What your home says to criminals - Tucson News Now

What your home says to criminals

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

From the department store, to the bakery, to that shiny new car on the showroom floor, we all like to go window shopping.

Unfortunately, burglars are no exception.

They too have a wish list of prized possessions.

Oftentimes they do their window shopping right at your front door.

"I like the landscaping... I like the fact that it's clean, there's no real place for a bad guy to hide."

Meet Keith Duncan.

He's a local insurance agent with All-State.

He's also a home security expert who provides advice to clients about better securing their homes and businesses.

"If I'm a bad guy once again, I'm looking for the quietest, darkest place I possibly can," Duncan says, walking into the backyard of a northwest-side home. 

"Home security is all about layers," he says.  "It's not about wrought iron or I have a dog, I have an alarm. It's about three, four, five steps of layered security."

On this day, we introduced Duncan to long-time KOLD News 13 viewer Betty Wood.

She's lived in the same Northwest side home since 1976 and never had a problem until about four years ago.

"They came over the fence and came here," Wood says, recalling that day back in 2009. "The big cactus was here, but they still got through the cactus, broke through the window."

That was the first of three break-ins, Wood says.

Fortunately, she never came face to face with any of the burglars.

But she did lose more than $10,000 in property.

When we asked what that did to her peace of mind, Wood said it only motivated her to do more.

"I refuse to be intimidated in my own home, so I didn't look at it like that," Wood says. "What I looked at is how can I make myself more secure and safe?"

Precisely why we're here today.

To point out a few quick fixes...

"Another thing that might help is maybe a motion sensor light up here," Duncan says, pointing to a dark corridor behind Wood's home.

And to make you consider some things, maybe you've never considered before.

"So often I see your tools used against you to break into your house," Duncan says, holding a hammer, a pry bar and a hatchet found inside a storage unit next to Wood's house.

Whether you leave them in your yard or an easily accessible place, something as common as a shovel just might be the first thing any street-level thief is looking for.

"So often people leave this sitting outside their house," Duncan says, shovel in hand.  "I can use this as a pry bar.  I can use this as a battering ram. You have a second story, I can latch up to it and climb up--this is a devastating burglar tool, but people leave it out and about."

Stay tuned to Tucson News Now over the next month as we take a closer look at home security.  We'll tell you what the experts have to say...and show you what you can do yourselves for less than $200.

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