"All the technology in the world won't overcome just locking your home like it's supposed to be locked," Apex police Lt. Joey Best told the ABC11 I-Team. "Sometimes keeping it simple is the best."
But that doesn't mean that bevy of options out there - cameras, motion detectors, smart locks, and video doorbells - are a waste of money.
Best, a former detective, said the video from homeowners' security cameras are increasingly reliable in catching suspects in both home and car burglaries.
"They may be acting in Apex tonight, in Cary tomorrow night, in Holly Springs the night afterwards," Best explained. "Typically, when we catch one, we'll catch more than one at the same time."
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According to research by Dallas-based Parks Associates, the home security industry generates some $15.2 billion, and there's plenty of room for exponential growth: just 24 percent of Americans choose to have security systems, either installed professionally or on their own.
Among all broadband households, 8 percent reported owning a smart door lock and 9 percent reported owning a networked security/IP camera.
Linda Boman of Holly Springs bought her husband, Jerry, a video-doorbell earlier this year for a birthday gift.
This Christmas, they were back at Lowe's looking for more at the store's brand new Smart Home front-end display.
"The next thing I'm going to be getting is a backdoor camera with a light that I can hook up with my floodlights," Boman said with a wide smile. "And it will be motion sensitive, so if anyone comes through the backdoor, it will turn on the lights and start the video."
According to Raleigh police, burglaries remain a popular crime during the holidays. Even without advanced security technology, there are several things you can do to protect your home:
- Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open
- Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have window locks
- Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track
- Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don't rely on your automatic garage door opener for security
- Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and TV's. Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, will deter criminals
- Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Installing low voltage outdoor lighting is a cost-effective way to discourage intruders, as well as highlight a house
- Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present
- Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your residence
- Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine - or posting on social media - telling people that you are away from home. A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim
- Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door