Special Report: What your home says to criminals - Tucson News Now

Special Report: What your home says to criminals

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

After being broken into twice in the last four years, Betty Wood simply had enough.

"When I come home and shut the door, I always lock it behind me," the Tucson resident says, closing the front door of her northwest-side home.  "And then I close this (security) door and lock it behind me, too."

She spent nearly $10,000 on new doors, new locks, new security screens -- you name it.

To the lay person her home is a veritable fortress.

"While I won't be intimidated, I'm not going to be stupid either," Wood says, explaining why she allowed KOLD News 13 to come to her home and provide a security assessment.

"So I really appreciate you guys coming and showing me something else I can do to be safe."

Meet Keith Duncan.

He's KOLD News 13's home security expert.  He's also an insurance agent with All-State.

"I like the landscaping," Duncan says, as he looks at Betty Wood's home for the first time.  "I like the fact that it's clean; there's no real place for a bad guy to hide."

Criminals like to lurk in the shadows cast off by untrimmed trees and plants, Duncan says.  That's not a problem in this case.

"If I'm a bad guy once again, I'm looking for the quietest, darkest place I possibly can"

Hence the need for better lighting around the darkest parts of Betty's house.

Coincidentally, a rear corner is the same place a burglar broke in here four years ago.

"They came over the fence...and came here," Wood says, pointing to one of her bedroom windows.  "The big cactus was here, but they still got through the cactus, broke through the window."

Fast-forward to today and this solar-powered, motion-sensing light should do just the trick scaring any bad guys away.

"So motion sensor lights," Duncan says, "I love them because they're an extra set of eyes in the middle of the night.

"If I'm a bad guy and I'm sneaking around and that light goes off, I'm gonna ask did anyone see that? Can anyone see me and is there an alarm that goes with the motion sensor that's inside?"

Speaking of alarms, Duncan says one part of this home that was especially vulnerable was the storage room connected to the back of the house.

"Really, this window's right here ... but if I'm a bad guy, I can break in and get in," Duncan says simulating a forced entry.

What's worse is some of the items found inside.

From the common shovel -- "absolutely one of the most devastating burglar tools ever invented," Duncan says -- to a series of hand tools that could be used against you or your home, these items can all do a lot of damage.

Make sure they're out of plain view, Duncan says.  At the very least, make sure they're locked up.

That's why our security expert recommended an alarm that goes off anytime storage room door is breached. 

"This is really simple," Duncan says. "This sits on the inside of the door and if the door opens it sets off a very loud alarm."

Even better it only costs about 20 bucks.

"This way...if a bad guy is breaking in ... she or one of her neighbors is gonna hear about it," Duncan says.

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