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Post by farndale on Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:49 pm

We have visited Lakeside twice and will be moving from Toronto full-time in April or May. How can we minimize the chance or frequency of break-ins at a rental or owned house?

I know some answers are in other threads... (1) care in hiring household staff, (2) Spencer’s mention of a pilot program for police background checks / ID card for possible staff, (3) don’t let strangers into your house, (4) don't provide a key to people, but also…

Is security better in a gated community or in a town centre such as Ajijic or Chapala etc? (I have a feeling there will be a vigorous duality of opinion here!)

Are there some neighbourhoods which are better than others? Someone told us that El Parque has not had any break-ins in its whole history. But we think we'd prefer a centro.

What advice on burglar alarms, razor wire, etc?

Other?

Thanks in advance.
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Post by eagles100 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:44 pm

My belief is that security bars are a must.  Some people don't like having bars on their windows and doors but if you look at the Mexican houses, they have bars so why wouldn't we?  Ask yourself, can a child get in?  If so, it needs a bar.  It's been known that they put a child through a small window who then unlocks doors, windows.  We also have security cameras that we can access via our cell phone and an electric fence. Put a lock on the carport because if there is an automatic door opener, they can just push their way in.  If you have patio doors, put metal poles (not pvc) on the bottom so they can't bend the door, pvc bends.  Have high walls and metal pokey fencing or razor wire on the top.  The point is, the harder it looks to get in, they will hopefully pass your house and go to an easier one, sadly for the others.

For neighbourhoods, nowhere is completely safe so I'd say take the proper precautions.  Some "gated" neighbourhoods are not really gated; their are openings or the gate isn't attended all the time.  

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Post by eagles100 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:52 pm

Another thing: If you rent a house with little security, perhaps you'd want to help pay to have more security added or better yet, find another house with the security needed. I probably sound paranoid but security is of the utmost importance here and anywhere, even in Canada.
Do lock your car at all times, keep purse close to your body, be aware; basically, act like you're in any major city, ex: Toronto.
Please don't be turned off by all the security needed; it's just normal here. I feel many people NOB are lax in their own cities and communities so they feel like what we need here is extreme. Oh well, just my opinion.
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Post by Pedro on Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:08 pm

we have bars only on the widows that face the street and the wall of our courtyard is 12 feet high.it's a working class mexican neighbourhood and in 8 years nobody here has been broken into,neighbours or us, nor has any of our help temporary[construction/repairs] or regular help done the deed on us. crappy work sometimes if ya wanna call that robbery.. i can't say the same fer where we came from in canada. busted into 4 times, 2 places in edmonton and once in ponoka.
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Post by Lady Otter Latté on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:02 pm

There is nothing magic about gated communities. They get broken into also -- some more than others. The real security is up to you.
I live in a working class Mexican neighborhood, joining walls up and down the street. To come in the back, intruders would have to go through neighbors´ yards. I and everyone around me have dogs. They bark whenever someone approaches. There are bars on most everyone´s windows. Another advantage to a Mexican working class neighborhood: there are always people home and everyone knows who belongs on the street and who does not.
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Post by David on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Good locks, dead bolts, bars, a alarm system, alarm signs posted front near all doors.  Burglary is most common crime here.  Also, a good safe for your valuables and documents.
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Post by eagles100 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:19 pm

David wrote:Also, a good safe for your valuables and documents.

Yes, a safe that bolts to the wall from the inside of the safe itself so they can't just run off with it. And put stuff in front of the safe so it's not visible.
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Post by CanuckBob on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:35 pm

A simple rule of thumb....... If it is not locked up or behind bars it will get stolen. The thieves will typically go for the easiest target so don't be the easiest. As far as the hired help goes.....be sure to get references and have Spencer do a criminal background check. If you are using a contractor be sure he is reputable and will stand behind his employees. Other than that. don't worry, be happy. Some people get far too carried away and might as well live in Sing Sing......jaja.
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Post by Grizzy on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:46 pm

Get to know your neighbors, and get to know the regular vehicles usually parked around your home. Make your house harder to break into than houses in the area. If anyone is working in or outside of your house, be home and be involved. Keep valuables out of sight.
Don't be paranoid, use common sense.
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Post by kipissippi on Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:09 pm

Wouldn't it be cool if you could have a motion detector trigger a recorder with the sound of an angry rattlesnake?....  Very Happy
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Post by SunshineyDay on Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:40 pm

Good one!

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Post by sparks on Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:55 pm

farndale wrote:We have visited Lakeside twice and will be moving from Toronto full-time in April or May. How can we minimize the chance or frequency of break-ins at a rental or owned house?

I know some answers are in other threads... (1) care in hiring household staff, (2) Spencer’s mention of a pilot program for police background checks / ID card for possible staff, (3) don’t let strangers into your house, (4) don't provide a key to people, but also…

Is security better in a gated community or in a town centre such as Ajijic or Chapala etc? (I have a feeling there will be a vigorous duality of opinion here!)

