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A Cat Burglar in Richmond

Many people think the noise of a burglar entering would be enough to wake the occupants but a professional burglar can enter with minimal noise either by timing a window breaking noise to occur at the same time a car or truck drives past, or by picking a low quality lock (no, I’m not going to detail how this is done but there are many locks that are simply not very secure) or even by simply walking in to an unlocked house.

In the case of forced entry –  that a burglary has occurred is generally pretty obvious. A forced lock, a broken window or slashed screen – these are dead giveaways. As bad as a burglary of this kind is, at least you have certainty. Certainty that you have been burgled and certainty as to where the burglar was able to access your property. More insidious is the burglary that does not become apparent until you do a bit of investigation. 

I got a call out to a house in Richmond to do a security check of a property where the owner suspected she had been burgled. The burglary was not a typical one in that there was no obvious forced entry into the property and it was difficult to determine what had been stolen. Two bottles of spirits were missing from the liquor cabinet… But my new Richmond client did have two teenage sons… There was money missing from her purse but not all of it and an older but still serviceable smart phone was left inside the handbag which contain the purse.  What kind of burglar would not take all the money and left behind seemingly valuable items such as smart phones?

From my experience there was only two possible answers. It was an inside job and not a burglary at all or was someone who had found a way to access the property at night and was intending to continue stealing from it hoping to go unnoticed for some time.

I completed a security check of the premises and determined the door and window locks were adequate. The windows even had security grills.  It was looking more like an inside job till I noticed the catflap. Catflaps are small, too small for a human to enter by… but some models allow a stick to be poked through and up, and allow a door handle to be pulled down.  The front door could not be opened without a key from the outside even if the deadlock was not bolted… but it could be opened from the inside without a key if someone could just reach the handle and pull it down.

I advised the client to ensure the Front door was always deadbolted at night… but she was reluctant to do this, fearing exiting the property in case of a fire would be more difficult.  Instead she opted to change the cat flap to a model that can only be opened by your cat.  It’s an ingenious device, your cat door is programmed to match with your cat’s microchip and will only open for your cat. If someone forces it open by breaking the flap, it will set off an alarm. Not only does this prevent your neighbour’s cat entering you house through the cat flap and stealing the cat food but it prevents entry of a creative “cat” burglar!  Oops, sorry about that last joke… but it is seemed the puurfect way to end this story. J

I am yet to learn of the outcome of this cat flap installation – I will report back on this in the near future.