armed man in a car.  I can't recommend a work dog or ppd more. If I couldn't have anything, I'd want a ppd.  They're wonderful companions and they know what to do if you're in trouble.    

We have LED flood lighting, decorative bars, especially important for windows and doors left open.  They need to be welded to the house not screwed in or they may be pulled off.   Homes have had their bars cut.  The neighbor heard the noise, which sounded like lawn equipment.

Inside we have two alarmists, they're ankle biters.  The arm biters stay outside, they are NEVER tied up or confined, how then can they protect us if they are confined?  
 
We have the security cameras and are able to check the house while away from any computer or smart cell phone with internet.   Cameras are installed high and out of reach. As a homeowner with security cameras for 7 years now and the many power outages that we have, I can safely say a couple have been replaced twice, one is still an original but humidity and power surges burned some of them up.  We bought a new system earlier this year replacing the old one.  The day the neighborhoods have a homeowner with security cameras covering every street will be a great news.  One doesn’t have to sit and monitor the cameras but check that they are working and if and when they hear of a problem, it sure helps to be able to review the recording.  It is especially helpful to know the day and approximate time.  Our cameras only hold recordings for up to 2 weeks and then it cycles off.   

I sleep with a charged cell phone programed for the Chapala police on my nightstand.  It's recommended to keep an air boat marine horn or battery operated mega phone if you can bring one from the states and or a can of Raid.  Even the alarm on your car being accessible from your key chain could be helpful on your nightstand.  You could install cheap window alarms that are battery operated and will call you or a friend if broken into.  There are electric dog barking alarms that a person in Jocotopec told me works well.  This is a great option for someone who can’t keep a dog.  Some homes have a high level security system with battery backup that will give an electric jolt that could potentially kill a person if cut.  They have sirens that are deafening.  Home owners were surprised the robber wasn’t dead after being thrown when he cut the alarm.  

Do tuck away valuables in places that aren't normal and don't tell ANYONE, unless it's a family member or a person who will be responsible if something happens to you.  Some homes have a safe.  DO NOT let anyone know you have one of those...scary, that alone can make you a target.  Even if you only keep papers in it that are important to you and no one else.  Homes have been robbed and those things were crow barred out of cement!  Not worth it.   Do not use your bedroom to hide things.  If your home were touched, the bedroom is one room completely torn apart inside out.  Forget it.  Some people have special furniture with secret compartments, but if that were hauled off what good would it be?  One year a house had even the furniture taken.  I think they may have had a nice piano if my memory serves me right.

If you ever talk to people that had a break in while they went to the store for less than an hour and ask what rooms were destroyed then think about it.  I tell those people that whatever area wasn't messed up, that's where you have to hide your stuff that is valuable.   That’s what I learned after our home was broken into in the village.  

Whatever you do, someone will say it's not fool proof.  Make sure your home isn't the home with the least amount of security and where ever you look whether renting or buying, look at the other homes in the area and whoever has the most amount of security, at least have that much security built into your home.   It's proven, in general, that if you have several homes, the home easiest to get into will be targeted.  

You can do the other obvious things, a timer for lights, leaving the tv or radio on while away.  Join or create a very good Neighborhood Watch Group on Facebook or email.

My feeling is that if we're home, I want a warning.  If we aren't home, we've done the best we can. You may be a person or know of a person that has high walls, can't see his house from the road and that's it, never had an incident.  Wonderful for them!  Some people have guns, some people have machetes and pipes inside.  Some people lock their bedroom doors with extra locks.  You do what you need to do to feel comfortable.  We've got the whole gamete here and know one will complain about keeping people OUT of their stuff and protecting their lives!   

 

 

The first thing that came to my mind was where is the Gatling gun. Sounds like an armed encampment/prison. But the weather is the best. 

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