A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.
Posted On by Hugo Reed
If you went around asking random people what they thought about robberies and burglaries, you would probably get a spattering of different answers. However, I am sure a majority of those answers would revolve around the fact that being a burglary victim isn’t any fun. Why would it be? In a nutshell, someone is breaking into your home (or invading your personal space) and making off with your valuable possessions as well as your sense of security.
Aside from possessions being stolen, people’s live are also put at risk each time they are targeted. For some, the burglars come in the dead of the night and they leave without a trace. This might be annoying to some, especially those who would like to catch these criminals red handed. However, to some, this seems a far better option than having to confront burglars and risk being held at gunpoint.
As annoying and dreadful as burglaries may be, the people who were not victimized are always paying attention to every detail of the case as it develops. I guess that simply boils down to the way the world works. The general populace is always tuned in, trying to get glimpses of what is going on around the world and in other people’s lives. This is never more evident than when celebrities get robbed, a simple proof is the fact that you are currently reading this. Let’s take a look at some interesting celebrity robberies that have occurred, and also what you might be able to learn from it to improve your own security:
It only makes sense to start with one of the most recent ones, doesn’t it? It was reported that former Los Angeles Laker, Derek Fisher had his home broken into on January 30th, 2017. It is not unheard of for celebrities to have their homes broken into. I say this for two reasons. First of all, being such a high profile celebrity (especially in Los Angeles) will mean that people already know a lot about you, whether you want them to or not.
In addition to this, all these people will go through a great deal just to be around you or anything that you own, even for a brief amount of time. Granted, Derek Fisher is no Kobe, but he is still well respected among Laker and NBA fans alike. Secondly, being a celebrity automatically makes you a much more lucrative mark for burglars, because they believe that they will profit more than if they steal from an average homeowner with a fake ADT sign in their driveway.
This simply means that celebrities, like Derek Fisher, need to take a much closer look at their home security and ensure that they are doing all they can to deter theft. Although, it seems to be too late for Fisher, as more than $300,000 of jewelry (including his 5 NBA Championship rings, which are probably sentimentally priceless) had been stolen from him. What a way for Fisher to start off the new year.
The burglar is said to have made their way in through Fisher’s side door, which leads me to make the assumption that there was very little security in place to stop them. The security takeaway should be that it is of the utmost importance to make sure that all potential entrance points into your home are well guarded and secure. This is rarely achieved by just one security element.
For instance, the use of a high-security door lock (preferably a Grade 1 deadbolt door lock), coupled with door sensors that are linked to a monitored home security system would have helped better his security. It also might have helped catch the perpetrator, especially if Fisher, or his alarm company, had received a notification that someone had set off door sensors. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to have been the case.
If you are not currently aware of this, 2016 (and the first month of 2017) have not been so kind to celebrities. Then again, the year was probably unkind to a great many people who deal with more harrowing and life-threatening issues on a daily basis. However, there is something to learn from the fact that people who have more money and resources at their disposal, do not employ better security measures. But for all, I know they do, but burglars are simply experts at outsmarting them.
In the case of Kevin Hart, the police reported that the burglars likely entered the property through the back door, which says a lot. Many homeowners do not secure the secondary entrances to their homes. I am not sure whether this is because of complacency or sheer forgetfulness. Once the burglars were able to make their way into the Hart residence, they stole roughly half a million dollars worth of personal belongings. However, Kevin did get one thing right. He had interior and exterior surveillance cameras installed. Hopefully, the footage from these surveillance cameras helped resolve the case.
It is always important to secure the secondary entrances to your home. Burglars will utilize the front door, but this does not mean that they will not take advantage of another entrance if it makes their job easier. Also, make sure that you couple other security measures with your surveillance cameras. Do not only implement one method of resistance. These measures can be as simple as always making sure to lock your windows and doors. Also, it is always best to make sure that valuable items are not left in places that are easy for burglars to get too. Homeowners can make use of high-security safes or even lockboxes to accomplish this.
