Big Brother is not the only one watching you.

I am constantly amazed at the creativity people have and how they can solve almost any problem they come across.

Case in point, in a recent ABC newscast it was noted that some crooks (aka ninja robbers) were using Google Earth to target houses and businesses for their operations. They were looking for characteristics that indicated an easy target.

So, what were they looking for? Easy entry was their first criteria, but location also was considered.

Basic crime prevention takes on a greater importance when you’re dealing with bad guys who use technology. They are out there looking for you and now they can sit back and evaluate a residence before ever going by it. From just about any map program, an overview of your residence or business can be obtained.

Think about it — it’s scary isn’t it?

If you want to see what they see, go to a program like Google Maps and look at the street and satellite view. You can do your own assessment of what risks your residence might face.

Need help determining what to look for? Call your local law enforcement agency and sit down with them to do an assessment.


Have you ever been hustled? You know, you receive a super promotion in the mail promising that you have won one of these wonderful prizes. All you have to do is come in and match your number to the prize board.

You walk in and, bam, they start to reel you in like a fish ready to be filleted and fried. Oh, you have to test drive a vehicle in order to receive your prize, and oh, while you are here let us show you how affordable it is.

Oh, while you are here you might qualify for the super prize, but you have to get the token from the general manager who unfortunately is not here at the moment, but we do expect him back shortly.

While you are waiting, let us evaluate your vehicle. We can give you a super trade-in, just hand us your keys. It won’t take long.

Wearing you down? If all else fails, let us get the sales manager who can make you an even better deal than I can. Note: If he can do better, why aren’t you talking to him?

Anyway, this person, reeking of sincerity, truly understands your situation but he really wants to know what it would take to sell you this fine item today. All of a sudden, you’re wondering where your keys have gone.

Is this approach a crime? Not really, it’s just annoying. Does it work? It must or they wouldn’t still be doing it.

Not all dealers use this approach. Many are straight forward in their sales approach, answer questions and don’t try to hustle you, but you still have to work hard to get the best deal. Remember, they are in business to make money and you are in business to save money.

Remember: Think, prepare and execute crime prevention designs. Don’t become a crime victim.

Walt Candelari is a police officer with Dickinson Police Department. He is writing a series of columns on creating an environment of safety from burglars.

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