Are there some neighbourhoods which are better than others? Someone told us that El Parque has not had any break-ins in its whole history. But we think we'd prefer a centro.

What advice on burglar alarms, razor wire, etc?

Not sure you are really ready .... but start with not hiring anybody for anything until you talk to a lot of other people.  Accept no references from people you don't know.

Basically get your ass down here and figure it out bit by bit and don't have a bunch of valuables until you have some idea.   It's complicated and not for the real light of heart

Don't need a SAFE if you have no junk valuables .... leave them home or sell them
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Post by juanrey on Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:53 pm

There are those that can live in gated communities and those that cannot. I've lived in 2 different ones over the past 3 years and feel totally safe and secure. So, I think gated communities offer a lot more security. Not all gated communities are the same, but the ones I have been in are very safe. I sleep with the sliding glass door open at night and don't worry a bit. But, you cannot do that in all of them.
I knew if we suffered a break-in, my wife would be on the next plane home, so the gated community works well for our life style.
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Post by Chapalagringa on Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:42 am

Our homes need to be our fortress and layered with defense.   Do we leave our vehicles unlocked, windows down and running with our belongings visible?  No.  Same thinking applies to home.  Home security becomes natural just like locking your car door and turning on the alarm, with the windows rolled up of course.  If you ask a Mexican about home security, even the government of Mexico will recommend higher walls and a guard dog be left in a locked parking area outside the home.  Rottweilers and belgian malinois are very popular guard dogs.

We live out a bit off of the main highway.  It's an area that struck me as a high break in area the first time driving here and yet that's where we built our home and love it here!  I'm a huge advocate of thinking ahead and have written numerous posts about not being a sitting duck.   We learned a lot living in the village after having a break in while shopping one evening.  I'll never be able to replace some of the things that are now just a memory.  

Here's some things to think about.  Plan ahead, do the best you can and live in peace.   I agree with the others that there are some gated communities that may be less of a hassle to secure, if that type of living suits your needs.  Security is very personal and you need to do what makes you feel comfortable because it's your home and life.  I've personally met with home owners and driven by many of the homes that had problems in the past and have yet to see one that I think should not have had a problem, not one.  One home looked pretty good but it had a flimsy lock on the gate that was punched out.  One home had high walls and an alarm all around the perimeter of the property but the gate had a flimsy lock, robbers never tripped the alarm.

Look at a potential property from the street.  Is it visible or is there a high wall?  Can you figure a way in if you were a young spry kid?  Could you sneak around and figure a way in?  What if you had a ladder or were able to cut or throw something over a wall to gain access?  If not, could you punch a lock on a door/gate to gain access into the property?  Do the best you can to secure the exterior, don't make it easy to get in.  Cactus, thorny vines, razor wire, high walls will help.    If you choose to live out a ways, it is really important that robbers can't sit out front of your home and imagine how they will gain access.  Does the parking area have a gate?  Which way does it open?  Robbers have been known to push them open, even with a gate opener.  Gates that fold out so they can't be pushed in from outside are more secure.  Keep your ladders locked up.  

When I look at our property from the outside there's several things we have as a deterrent.  High walls with razor wire and thorny bugambilia vines, security cameras, well lit with flood lighting outside and in the property, intercom system with camera and high security lock.  Security cameras are pretty great.  We can travel and from the phone, we can check on our home.

You will want to have decorative bars on windows, skylights or doors left open at night.   If you're able to bring in a boat horn to have on a night stand, a big blow would be frightening to a potential intruder.  That was recommended by a senior from the Florida area.  I guess that's what they do in Florida to alarm intruders and alert neighbors.

Our greatest defense are two personal protection guard dogs (ppd) that we trained at Wolf's police/military canine school in Tlajomulco.  My dog is trained to attack an armed man, even in a vehicle, what more could I ask for in a dog?  A dog  doesn't miss their target.   It's pretty amazing to have a ppd.  My thinking is that only an idiot and even then, I don't even think an idiot would bother trying to get in here there are literally 100's of other homes in the area with less security than mine.  People have argued that they could be poisoned.  They've been trained not to eat from strangers that's the best I can do about that.  They could be shot.  Well, my thinking is that if a robber shoots my dog, they've done 2 things.  Alerted us, giving us time to call for help and they've alerted all the neighborhood, so that'd be pretty dumb.  I'd rather not be home if something happened but if we ever had a problem, I want a warning to ask for help and I think we've done the best we can.  If you can't handle a dog, perhaps a barking dog motion alarm could help

 

Be part of an virtual neighborhood watch group.  Create a group through social media with privacy settings for the group, ask questions if there is suspicious persons or vehicles.  Keep the lines of communication open amongst your neighbors.  There's been several times over the years that my neighbors and I called the cops and had suspicious people hauled out.

If you do some shopping and happen to have boxes for tv or computer for example, burn or have the boxes taken away to be thrown out away from your home, could be helpful.

