Home Security

For a lot of this year I’ve had trouble deciding if I should move or not. My primary reason for wanting to move is the thefts. Two bikes, a smashed car window, and my car stereo missing since I’ve lived here. That’s a lot of thefts for just under 2 years. This is a nice neighborhood and I love this apartment. It’s perfect, it has central air, and it’s really cheap. I like pretty much everything about it. The neighborhood is nice and quiet. The neighbors across the street are old and nice and bring me stuff. Warren and the others next door are insane, but they’re not bad neighbors. They’re not loud and I don’t really have any problems with them. This is assuming that Warren isn’t responsible for my thefts, of course.

Warren used to have a lot of people coming and going at all hours. He’s clearly a drug user. His father and sister (who both live over there) seem okay though. All kinds of his friends used to park next to my car and I bet one of them looked in and saw my car stereo, so they smashed my window one night. I’m sure I wrote about all this back when it happened. Warren is definitely a suspect in the thefts. But who knows, maybe it’s just completely random.

The thing that bugs me about the most recent bike theft is that I had the gate padlocked and the bike locked to the bike rack. They cut the padlock and the bike lock. Someone is walking around the neighborhood with bolt cutters. Or it could just be the people that Warren had visiting for the week prior to that. Them and their vans disappeared after that happened. That’s a pretty bold move, chopping locks off of things. How long before they decide to break into my house?

If I move, I’ll definitely pay more rent. This place is really cheap and is technically 3 bedrooms. Everything else I find that will work is $600 – $900. So at the very least, I’d pay an extra $100/month to move. But probably more than that. My reasoning for staying is this – I could instead blow an extra $100/month on beefing up security around here.

I have a pretty good alarm system that I installed, I think last year. It will call my cell phone if the alarm is tripped. It’s only hooked to the back door, but I could put it on the front too if I wanted to. Its wireless sensors are crappy, so I have to use the wired sensors. But it works perfectly with the wired sensors. I also put motion sensor security lights outside. I upgraded them last week since the old cheap ones weren’t being very reliable. I also installed a plug inside on the opposite side of the security lights that only turns on when motion is detected and the lights turn on. I bought a toddler toy from Goodwill the other day that I’m going to plug into it. So whenever the lights are tripped, I’m going to be asked questions about the alphabet for about 60 seconds before it turns itself off. I really love this part of my home security. It’s so weird and ghetto. I bet nobody else in the world has something like this.

Yesterday at Home Depot I picked up a security camera that I’m going to aim into the patio area. Eventually I’d like to get another one and aim it at the car. Today I checked online and found some kick ass security camera software for $29.00. It emails and/or text messages you pictures when it senses motion. Plus you can log in and check it remotely. I’m really gonna love that. I also bought a hotel-like door lock for the back door and window security bolts for all the windows in the house.

I know it seems like I’m being way too paranoid about breakins. But this all seems way cheaper than moving. And it makes me feel a lot better about leaving the house, considering that last theft. Plus it’s fun to do all this. I’m gonna get the camera mounted maybe tomorrow. I’m going to stick it out for a while longer here and see how it works out. Maybe I’ll put a decoy bike out there once I get the camera up, just to see if someone takes it. I don’t even know where else in Albany to move. What if I move to another area and things are even worse?

Oh, another thing about Warren. The past two weeks they’ve stopped locking their gates when they used to keep it locked 24/7. And they’ve got 3 or 4 bikes back there, none of them locked up. Why don’t these bike thieves ever go over there? They did used to have things stolen – people were actually going over the fence to steal things from them. But Warren told me that it was someone he knew stealing from him and he put an end to it. Which is another reason to think that Warren or his friends are responsible for all this.

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