Securing a home or a commercial real estate is a unique challenge. Not only is the environment fluid, and the high value targets constantly changing, but access to power, and communication services are not always available. And in the current economic climate, using personnel to secure the site is rarely a viable solution .
Eyewitness Surveillance has designed a one stop shop platform to support all these following issues created by foreclosures.
1) Foreclosed Home/Commercial Burglary
Many items of value remain in foreclosed homes. Recessions spur those with latent, money-motivated criminal tendencies into action. Appliances are typically the highest value items remaining in foreclosed homes, but criminals with the right contacts can find buyers for cabinets, sinks, granite counter tops, toilets, pipes, windows and just about any thing else that reciprocating saws and pry bars can remove. Copper, despite the drop in price-per-pound, continues to attract specialized thieves as well.
2) Unlawful Occupation in Foreclosed Homes
Some criminals treat foreclosed homes as “safe houses” for all manner of illicit activity. Teens use foreclosed homes as “party houses” where they can drink and use drugs without supervision. Drug dealers and drug users alike search out foreclosed homes for conducting their trade – as do prostitutes and gangs. Vagrants commonly use foreclosed homes for temporary shelter.
3) Graffiti, Vandalism and Arson in Foreclosed Homes/Buildings
Foreclosed homes attract non-commercially motivated destruction from graffiti and vandalism. Arson is another dangerous crime associated with high foreclosure rates – sometimes it’s commercially motivated by angry former homeowners.
4) No Electricity for Foreclosed Home/Building Alarms and Surveillance Cameras
It’s typical that foreclosed homes have all utilities disconnected. The lack of electricity renders the fundamental tools of security – lighting, security cameras and alarms – ineffective.
5) Foreclosure Address Data Readily Available
The ready availability of foreclosure addresses makes it simple for criminals with commercial and non-commercial motivations to select their targets.
6) Geographically Disparate Sites
A bank’s holdings are spread out across a vast geographic area making routine security checks difficult.
7) Internal Theft: Contractor Access to Keys and Data
Insider thieves smell huge opportunity with foreclosed homes – they have access to keys, addresses and they’re familiar with routines. Internal contractors have proven to be especially damaging thieves.
8) Previous Owner has Motivation and Access
Previous owners are notorious for stealing or vandalizing their former property in acts of vengeance. There are many “gray area” periods in which the bank technically owns the property but the former owner still has access.
9) Neighbors Intimidated or Unmotivated to Report Crimes
In many cases neighbors become intimidated by criminal activity at foreclosed homes and fear of potential reprisal keeps them quiet. Sometimes it’s general disgust and lethargy that prevents homeowners from aggressively observing neighborhood activity.
10) Fewer Neighbors Nearby to Report Crimes
Neighbors are the best security a home has – with many neighborhoods decimated by foreclosure the potential observers drops below an effective level.
11) Foreclosure Signs Must Stay Up
Often times, local laws require that foreclosed homes post signs and/or board up the windows. These are clear signals to criminals that a home is a target for their desired activities.