Staying Safe In Retirement & Leisure

Discussion in 'Retirement & Leisure' started by Sandy Wood, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Sandy Wood

    Sandy Wood Active Member
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    As most of you know I have been working on this old house and being pretty happy about it. But I was not prepared when I discovered someone had invaded the privacy of my home. I was shocked and scared to learn that someone had been in my house and had hid in the attic while I was at home. The only thing taken was some medication, but they also stole my peace of mind.
    I was content and happy, in my home. I was job searching and moving forward, trying to move past the loss of my mom, and suddenly I could not move at all. I was frozen by fear trying to figure out how this or these people got into my home and would they come again. The police did not reassure me.
    Thus new locks on windows and doors, became a top priority. Even with new locks I would block doors or jam a chair underneath a door handle to stop entry. I covered windows to keep prying eyes out and my heart raced and body shook, as I lay in bed at night listening to the sounds in and out of my home. Thus they stole my restful sleep.
    I discovered I was losing gas from my car. Each week when it was topped off in filling which should have been less then ten dollars turned out to be almost twenty dollars. I left outside lights on and checked my car before going to bed and then during the night to no avail. A locking steering wheel bar and locking gas cap stopped that loss. But it was a loss that stole my faith in my fellow man.
    It has been almost a month since that discovery day and once again I am moving forward more careful with the knowledge that we are living in a new era where others no longer respect older people and that it is important to keep watch as we go about our daily lives. Keep your doors and windows locked day and night, and be prepared to prevent the loss of your freedom and your peace of mind, by knowing someone may be watching as you come and go.
    Most important is don't let fear of knowing keep you rooted in one spot. If you notice something odd report it to the police. Tell your neighbors so they can be on alert as well. Safe guard your home and enjoy your retirement and live a life of leisure.
     
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  2. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    This is a scary story. I cannot imagine an intruder inside our house. It would surely scare us because intruders here enter the house not only to steal but also to kill. In our village, there were so many incidents of break-ins some years back that records would show injuries inflicted on the home owner and one owner was even killed. Surely, you cannot have peace of mind especially if you are living alone in your home. That is another reason why we have 2 housemaids - they take care of our 3 dogs and at the same time they man the house when my husband and I are away.
     
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  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    My God Sandy, what a shocking time you've had lately..I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you. You're right, people, particularly if they've lived in a safe place for a long time, do tend to get complacent, and feel we're safe in our own homes. Sadly , today regardless of how good or bad an area is we are all potential victims of crime, so the best thing is to keep yourself as security conscious as possible.

    You're bound to be in shock now...I know that feeling having been burgled myself some years ago, and it took me a long time to get over it, and I wanted to move immediately to anywhere else..however I live in one of the safest places in the UK, so I had to accept it was just one of those things, and probably unlikely to occur again..and more likely if I moved elsewhere, so I stayed put, and just put as you have, a lot of extra security in place.


    You're going to feel unsettled for a while, that's natural, but try not to let it rule your life...these people are scum, and you mustn't allow them to adversely affect your psyche.


    Take good care of yourself..
     
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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    So very sorry to hear this Sandy - Holly has said it, don't let this incident rule your life, although by your post
    I doubt it will, you just need time
    Sincere good wishes to you for peace of mind and happiness in your future :)
     
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  5. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Well-Known Member
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    That is scary. How did this intruder get out of the attic? Did you call the police?

    I don't think I would ever live in a house alone again. I had nasty neighbors and they were the ones I feared.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Frightening, to say the least. Our home is always thought of as sacrosanct, inviolable, we hope. Nonetheless, during our second winter sojourn here to the desert, forced entry was made into our old farmhouse in Missouri. Much of my wife's collection of antique glassware, as well as our computer, was dashed to the floor. My small safe, down in the sunporch, was either unfound, or ignored. It contained many firearms. There was broken glass everywhere. The door of the microwave oven had been manually rent nearly off the hinges. The bathtub in the unused bathroom, walled closed by temporary means, contained feces deposited there.

