From the Forum – Burglary in Mt. Pleasant

Burglary in Mt. Pleasant:

“On the afternoon of Thursday, 9/25 two guys broke into our home through our front window. Our neighbor saw them walking up our front steps and loitering on our porch. She called me, I remotely turned on our alarm system, and she called the police. They had about 4 minutes in the house during the phone call and me figuring out how to turn on our alarm. Once the alarm triggered, they left.

In those few minutes they took three iPads, an expensive watch, a baby monitor, and some money.

They entered through a cracked and locked front window. The lock is a plastic latch which they broke.

My neighbor videoed them and I was able to extract a close up of their faces from the video – police have both.

If you see these two, contact police.”

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38 Comment

  • PDleftMtP

    Don’t want to invade OP’s privacy, but can you tell us what part of the neighborhood this was in?

    This is the second front window breakin in the last few weeks – as I recall, in the previous one the residents were home asleep.

  • Wow, sorry OP. That’s such a violation. Props to your neighbor, though. That is a remarkably clear image he or she got. Hope the police catch them soon and you get you stuff back.

  • They look like brothers

  • Just curious why the alarm wasn’t armed? Doesn’t sound like it would have mattered, but it seems to defeat the purpose of an alarm to only use it when the neighbors call you.

    • Unless you have motion sensors (not practical with pets), the alarm won’t trip unless contact is broken between the alarm system sensors, which are generally on doors/windows and their associated jambs and a lot of people don’t wire windows. Since these guys broke the window instead of opening the window or kicking in the door, the alarm wouldn’t have tripped.

      • You can get motion sensors which are not supposed to be tripped by pets.

        • I think they usually just flip the motion sensors upside down so they do not catch movement near the floor. That said, they sell glass break sensors which work when you have pets. Also, you can get security glass installed, which makes it much more difficult to break a window.

        • There are pet-compatible sensors that won’t be triggered by anything under 25 pounds.

      • Can you get some sort of sensor that is a tape or line that runs across the pane of a window? That seems like it would be effective against this tactic of evading the alarm. May not be the greatest looking, but I could imagine it being pretty subtle, especially compared to bars on the windows.

      • From the photo, it looks as though the window was already unlocked and was cracked open a few inches. The OP says, “The lock is a plastic latch which they broke.” I think he/she is describing the same thing my windows have — little plastic pie-shaped things that stick out of the window frame and prevent the window from being opened more than a few inches. (You can press them in and down if you want them to be flush with the rest of the window frame so you can open the windows.) It sounds like the thieves managed to push the window up with enough force to break the little pie-shaped things.
        Maybe the OP doesn’t have central A/C and that’s why he/she is leaving the windows ajar? To set the alarm with that window ajar, the OP would’ve had to allow the system to “bypass” that sensor anyway, so the window opening wouldn’t have triggered it — the system would need motion detectors.

  • We live on Park Rd. We had someone come in our house about 3 weeks ago while I was out walking the dog. I had set the alarm, but forgot to lock the door. My neighbor saw the person in the house and he left without taking anything. Someone also tried the handle this weekend, I couldn’t get a good look at him though.

    In total, we’ve had 4 attempted (or successful) intrusions in 3.5 years. And those are just the ones we know about.

    • I had two people try to break into my house in Mt. Pleasant while I was there during the day. They broke a glass pane to try to unlock the door. I highly recommend installing doors that have deadbolts on both sides so would-be burglars cannot reach through glass to unlock the door to get in.

      Thankfully, I called 911 and the police were there in a matter of minutes. It was impressive.

      • Aren’t double deadbolts a huge fire hazard b/c you can’t get out without a key in a hurry? Someone I knew had to change them to make their place rent-able.

        • Yes, legally you cannot have one in a rental unit. However if it’s your house, I guess no one can really stop you from them installing them, although they are dangerous in the event of a fire. The person that owned my apartment before us had them on the front and back doors. Our landlord had to remove them before he could rent out the place to me.

        • I swapped to my back door lock to one that has a key on both sides, and then leave the key on the floor nearby. I can still easily get the door open when needed, but a would be thief cant reach they key (nor would they know it is there). Technically I think it is against fire code though. I might have to change it if/when I rent.

