I actully planned to post this last night, but I was still so angry when I sat down to write that the end result was nothing that anyone would want to read. So I slept on the situation, and then went back and finished the post today. I’m glad I did, because this one is actually fit to be seen. So here is the socially acceptable version. You know – the one without the swear words:
Tonight’s post is not what I had originally planned but stuff happens. I’m writing this because I’m frustrated, and angry…actually, I’m beyond angry. I am well over the line into livid. You’re probably wondering why, so here’s the Reader’s Digest Condensed version.
Over the last few months, the garage at Sharon‘s uncle’s house has been broken into several times, and all of the small things such as tools and camping gear were stolen. Last week, they hit the garage again, but were scared off by the arrival of our neighbor, who had come over to do some work. When he went into the garage, he found that they had moved several items, including a fairly expensive drill press, over to the door. If he hadn’t come over when he did, the stuff would have been gone.
So Sharon decided to put an alarm system in. We called a company called Protect Your Home, which is located in Lakewood, so it’s local, and is contracted to ADT. They sent out a tech, who installed a great system in the house and sensors on both garage doors. He then explained that people were expected to make mistakes and set the alarm off while getting used to the system, so for the first week the police would not be called if the alarm was triggered. Made sense to us so we seta the alarm and went home. Over the next three days we played with the system and got comfortable with the different ways to arm and disarm it. Great system. Which brings me to today.
Our neighbor was working at the house today, and he finished up about three and called to let me know it was time to set the alarm, which I did. About an hour and a half later, I got a text from the alarm company telling me that the alarm had gone off. I immediately called our neighbor and he went over and said that the front door, which is how entrance had always been gained before, was secure. So I decided to call the alarm company and see what else could have set it off. It was then that I noticed an email from them, telling me that the sensor in question was the one for the garage overhead door, so I asked the neighbor to go into the alley and check out the other door.
He then told me that the overhead door was wide open and that the drill press, along with some other items, were gone. Also, it was clear that they had been in the garage for some time because they had moved a sofa and some chairs out of the way and dismantled the drill press so that it would be easier to get all of the items into the alley.
I called Protect Your Home to find out why I was emailed when the alarm went off, and not called. It seemed to me that if the alarm is triggered, they would want to let us know as soon as possible, especially if the police are not going to be called.
That was when I learned that, during the seven day “test” period, the alarm is NOT monitored by the alarm company. They get a notification of some kind if it goes off, but that’s it. So they don’t know if it’s a break in or operator error, and they don’t call the homeowner to find out. It would have taken less than two minutes for them to call me and find out that we weren’t on the premises. Such a call would have also alerted me to the break-in and I could have called both the neighbor and 911, and possibly scared the thieves off before the stuff was stolen.
Instead, they had plenty of time to wander around the garage, help themselves to whatever they wanted, and then stroll leisurely back onto the alley to load their truck.
To say that I was shocked is a major understatement! Our technician had not told us that the house would not be monitored, so we had believed that once the alarm was set, our property would be safe. And even though we knew that there would be no police response, we had thought that if the alarm was triggered, we would get an immediate phone call so that action on our part could be taken ASAP. Instead, they sent a text and an email, both of which could have gone unseen for quite some time. And even though we noticed them fairly quickly, it obviously took a while after the door was opened for the messages to be sent, since the robbers had to do so much in the garage before they could get that drill press out. Granted, they only broke into the garage, but it could have just as easily been the house. And it’s kind of scary to think that we could have been there, mistakenly believing that Protect Your Home was watching, but in reality completely vulnerable to an intruder. I know there’s nothing that can be done about this now, and that we’ll most likely never find out who broke in, let alone get any of the stuff back, but if any of you who are reading this are considering a new security system that includes a “testing period”, please be sure to find out if your company does or does not monitor your home during this time. Trust me, it’s a good thing to know.