    We were alerted to this devastation by a neighbor, who had determined the back door had been broken open. Other neighbors, ostensibly outraged by this intrusion of privacy, cleaned up the extreme mess, in our absence, 2000 miles away. Whether their intent was completely honorable is immaterial. We trusted them. Upon our return from AZ, we imagined that a neighbor nearby, upset at my refusal to sell an adjacent parcel of land to him, (he was preparing to move away), had paid others to perpetrate the devastation.

    We had, by then, and most fortunately, a buyer for the property who had already become owner of a major portion, who was unconcerned about the breach of security.

    Strange as it may seem, as far as we could determine, absolutely NOTHING had been stolen! The main effort was driven towards breaking up household goods. We surmised that the perpetrator was fully aware that ":Breaking and Entering" was far less criminally punishable than Breaking and Burglarizing.

    Frank
     
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  7. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Well-Known Member
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    How horrible Frank. Can't even imagine finding that. It certainly sounds like it could have been that sick person bent on a revenge.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I can surely imagine how unsettling it would be to find that someone has been hiding in your home while you were there, which would be far worse than having someone break into your house while you away.
     
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  9. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    That is terrible @Sandy Wood I can only imagine how I would feel if that happened to me. I remember one time many years ago I arrived home from work to find someone had been in my apartment. It was an eerie and unsettling feeling. The police came and dusted for prints, as I mentioned this was quite some time ago. It turns out the culprits were strongly suspected to be children because the only thing that was determined to be missing was candy, which had been wrapped for Christmas, so I can imagine how violated you must feel.
     
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  10. Sandy Wood

    Sandy Wood Active Member
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    Thank you so much for all your supportive comments. Yes, I was in shock and in a sort of panic as mentioned to figure out someone was in my home while I was there was very scary, and to have them come back one night and try to get in the backdoor while I was home was worse as in the fact they did not care that I was home. So my home is now locked down and I feel sad needing to do this. I discovered this morning how they had managed to gain entry to my car which was locked. They slit the rubber seal that holds the window in place. I had opened the door and bumped the window and it wobbled. Upon closer inspection I noticed the rubber going toward the front of car was sliced almost to the V section and this makes the window unstable. Since I have been running the air conditioner lately I had not had the window down and had not noticed the window being loose. Now I have more damage to repair.
    I was talking to someone today who said it sounded more like revenge since the only thing taken was meds and they just played with other things, but took time to put my toothbrush in something very horrible and moved things, broke nothing, only other then my peace and quiet. I still do not know who did it, but I hope they are done with me.
     
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  11. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
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    OMG! Sandy, I know how you feel, almost. Just this past week, in my backyard one day I heard what was like cement on cement scrape. I was cooking and the kitchen door of our apt. leads to our tiny backyard. We finished eating, I went outside and saw my heaviest potted plant moved a full feet. It shook me up for we have a wall separating us from the outside. It happened on a Sat. when the working people were not there who have a parking lot right on the other side of my backyard wall then the business people's warehouse appears. It's a weird feeling that someone uninvited was there and let you know they were there. We lock our back door all the time now. The Landlord put a thick chicken wire on our windows that face our backyard to guard us and I felt secure. Now we are more careful, looking out the window before we go out to the backyard, the funny thing is they must be watching and waiting until the business people leave for the weekend to invade our backyard...premeditated attack. I sprinkled salt, ilto chase away evil and to remove evil from the backyard. I Prayed for protection and safety for our home and for my family. I was recently told about Saint Joseph, who can bring you financial gain. Saint Michael protects from everything. God help & bless us all and protect us all, thank you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Even if I pray I stay alert.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I feel fortunate to live in a place that is relatively safe. Although even in Maine, it may not be a good idea, if I wonder whether or not I locked the door before going to bed, I am not overly concerned about it, although we generally do. We don't lock our doors during the day, or while we're up. There have been a couple of home invasions here over the past ten years, both by people looking for abusable medications. Mostly, that sort of thing doesn't happen in northern Maine. There is too great of a likelihood that the homeowners have a gun, I think.
     