Very few people will be able to recognize this amazing actresses name right of the bat (in the United States that is). However, in the UK Amanda Abbington has had a long and illustrious career. More recently she has starred in the hit BBC series Sherlock, which revolves around the life, and adventures, of famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Even as I am typing this I can see the immense irony in the whole situation. Amanda Abbington received an Emmy award (congratulations Amanda), and as she and her cast members went up to receive the award, someone made off with her purse (which she had left under her seat).
Once again, this makes me wonder why so called celebrities are so flippant with the state of their security. Now, do not get me wrong, I can totally understand that it might be hard to keep track of your purse when you are accepting an Emmy award, but there must be a better way (security-wise) than leaving it under your seat. Please don’t quote me on that because I have never had to receive an Emmy. Abbington lost her phone and her driver’s license in the incident, which is not nearly half as bad when you come to realize that she could have lost a lot more had she had anything overly valuable in her purse.
Personal security is just as important as home security, especially when you are in densely populated places, such as the Emmy award show. Locations like these make it hard to pay attention to every little detail and thus spot any security hazards. Therefore, the best thing you can do is keep your personal belongings close and make sure that you are alert, no matter what is going on.
Unfortunately, even royalty is not safe when it comes to getting robbed. However, I cannot lay any of the blame at Queen Latifah’s feet, because she was not around when the incident occurred. In this bizarre theft, her car was stolen from a gas station while another driver was filling the vehicle up with gas. This came in the wake of a string of similar car robberies in Fulton County, Georgia. According to the police, the robbery was committed when someone hopped into the driver’s seat of the car (as the gas was being pumped) and proceeded to drive away.
Now, for those of you who do not yet realize it, personal security and awareness are supremely important. The person who was driving Queen Latifah’s car had been negligent. However, I can’t even proceed to blame them because I understand how easy it is to assume that something like this can never happen to you. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes because it is easy to forget to lock your car doors and pay attention to your car security while you pump gas. After all, how many people can honestly say that they have considered the possibility of someone jumping in their car and driving away?
This security takeaway also relates to personal security and awareness and how that can help you keep your belongings (and yourself) safe. There are many people who leave their cars unattended and unlocked when they are pumping gas or running into a grocery store. This habit leaves your car vulnerable and increases the chance of someone attempting to exploit this vulnerability. It is important to make sure that your vehicle is locked, and that there is nothing valuable left lying in plain view. Even if you have a Tesla, one of the most secure cars in the world, I would suggest that you practice some security and self-awareness.
I am not exactly sure what Scott Disick does, from what I gather he parties a lot (which, to be fair, seems like a lot of fun). I would assume he is a celebrity because he is connected to the Kardashian clan, but I am sure that someone will correct me at some point and say he made a name for himself doing something or the other. Regardless, I am not here to debate his celebrity status or how he got it, I am here to discuss his security and burglary.
Unfortunately for Scott Disick, being such a high profile celebrity means that you are on everyone’s radar, especially if you lead the life that Scott leads. In mid-2016, Scott’s home in Hidden Hills, CA was broken into. The burglars seemed to be after his famous watch collection, as that seemed to be the majority of the items that were stolen. During the time of the burglary, Scott himself was out of the country. According to the officers, there was no sign of forced entry, which led them to assume that the job had been an inside job committed by someone who was quite familiar with Disick.
Many people forget to properly secure their homes when they are away, and this is one of the most opportune times for burglars to strike. It is always best to have a home security system in place to keep your property secure. This can either be easy to setup DIY systems or a monitored one. If you opt to go the DIY route, make sure you choose a system that allows for remote monitoring so that you can always see what is happening in your home. Also, it might be a good idea not to flaunt your personal belongings the way Scott does. If you do, make sure you have the security in place to back it up.
This robbery had to be one of the most highly publicized news stories of 2016, second only to the elections probably. That raises its own questions about the state of society, but we will let those rest for now and focus on the topic at hand. As most of you already know, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint during her stay in Paris. According to a French police report (which was filed by Kim), the robbers made their way into her room, after they had already handcuffed the concierge, and then tied Kardashian up and locked her in the bathroom.
