17 Comment

  • Sometimes a burglar doesn’t even need the hatch…a friend of mine who lives near H St NE had her house broken into. The burglars sawed a hole in her roof and when she came home from a long work trip her bedroom was open to the sky. Irony here is that this didn’t even set off her burglar alarm because the thieves didn’t go beyond her BR. Worse, she is pretty sure it was her drug dealer next door neighbors who broke in. They got all of $100 from her room; it cost thousands to fix the hole.

  • We’ve got a hatch, it’s just a hole in the ceiling that gives you access to the roof. It’d be an attic hatch in a house with a sloped roof. Some, I suppose, are like doors and open with a latch, but ours is sealed shut with screws.

  • The folks who flipped our house a few years back drywalled over ours. Someday I’ll try to find it…

  • Its usually in a closet. Mine has been nailed off from the inside and covered with roofing material from the outside. Some jerk could sill get through it if they really wanted, as evidensed by the sawzall burglery described above.

  • I have a hatch to my attic which is pretty much crawl space, and a hatch above the other to the roof. It’s latched with a hook, which could easily be ripped off. I’ll have to rely on my secondary defense of my 90 lb. dobie mix.

  • When the rowhouse I was renting got burglarized and we were speculating about how the burglars got in, a neighbor said that sometimes they climb onto the roof and drop in from the skylight. That kinda freaked me out and I moved out of there immediately.

  • I was told by my roof repair people that roof-hatch entries are extremely rare because anyone walking on the roofs sets off calls to the police. I have a very simple padlock on mine. I also have two skylights. When someone is on a neighboring roof the sound is deafening.

  • My dad warned me about this very possibility 5 years ago when he came for a visit to help me do some home repair. He told me then to secure the hatch, but I never did, until just a few weeks ago, when I finally bought a hook for it. However, the timing of my purchase was totally coincidental; I hadn’t seen the story in the Post until today. Maybe it was my dad reminding me from the Great Beyond.

  • Our home inspector recommended putting a padlock latch on our hatch to our roof (not made of thatch…sorry, had to continue the rhyme)…havent done so yet, but you guys are scaring me into it i think.

  • if you’re that worried about folks cutting into your roof with a sawzall, install a motion activitated light nearby, or just put an alarm.

    it’s pretty rare that those types of break-ins actually happen.

    i live in NE dc, and i’ve never heard of something like that, and i travel a lot.

    granted, i don’t have a entry way into my roof… it’d be easier to break through the door on my second story deck. but i have tons of environmentally unfriendly lights on when i travel, and i know my neighbors. so….

    glean from that.

  • Read the recent CH News Forum Crime reports if you want to hear about a Latino roof-top prowler/pervert

  • My hatch is padlocked and alarmed. But if someone really wants in a place, they will find a way, hatch or otherwise.

  • I think that even a padlock on the rooftop hatch might not be enough, because these burglars are using crowbars, and if your hinges are old or not very securely fastened, I think a crowbar can lift the screws out of place.

  • Physical home security (doors, locks, bars) are really only effective against elementary school age children. An alarm system can interrupt a burglar – once they’re already inside.

    If someone really wants in, they’ll get there.

  • but few criminals “really want to get in,” most are looking for opportunities. I don’t have a cat burglar who has discovered the provenance of my grandmother’s jewels and expects to find them in my safe, behind the painting of my great grandfather, so he applied for a job with me as a butler. Do you have that problem or do you have snow shovels stolen off your porch?

  • omg. when i read the post about the pervert i had to go to the forum. my husband (latino) goes up to our roof all the time (sometimes I go with him) to look up at the sky, sometimes he brings his guitar and a few beers. thank god the pervert was blocks away from our house. but just because you don’t have a roof deck doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your rooftop. it’s quite relaxing to be up so high, it’s the urban version of climbing a tree. roof hatch robberies suck. i have to consider securing the hatch a little better- and warn my husband there are gun-weilding old ladies watching out for perverts!

  • PooPoo has it right, the best defense isn’t bars, alarms, padlocks, and razor-toothed pitbulls, it’s 80 year old neighbors.

    All you have to do to implement this defense plan is occasionally nod in agreement when the totter out on the porch and say things like:

    “It ain’t hot, when I was 7 I had to plant 5000 acres of brussel sprouts, in August, back home in Mumblelypeg, Alabama. It was 159 degrees that year, and we didn’t have any hats. Which reminds me, when I first came to the District in 1938 I was an apprentice hat-rack at the old Hogwhollop Club on 5th… no… 6th Street… no… well, anyway, I noticed that your wife was talking loudly about your piles yesterday, you know the best thing for piles is to drink one gallon of linseed oil and eat a half pound of butter. My Momma always swore by that and she was as heathy as a horse until she got runned-over by that beer wagon back in Bammy. Which reminds me, I sure miss drinking a cold beer, my doctor says… ”

    A few pleasantries and not only will you have 24 hour, 7 days a week surveillance of your premises, you’ll get top-notch marital advice like: “guess you can’t sock ’em in the mouth nowadays when they fuss at you. “.

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