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  13. Marilyn Pahl

    Marilyn Pahl Well-Known Member
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    A while back my neighbor was in the hospital and the doctors told family members it was a matter of time before she passes to call in the family. This was the eve of Thanksgiving. I was cooking a big turkey, and noticed young teens on her patio thinking that the son and family came down from Georgia. Then hearing loud talk and crashing window, I called the one son who lives in town. Asking him if his brother made it in from Georgia, because there are kids on your mother's porch. He asked me if one of the kids was a girl, and told him yes. He said, I'll handle this. I'm fussing around with side dishes, when getting a call from the police. They asked me all kinds of questions and told them min. by min. what was going on. I can see her whole side of patio from my kitchen window. The dispatch gal said, the police would be out, and told her, there already here. We had SWAT, K-9 unit, police. out here. They were all arrested, but the sad fact the girl that was in on it was my neighbor's grand-niece. They stoled her jewelry, still can't find it, drank her liquor, broke window, heated food in her microwave. Popcorn all over the place. My neighbor is fine and jokes with me, HA they didn't find my Colt 45.:rolleyes:
     
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  14. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    "they didn't find my Colt 45"

    My Colt 45 is malt liquor; you are luckier than I!
     
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  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    No news to you, I realize, but others need to be aware that everyday citizens in possession of firearms are a proven deterrent to active criminals, even though the anti-gun crowd harps constantly claiming having a gun poses far greater danger to the armed than being not armed at all.

    By their thinking, those facing grave danger should be prepared to use whatever hunk is at hand against a gun-wielding assailant. All the while, those making these claims are surrounded by armed guards......
     
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  16. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Although I'm pro gun I still don't have one nor do I want one. I would never carry one on me just because it would seem strange after all these years, plus my purse is too small.

    For my home I have a security system and feel that's enough for the neighborhood I live in. Worst crime is someone going through our garbage cans and maybe rifling through your car if you leave it unlocked outside. I don't.

    I'd hate to wake up and shoot someone that wasn't going to kill me anyway. I haven't heard of any murders in this neighborhood....just a suicide.

    I don't even care what kind of guns are allowed, it's not the gun but the crazy person using it that always seems to be the problem.

    One thing that worries me though is people with guns.....and alcohol or drugs.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
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  17. Marilyn Pahl

    Marilyn Pahl Well-Known Member
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    :D Neighbor has one mean Colt 45 revolver It is big, but she wasn't afraid to use it. She had an insentient where she knew someone was at the side door. nobody said anything on the outside, but this person was turning the doorknob neighbor (Lois) was watching with her Colt in hand and cocked it. Then she said, Wanna meet my boyfriend, Colt 45. It was a guy and running out of the yard. She open the door and yelled, Don't Mess With A TAR HEEL She comes from Hickory, North Carolina...We've been good neighbors for 20 yrs.She is 84 yrs.old. :)
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  18. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Sandy, have you thought about having a dog, for protection?
     
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  19. Sandy Wood

    Sandy Wood Active Member
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    Thanks for your comments. Joe, I have thought about getting a dog as I have had dogs in the past, but I kind of like not having to worry about the extra bills and other problems in owning a dog, as if I had one I would want a med to big dog for protection as well as, companionship.
    My new deterrent is lighting up the front and back area of my house and a security system. I am in the process of setting up the cameras that are very clear and full color, night and day with motion detection. This way I will have a clear view of what is happening around my house. I got a wired set as they are better quality then the wireless types. Of course my brother who was of no help when I ask for advice on what to buy, is now complaining about the system I bought. But I am happy with it. I had to order a hard drive for it so that it can record events, but I still got the whole system for less than $200.
    There are other types that require you to download the program into a computer and then you can use your router and computer to run the system. One program I considered costs $12.00, for the software and any computer from Windows XP & up can run the program. You can use wireless cameras or cable wired into computer, cameras. So depending on how or if you want to be notified when away from home either on cellphone or tablet computer, you get alerts or pictures of your home.