In Kim’s retelling of the event, she was tied up with plastic cables while her hands and her mouth were taped off. The robbers then proceeded to take some of her personal belongings, which she estimates is valued around $5 million. Luckily enough, Kardashian was not harmed in the incident and she was able to eventually break free of her bonds and call for help. (Well, after the burglars had left).
It was no doubt an extremely frightening ordeal for Kim, but you still have to pay attention to all the security questions that this particular situation raises. You would think that if anyone that high profile was traveling, they would have much more security measures in place to negate the likelihood of anything like this happening.
Personal security is extremely important when you are traveling to a country that you do not call home. This should be practiced in your hotel room and on the move. If you have valuable items with you during your trip, you should have effective measures of keeping them hidden and secure so that no one can get to them. Furthermore, learning self-defense and safety skills (how to break free of restraints etc.) are truly invaluable when you are abroad. These skills can very well be the difference between a life and death situation.
All of the celebrities discussed above were robbed within the last year, however, the last few people that we will discuss will be some blasts from the past. To get started let’s talk about the string of burglaries that involved Paris Hilton and led to the conception of “The Bling Ring”. The Bling Ring was a group of teenagers and young adults that staged a series of burglaries between 2008 and 2009. They targeted several different celebrities, but chief among these was Paris Hilton who lost money, jewelry, and her sense of security, after her home was targeted several times.
According to the members of the Bling Ring, gaining access to Hilton’s home was relatively easy. How easy? Well, they pretty much got in through the front door. They literally walked right in, because someone thought it was a bright idea to leave the key to a mansion underneath a doormat. Now, even regular citizens don’t do this because they know how risky it can be to give people such unfettered and unprotected access to your home. Due to how easy it was to gain access to Hilton’s home, the burglars were able to take their time and shop through all her belongings, taking their pick of what they wanted.
The first, and most obvious, security takeaway here should be that it is probably not a good idea to keep the key to a mansion underneath a doormat. This might be okay to do if you have nothing to lose, but if you are trying to keep your home secure, make sure that your security protocols are airtight. This involves having a good grasp of your key control and making sure that there are no spare keys floating around that could cripple your security. Also, as I stated above, you should have layers of security that complement each other. In Paris’s case, it seems as if her only security measure was her front door. It might have been easier for authorities to apprehend these burglars if she’d had som surveillance cameras installed.
If you do not recognize this man’s name because of his legendary music career, you will definitely know him as a recurring cast member of NCIS: Los Angeles. Also, he is probably the first, or second suggestion when you type LL into google search. In 2012, a burglar thought it would be a great idea to break into LL Cool J’s home and attempt to rob him and his family. Unfortunately, for this burglar, things didn’t go as planned.
The perpetrator was still able to make their way into the home, but they couldn’t do this without alerting Mr. Cool James. Once Cool J realized that there was someone in his home, he proceeded to confront the burglar and ended up overpowering him in a confrontation that left the burglar hospitalized. Talk about choosing the wrong house. Even though this was not a typical robbery outcome, there is still a great deal that people can learn from this situation and apply to their own physical and personal security measures.
First, do not always rely on being able to confront criminals. Ideally, your home security should be working to reduce the possibility of this ever happening. Also, you should always try to alert authorities before you engage in a physical altercation with a thief. However, you should never engage any such character unless you have the proper training and skills to do so.
Celebrities are often put on a higher pedestal than the average man. However, when it comes to security we are all, pretty much, equals. A criminal has no qualms about stealing from a rich person or a poor person because they are acting in their own self-interest. This shows the greater majority that security is important no matter who you are, or what you do.
Implementing effective security should be a priority, regardless of whether you have starred in a blockbuster movie or not. I hope that this look at the security of celebrities shows people that no one is exempt. This is not meant to scare you, but rather to galvanize you and motivate you to take charge of your security.