A story about a home robbery over the holidays reported by a North Carolina news outlet on New Year’s Day caught my eye. That’s because it illustrates the potential costly drawbacks of relying on a self-monitored security system.
A Raleigh, N.C. couple lost $1,500 in cash and electronics and also their “peace of mind” after three thieves invaded their home while they were away for the holidays, according to WRAL.com. The report excitedly touts that the couple has video of the burglary, which they have posted on YouTube in hopes of catching the thieves. But I can’t help thinking that if they had a security system that was professionally monitored 24/7 by a central station, the thieves could already have been caught and they wouldn’t have suffered the loss of their valuables and the terrible feeling of having their home violated.
Here are some more details from the WRAL.com report:
Matt Robinson installed eight cameras in different places around his home as a way to keep an eye on his dog.
The cameras can be accessed online or by using a smartphone, but Robinson said he and his wife had trouble pulling them up Saturday night while they were out of town for the holidays.
A relative went to their home to check things out and found the house had been burglarized.
"Three kicks is all it took" to break through the back door, Robinson said Tuesday.
He retrieved the video that recorded the burglary. It shows the three thieves casually walking around the house for nearly 15 minutes looking for valuables. One of them even used a knife to open a box.
"Imagine seeing your own house and people that should not be there going through your stuff. It is not a good feeling," Robinson said.
One of the thieves eventually noticed the video cameras and is seen in the video cutting the cables to at least one of them. Bleach also was poured over a box that records the video from the cameras, but it wasn't enough to erase the images of the burglary.
Robinson put the video on YouTube and has passed out fliers in his neighborhood, asking anyone who recognizes the people on the tape to call police.
The thieves stole about $1,500 in cash and electronics, he said, but they also took something on which he cannot put a dollar figure.
"It's very violating, unsettling, and you lose your peace of mind," he said. "That is hard to get back."
The burglary is also making national news on sites like The Huffington Post.