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The No Lock People

October 17, 2011

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer last week’s survey.

One of the subjects requested to be discussed in my Blog was “Unlocked doors when you are home. What are the risks.” I would like to address Unlocked Doors in today’s Blog.

Below is an interesting article published in The New York Times by Joyce Wadler. Even though the statistics mentioned are American, I believe they apply to Edmonton just the same.

It’s the lore and lure of bucolic small-town living: The community is so safe, people don’t even lock their doors. But Joyce Weisshappel, a 63-year old vice president with the Corcoran Group, a real estate company, does not live in a small town; she lives in Manhattan, in a luxury apartment building. And she doesn’t think she has ever locked her door in the 30 years she has lived there – she doesn’t even know where her keys are.

Why would she lock the door, she asks. There are 24-hour doormen, delivery people cannot enter the building unescorted and she’s never heard of a crime being committed there.

Matt, a 32-year-old marketing manager – who, like many people interviewed for this article, declined to use his last name because of concerns about security – does not lock his door, either. And the house he rents with two other men in San Diego seems far less secure: there have been at least three burglaries in the homes flanking his since September.

Matt has never had a key to his house. When he moved to San Diego from Honolulu on a whim five years ago, the landlord, who is charging him very low rent, told him that if he wanted a key, he would have to have one made, he says. He has never bothered and neither have any of his roommates. And there are valuable items in the house.

“We have three big-screen TVs in our living room, which faces out on a busy main street,” Matt says. “I don’t know if we’re asking for it.”

Isn’t he concerned about theft?

“They aren’t my TVs,” he says. “Personally, I’m a minimalist. I basically own a laptop and a bed.It’s no loss of mine if somebody were to ransack the house. I don’t feel locking the door would make a difference. They could get in through the windows.”

Why doesn’t he worry?

“I grew up in Honolulu with my grandparents,” he says. “They had a huge house with a security system. They got robbed three or four times. Burglars would just find a way to get in. My mind-set is if somebody wants to get in, they’re going to get in whether I have alarms or not.”

The No Lock People: You may doubt their existence, particularly in big cities like New York, but people who do not lock the doors to their houses and apartments do exist – and in surprising numbers. A 2008 survey by State Farm Insurance of 1,000 homes across the country reported that fewer than half of those surveyed always locked their front doors. And while people who habitually lock their doors are incredulous that others do not, those who don’t lock are surprised that anyone would be shocked by it.

In fact, just as there are cat people and dog people, Mac people and PC people, there seem to be Lock People and  No Lock People. And when a committed Lock Person lives in the same building as a No Lock Person, things can heat up.

“It’s the height of naivete,” says a New York businesswoman who identifies herself as a Double Lock Person. (She would not use her name, she says, for fear of incurring the anger of her neighbors.)

“I live in a high rise with a doorman, I’ve been there 15 years and I’ve never heard of a burglary in the building, but that has absolutely nothing to do with it – it’s common sense,” she says. “There is someone in my building who never locks her door. Her story is she would only lose her key. She has told the building staff to just go in.”

The condo board sent this resident a letter, Ms. Double Lock says, notifying her, “If you are stupid enough to keep the door open and yell to anyone within hearing distance that the door is open, and anyone who hears it can go on in, the building isn’t going to be responsible for it” if anything happened to her belongings.

The Double Lock Person understands that people who leave the house briefly to do nearby errands such as walking the dog may find it easier not to lock up – but she still considers it reckless. Her son, who has a house in California, leaves the back door open because his children drift in and out, even though he’s been robbed twice.

Her son isn’t alone in providing thieves with easy access. According to the F.B.I.’s most recent annual Uniform Crime Report, of the estimated 2,222,196 burglaries committed nationwide in 2008, 32.2 percent were unlawful entries without force. And a spokesman for the New York City Police Department reported that of the 19,263 burglaries that took place in New York City in 2009, 5,041 did not involve forced entry.

Don’t you think it is time to lock your doors even when you are at home?
If you don’t have a security system, if your current system is not monitored or if you are not happy with your current security provider, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!
Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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  1. Pretty interesting read Ulli! Thanks!

  2. len permalink

    The no lock people are still out there mostly in the rural areas where the population and traffic flow is minimal. The big question is ‘to lock or not to lock’ the door while at home or away. There are arguments on both sides of the coin. Why lock it they are just going to damage the door/frame if not more. ‘The locks only keep the honest folks out’. Which is all true they will damage your door/frame and it does keep the honest folks out. Most crimes are done by opportunists, most are not planned by the bad guy (don’t get me wrong some are well planned). The bad guy walking down the street, see’s that one car is unlocked and one locked, which one do you think they will go into? The harder you make it for the bad guys the “less likely” you will be victimized. As they do not want to have to take too long to get out of site, so the harder you make it the less likelyhood they will target you. There are no guarantees in life but you do have to do something to help prevent crime

  3. In my experience, most B&E’s are due to quick and easy opportunities. My doors are locked! As always, thanks for your comments, Len!

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