        • tonyr

          One winter I rented a big old beach house dirt cheap (since it was out of season). There was a bunch of rooms that originally locked only from the outside (since disabled). Seems that the original owner didn’t want the “help” getting up to mischief at night. Ah, the good old days.

        • Well, yes, I suppose that would be a hazard if for some reason that risk hadn’t occurred to you. You just keep a set of keys very nearby but not within reach of a would-be burglar who might break a window to try to unlock the door. We thought a lot about the risk, but determined in a fire, we could get the set of keys nearby pretty easily and get out. And at the end of the day, it kept two burglars out of my house while I was home.

        • Yeah — you’re allowed to have doors-requiring-keys-to-get-out for your own place, but for a rental, you have to change any doors like that to ones that can be opened from the inside without a key.

        • PDleftMtP

          Most Mt Pleasant houses have windows opening on the porches. If you have to, you go out the window. (Sounds obvious, but worth thinking about ahead of time when you’re not panicking.)

      • binpetworth

        I had a back door with deadbolts on each side + a security alarm and still managed to have my place broken into. The thief first tried to knock out the window and unlock the door, but when that didn’t work he had to destroy the door frame to be able to crawl into a space below the deadbolt. My only consolation, if you can call it that, was that in doing so, the dude crawled through broken glass and cut himself badly, as evidenced by the blood at the scene.

  • Kudos to your neighbor, it’s great the we still look out for each other. Let’s hope they get arrested and you get your valuables back.

  • Wow. So sorry, OP, but glad your neighbor was being alert. Will keep an eye out (I’m in Park View, so not too far over), and hope they catch the guys!

  • Great that the neighbor got video, but why wasn’t the neighbor yelling at them as they were on the porch, prior to entry? Yell that the police have been called, keeping yourself hidden from view if you are worried about some sort of retaliation.

    • What if they figured out where the yelling was coming from? What if they had a weapon? What if they returned for retaliation? I’d say taking the video and posting it is risky. These worthless pieces of crap don’t care about other human beings. Be safe.

      • Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about why didnt the neighbor yell, but then came to the same conclusion that you couldnt know if they had a weapon, if they were totally bonkers and unpredictable, etc, so I think the neighbor did a pretty good job walking the line between staying safe and trying to help. I’m really impressed by the quality of the video.

  • Broad daylight. Middle of the day. With neighbors home. And a front door/window facing a semi-busy street. INCREDIBLE. The absolute nerve. I do hope they will be caught. Kudos for the neighbor who captured them on video.

  • just when i think it’s time to take down the security bars/gates over our windows/doors, stuff like this reminds me why they’re there. this sucks – sorry to the op – hope they catch these punks.

    • To be honest with you, the nicer an area gets the less safe it is to take down security bars. We actually had them re-installed when we bought our house as the previous owner had taken them down.

      • I’m not sure about this logic. Burglary and property theft rates in Mt. Pleasant have declined in recent years, which happens to coincide with a tremendous run up in property values.

        What could be said is a neighborhood like Mt. Pleasant is an inner city location that will likely continue to have a certain amount of crime, no matter what happens with property values. That means taking certain actions – keeping windows and doors locked, installing bars, keeping cars cleaned out, using alarms, etc. – are necessary to reduce the chance of becoming a crime victim.

  • Sorry, OP, I know how that feels- something very similar happened to me last year in Mt. P, though I was stupid and accidentally left the ground floor window unlocked. I’ve noticed that our screens mysteriously move around a lot, so I know people regularly try to get in. It’s unfortunate, but we also have some fantastic neighbors who have been great about keeping an eye on the area and the cops do step up enforcement when I alert them to the problem.

    Moral of the story: get a wood stick to keep in your window so even if the lock is broken, it isn’t an easy access point to the house.

  • I’m almost positive I’ve seen those two wandering around my neighborhood in Dupont/Foggy Bottom. If I see them again I will compare with this video and call the police if it’s indeed them.

  • Next time, don’t trigger alarm, just call the cops, maybe they could have caught them red handed!

  • Maybe I watch too much tv, but the one guy has his hands all over the top rail on his way down the stairs. Maybe you can get some prints why the picture.

  • I hope we find these guys. I live close by on Lamont and that very same afternoon (Thursday, 9/25) someone broke into our car that was parked in the street alley by smashing a window. First time something like this has happened to us after living in Mount Pleasant for four years.

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