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9949RE: [MedievalSawdust] Let there be security! was Light!

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  • Tracy Swanson
    May 6, 2008
      I too have had to deal with security issues.
      My first house was in a questionable neighborhood that was trying to be raised back up into the realm of being respectable (for those of you who know OKC, it was NW 15th & McKinley, back in the mid 1980s). I was living with my brother next door to the house I had purchased with the intent of restoring it after vandals had set a fire in the bathroom. Although my Dad and I had thought we had secured the place, someone broke in and stole all of the tools that we were using, including a chop saw. This should have told me to abandon the project. We managed to procure more tools and finish out the house, where I lived for the next five years. In that five years I was broken into three more times, not including the times that they broke into my brother's house and his garage, which was set between our houses.
      The problem turned out to be a crack house two doors down from my brother's - the dealers weren't breaking in, it was their kids, who were apparently encouraged to do so. The garage was filled with bicycle parts that my Dad would use to restore bikes as a hobby. Once the kids saw what was in there, there was no way to keep them out. I got so disgusted with the situation that I nailed the door shut with 16 penny duplex nails, burying both heads into the wood. The very next morning I was awakened by the sound of pounding - the kids had kicked in the vent in the door, crawled in through the opening and were in the process of kicking the door open from the inside. Imagine the look of shock on their faces when the finally got the door open to find me standing in the way of their egress with a sword in hand, a few minutes later, my brother coming around the corner with his bow!
      No harm came to the kids, but they got the crap rightly scared out of them and they never came back (when the dealers finally moved out a pile of bicycle parts five feet high was found in their living room - which the police confiscated for the police auction).
      The thing that irritated me most about being broken into was the attitude of the police. Did you know that if you are a victim of robbery in OKC, you have to request a finger-printing unit? Otherwise they just stand around (once they finally get there) and fill out the report, then leave as soon as possible.
      When my lady and I were married, we rented a house in a much better neighborhood, but the area I was using as a shop had French doors - a natural weak spot in any security plan. I purchased a pair of heavy steel brackets from the hardware store, installed them into the door frame with 4" screws and then barred the door with a 2" x 6". Eventually I screwed a piece of plywood to the top of the bar so that it could act as a shelf, since I rarely ever opened the door. No one ever broke into that house.
      The simple fact is, a lock is only there to keep an honest person honest. If they have the intent of getting in, they will have the tools to do so, even if they had to steal them. Marking your tools is a good idea, but even engraved markings can be ground off. The chip idea is great, if you can afford it, but if the thieves know about it, it is a sure bet that they will know how to knock the chip off or crush it so it no longer works. I have found that good locks and bars work well - especially if you make a big deal out of carrying your swords, knives, crossbows, etc. into the house when you move in, and when you go to an event, archery practice, etc.. These sorts of weapons will repel thieves, whereas showing off your guns will merely encourage them to come in.
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