Make it tougher for burglars to break in

Channel 4's crime & safety expert offers three steps for under $30

By Jennifer Waugh - The Morning Show anchor, I-Team reporter
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Channel 4's Crime & Safety Expert, Ken Jefferson, demonstrates for feporter Jennifer Waugh, three ways to protect your family under $30

Not everyone can afford a security system, but everyone wants to better protect their homes from a burglar. 

Peter and his wife Laura, who live in Bradford County, had their home broken into three different times.  Deputies say there's one man responsible for the trio of burglaries; Charles Futch, III, and say he used a screwdriver and a kitchen knife to pry open a door to gain entry to the home.  Futch was arrested after the third burglary, thanks to video cameras inside Peter's house that alerted him to trouble.

Channel 4 Crime and Safety Expert, Ken Jefferson, says popping a lock and prying your way into a home is easier than you think and Jefferson wants everyone to know what they can do to make it harder for burglars to get in.

Jefferson recommends a metal plate that fills the gap between the door and the door frame, preventing a criminal from getting a knife or screwdriver in between to pop the lock.  Channel 4 bought a metal plate from Home Depot for $8.77.

Secondly, Jefferson recommends you buy 3-inch screws to attach your door hinges to the frame to make it harder for burglars to kick their way in.  Most standard doors only have 1 1/2 inch screws in the hinges.

 "If you have a 3-inch screw, which doesn't cost you that much money, it's going deeper into the woodwork which makes it very difficult for anyone to finagle this door to move it," said Jefferson.

The 3-inch screws are inexpensive.  We bought a pack of two for $1.18 at Lowe's.

Peter says he didn't have a deadbolt on his back door, something he's now changed.  But keep in mind, Jefferson says one deadbolt in particular is the best.  He recommends a double-cylinder deadbolt. There's a key hole on both sides, preventing a burglar from breaking a window, reaching around and turning a knob to unlock it. 

But Jefferson emphasizes the importance of having the key nearby, in case there is an emergency situation and you need to get out of the house.  We bought a double-cylinder deadbolt at Lowe's for $16.97. 

The three Jefferson-approved items we bought to enhance the security of a home: the metal plate, the screws and the double-cylinder deadbolt, all added up to $26.92.

Laura showed Channel 4 the recovered jewelry that was stolen from her house and then buried on her property.  She now hides her jewelry box, just in case.  Jefferson suggests another option for your valuables, a floor safe.

You can keep cash, personal items; they're not going to take that safe out of there. And if they do, it's going to be very obvious that there's a burglary going on," said Jefferson.

Jefferson also says that if burglars want to get into a home, they will figure out a way.  But, he says no crook wants to spend a lot of time trying to break in, out of fear of being noticed.  So, adding as many security measures as possible that will slow thieves down, is a great way to protect your home.

Charles Futch III remains behind bars charged with breaking into Peter and Laura's home.  Detectives in Bradford County are investigating whether he is linked to other burglaries in the same neighborhood.