When I was a little kid if I was afraid after I had been put to bed of what might be lurking in my dark bedroom, under the bed or in the closet … the unknown bad thing that we generically called “the boogey man” … Mama would come back in and reassure me and then sometimes leave the light on “to keep the boogey man away”. I don’t know if it was Mama’s calm, loving reassurances or the light that was left on, but I was usually able to go to sleep after that.
Fast forward lo these many years and I’ve just noticed another possible instance of the light keeping the boogey man away.
There was a during-the-night break-in at our neighbor’s two doors down last week. The thief/thieves didn’t get alot … they mainly ransacked the cars in the garage and went into the kitchen and took the wife’s purse. We are so thankful that our neighbors were asleep and didn’t know anything was wrong until they got up the next morning … a face-to-face confrontation with intruders is always dangerous.
Needless to say, this incident is a real wake-up call for all of us in our up-until-now very safe-feeling neighborhood. Especially since it’s believed that entrance was gained by using an electronic device that opens garage doors.
But when I went out to get the paper this morning, I happened to glance toward the neighbor’s house that was broken into and what I noticed was the difference in illumination between them and that of the house between us and our house. Both our next door neighbor and we have lots of lights on the outside of our houses, but this neighbor’s house is relatively dark in comparison. Is that the reason they were targeted? