My family is originally from Chicago, which is where I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. Crime was so rampant in my neighborhood that we used to joke that it wasn’t good enough to just lock something up; it needed to be welded to the floor or it would get stolen.
While this might be a bit of an exaggeration, it was true that anything left in the open was likely to get stolen. I had friends who parked their cars on the streets only to see them repeatedly stolen until the were never found again. Any car parked on the street or in an apartment parking lot was likely to get broken into. Tools, flashlights, radios, tape players and other items were taken.
I learned early on that most thieves are not particularly intelligent and are easy to fool. They are looking for an easy score and do not want to deal with things that they are not sure about. After my car was broken into several times, the last straw was when the thieves left the doors wide open and in the morning I found a snow drift inside the car. My solution was simple. I put alarm stickers on the car windows. I could not afford an alarm at the time, but I could afford alarm stickers. The result was that my car was never broken into again.
The same tricks can be applied to home security. Alarm stickers on the windows or alarm signs on the outside of a home will fool most common thieves. However, it you can afford a good alarm system and you have a crime problem in your neighborhood, it might be a good idea to invest in one.
Today, fake security goes way beyond alarm stickers and signs. For very little money you can install what looks like a genuine home video surveillance system. Many of the systems have blinking LED lights that make them appear to be functional. Some have motion sensitive sensors that appear to track movement. Video surveillance scare the crap out of the bad guys because they never want to get caught in the act on tape.
If someone happens to get into your home or apartment, many of your valuables are likely to get stolen. Cash and jewelry should never be left in the open where it can be spotted. You have probably seen soda pop cans and cleaning supplies cans that conceal a conceal a hiding place. The best ones to use are the cans and bottles made from genuine products, such as Dr. Pepper or 7-Up soda cans. You can mix these types of cans with others on a shelf or in a cabinet and a thief would not likely notice them. Fake pop cans can be mixed with real products and kept in the refrigerator.