    I even saw a real neat doorbell security cam with speaker system that is way out of my price range but looks to be a good one. However, one thing I wanted to let you know. It seems you can record people's actions outside your home, but the sound is a different matter. It is against the law in many States, to record people's voices without their knowledge. Even where it is not on the books, it could present a legal issue for you. So it is better to record without sound and put up a sign stating that your home is under security surveillance. Or like my local community center states "Your On Candid Camera, Smile! " which seems like a fun way to let people know your watching their every move.
     
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  20. Marilyn Pahl

    Marilyn Pahl Well-Known Member
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    Since Pip my youngest son came home, he brought along a half Jack Russell and half beagle. She is a sweetheart, and was a rescued dog from the puppy mills she is family. I have some tough neighbors.They walk with me to the convenience store for a paper and coffee. If they need help getting to court, grocery store... I'll drive them....To make a story short, my tough friends tell me, GET A DOG....:)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
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  21. Honey Gee

    Honey Gee Well-Known Member
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    Such a shocking story and can understand your nervousness. I would definately think about getting a dog. I wonder though if this is a rare instance and hopefully would not happen again.

    Next stop for you the local dogs home.

    Hope you feel better soon and gain confidence after your experience x
     
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  22. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Sandy, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Since you now have a security system, have you added a motion detector up in the attic? I think I would do so for peace of mind. I'm considering getting a locking gas cap as well, because it sometimes seems as if I've got less gas than the last time I used the car, although I don't use it that much, so it could be my memory. We do have some teens here who think it's o.k. to go through a car if it's not locked, and I wouldn't doubt they steal gas so they can joy ride in their parents' golf carts or cars/trucks.

    A neighbor posted in our neighborhood Facebook group yesterday that when she went outside, she noticed the window screen from her daughter's bedroom on the ground, and her shed door wide open. Another said she's also had some issues. They live several streets away, down by the main road, but I've also had someone go through my shed and have also had my front and back light bulbs broken in the past. We're all a bit more watchful these days. I've been griping about my neighbors' dogs, and I am still not happy, because they go after the stray cats I feed/take care of, but I do also think it dissuades people from getting too close to my doors/yards.
     
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  23. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I remember our first dog named Jedi. She would be the only one manning our home when we go to the office. We had no house maid yet. And our dog earned a reputation in the neighborhood such that even criminals were scared. It's a good advice to have dogs in the house to deter intruders.
     
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  24. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    I think this might be the best place for this post, and as this thread hasn't been active lately, I'm hoping it'll be alright.

    Around the Houston, Tx. area the elderly have become one of the biggest targets for crime. Everything from scams, theift, murder, or even all wrapped into one. It seems that more and more our news is reporting crimes that involve people of retirement age.

    This is the third largest city in this country, and if we don't address the problem of our seniors safety, who will?

    For some stupid reason our present day criminal seems to think older people must have an over abundance of wealth. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that many of our latest criminal element come from countries where if you are able to retire, you definitely have money.

    It seems to me that such a large metropolis would have come up with some sort of system to provide a better way to help it's older population stay safe. We have set up such programs that help parents of Latchkey Children, Amber Alerts that are broadcasted over our phones and freeway billboards, or even just neighborhood watches that report out of the order happenings.

    What kind of efforts do you think might help these kind of issues?
     
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  25. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    This is an excellent point, @Ina I. Wonder , and beyond having a home alarm, there probably isn't anything that is specifically designed for protecting seniors. The ones who live in a gated community are probably a lot safer than people like you, who live in a single house and not close to other homes in the area.
    We live in a low-income area of town, and there is a lot of police activity in this part of town; but except for people trying to rob someone for drugs, there is not a lot of home invasions. We have an old beat-up car; and just a normal house for this neighborhood; so there is really nothing to make us look like a good target, and except for Bobby's tools, we don't have much of anything worth stealing.
    I think that security is probably one of the reasons why seniors do move to a gated community, as well as not having to do any kind of maintaining the apartment, or even mowing the lawn. Having a good home security system is also an important way to protect yourself, and now they can be completely controlled through an app on the phone; so no more of rushing in the door and hurrying to type in your house code before the alarm sets off. You can even see your house when you aren't home, and answer the doorbell, at least I have seen ads on television for things like that.
     
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