Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re safe from burglars! Sadly, the days where a pensioner could leave their door open for neighbours to check they are OK is long gone.
Over a 9 day period in October, 29 men and women aged between 70 and 89 were the victims of a spate of violent thefts in the West Midlands.
The intruders rang the door bell. They wore high visibility vests and looked official. When the door was opened, they told residents they were the Police or from a utility company.
Some victims were sprayed in the face with a substance. Others were threatened with a brick. Then their doors were kicked in and the residents were interrogated about their valuables. The thieves were looking for cash and jewellery. If they didn’t reveal where these were, their homes were ransacked.
The victims were left terrified. And in one instance, an elderly lady had to be taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Are you relying on your door chain for protection?
A chain on your door is not enough to protect you from a man who is determined to gain entry. As these poor pensioners discovered.
The cheapest form of protection in this instance is a wireless doorbell. It can be operated from your smart phone. The bell rings, you can see who is at the door and decide whether you want to answer it or not. Sadly, some elderly people are not able to cope with the technology of a smartphone. And, if not installed correctly, there can be issues with hacking.
Access control you can rely on
So, the best option is an intercom. The caller presses the button. If you have audio only, you can hold a conversation and decide whether you want to open the door. If you have a video intercom, you can actually see who is calling and ask for them to show identification before you decide whether to open the door.
If you’re not totally convinced by your caller, you don’t need to go anywhere near your front door. And you can call the Police to alert them.
On the plus side, not all pensioners are victims. Take the recent story about Ms Willie Murphy. This 82 year old lady gave a burglar more than he bargained for.