Do you assume that a “small town” is the same thing as a “safe town?” Maybe you even feel like Greenville is the kind of place where you don’t really have to lock your doors, let alone invest in a monitored home or business alarm system.
A scan of recent headlines from small towns in the U.S., however, can easily show you this is a bad way to think:
“String of Small Town Burglaries Under Investigation”
“Small Town Pharmacies Being Targeted by Burglars”
“Town Sees Big Spike in Burglaries”
The small town gives you a false sense of security, but there are plenty of reasons why burglars might actually find them to be quite lucrative.
Many people are complacent when they live in a small town.
Unlocked doors and windows. No security system. If a burglar is careful, quick, and smart he will often find rural homes to be a sort of dream target. Many rural homeowners also rely too heavily on their dogs, even though dogs are usually not very effective at stopping any criminal from doing anything he wants to.
Properties are spread out.
Neighbors may not hear or see anything when you live in a rural area. Can you see your neighbor’s homes right now? Or are you tucked away behind trees which provide plenty of privacy? Are there several acres between you and your neighbors?
If you can’t see your neighbor’s home then nobody can see a thing when a burglar starts prowling around your yard. He’ll have plenty of time to find an entry point or slip items into his car. If he’s driving around in a plain white truck or van many people will assume he’s some sort of contractor when he turns into your driveway, if they’re around to see anything at all.
Of course, some small towns do have more suburban style communities, but those don’t stop burglars in the big city either. Why would they stop someone in a small town?
Drugs are a part of small town living, too.
Many burglars are opportunists. They are hoping to make a big score so they can pay for drugs. While people in small towns don’t form gangs or make obvious trouble over drugs there are still plenty of users and addicts who will commit crimes whenever they run out of money.
Remember, all it takes to increase the risk of burglary is to have a burglar living in or near your community. The criminal mindset doesn’t discriminate, and it doesn’t go away just because you’re living in a tiny place with a cute downtown area.
In small towns everyone knows everyone, and that can be a problem.
Believe it or not, many burglaries are inside jobs. They happen when the babysitter, repair guy, or untrustworthy relative decides to make use of what he knows about your home and property.
If you’ve lived in your small town for a long time you’ve probably let half the town into your house by now. And worse, the information spreads. The neighbor’s visiting untrustworthy relative might just hear all about your home. The conversation will be innocent, but the results might not be.
Keep burglars out the tried-and-true way.
Lock your doors. Lock your windows. And consider a monitored security system. In many cases, these systems will pay for themselves in terms of homeowner’s insurance discounts. In the meantime, you’ll have the peace of mind which comes from knowing the police will be called if someone violates your home.
We don’t want to scare you. We want you to enjoy your small town experience. But often, one of the best ways to do that is simply to take adequate precautions.
If you live in one of our local small towns like Fountain Inn, Greer, or Maudlin, give us a call. It may be more affordable than you think to install a home security system!