If you ever talk with someone that's had a break in, they'll certainly tell you that the bedroom was turned upside down. Don't hide anything in places you've heard that robbers look. Be creative about putting things away when you leave the house. If the cops come, don't tell them where you hid things that weren't stolen  Shocked 
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Post by Chapalagringa on Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:16 am

with regards to areas that may be considered safer...I feel a bit more comfortable with Chapala police over Jocotepec police.  They are not the same but last year there was a big clean out of police in the Jocotepec area and things improved greatly.

There isn't any area that could be excluded from a crime wave which can be predicted to happen around the holidays, village fiestas, and warm seasons before the rains when people leave their windows open at night.  Robbers are sneaky and fast.  A lot of times they hop in and out of homes when a resident leaves for only 1 hour during 12-1 p.m. for example.  It's much easier to be proactive and try to avoid a situation, live your life than be concerned when things start moving.    Expats will typically post on a forum when their area has been hit. This year, although some situations have come up, it has been fairly quiet compared to 2-3 years ago, very quiet.   We are feeling the effects of 2-3 years ago along with the poor economy NOB and immigration law changes, there are significantly less expats right now.  This has lowered the inflated home prices and really, it's a great time to buy if you'd like to move here.  Everyone that I've spoken to agrees that things are much better from Chapala to Jocotepec regarding security.  Maybe similar to 10 years ago or 2006 before the US realty companies moved in and US expats drove prices sky high out here.  I think this is what home prices ought to be.

I listened to a neighbor whose home is backed against the carratera Chapala a Guadalajara. 2-4 rottweilers, high walls, can't see their home from the street so have no idea what their home looks like and they've never had an incident in over 10 years. I learn from them about living on the outskirts but it applies anywhere.  

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Post by Pedro on Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:29 am

the above 2 posts makes ya think this area is as bad or maybe even worse than jane and finch-eh farndale!
tell ya what-bring yer canoe and rent/buy right on the lake so ya kin escape all this criminality tout de suite.
i have been known to run with scissors so i just threw out a coupla electronics boxes and a dewalt drill case right in the regular garbage-GASP! not only that all my neighbours know i have a complete workshop and get my help as necessary-golly gee whillackers[howie meeker].
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Post by hockables on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:00 am

your typical bad guy here has little or no income and possibly a drug habit... they view NOB types as RICH... certainly richer than they're ever gonna be...

keep your shiny bobbles to a minimum... chains, rings, bracelets, cars, etc...

security is good... obviously... but, at the end of the day, you can go to Walmart and get yourself another TV & DVD player...

don't sweat the small stuff... but don't be a victim either

COMMON SENSE

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Post by eagles100 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:08 am

Don't need a SAFE if you have no junk valuables .... leave them home or sell them

If you have a passport and an immigration visa, you have valuables.
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Post by martygraw on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:22 am

hockables wrote:your typical bad guy here has little or no income and possibly a drug habit... they view NOB types as RICH... certainly richer than they're ever gonna be...

keep your shiny bobbles to a minimum... chains, rings, bracelets, cars, etc...

security is good... obviously... but, at the end of the day, you can go to Walmart and get yourself another TV & DVD player...

don't sweat the small stuff... but don't be a victim either

COMMON SENSE

Well said Hocks
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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:22 am

Your documents and such would be far safer in an old food box in the back of your fridge, pantry or freezer. A safe is an obvious target and cause for them to return when you are there to open it for them........IMO.
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Post by hockables on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:45 am

martygraw wrote:
hockables wrote:

Well said Hocks

Thanx Marty... I have my moments    Beer 


*********************************************************************

Passport & Visa Documents are valuable to their owners.... they have zero value to a burglar...

They are looking for CASH ( see safe ) and Things that can be Converted to CASH quickly and safely ...

I keep $300 - $400 operating cash at home... for going out or if the gas guy come by...

it also acts as a security feature...

In the event of a break-in or home invasion .... they have their prize now, and can leave!!


Last edited by hockables on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by eagles100 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:50 am

Passport & Visa Documents are valuable to their owners.... they have zero value to a burglar...


Whether they are valuable or not to a burglar, they are being stolen and they are a PITA to replace.  Passports are known to be sold.
My husband's NOB licence plate was stolen right off his vehicle so go figure; they'll take anything.
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Post by slainte39 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:01 am

Yeah, I had an old, expired passport lifted in a car wash or mechanics shop that I kept in the glove box for ID. Maybe they thought it was current. It would take someone with some expertise to utilize a passport for another person, not your local B&E, fence guys, but I suppose there is a market somewhere.

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Post by viajero on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:18 am

CanuckBob wrote:Your documents and such would be far safer in an old food box in the back of your fridge, pantry or freezer. A safe is an obvious target and cause for them to return when you are there to open it for them........IMO.
I agree,a safe is probably a bad idea,there are plenty of places to hide your valuables where your average burglar would not think to look.

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Post by slainte39 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:36 am

CanuckBob wrote:Your documents and such would be far safer in an old food box in the back of your fridge, pantry or freezer.

That's the first place I woud go if I broke into Hox's house...lookin' for those special brownies.   Shocked

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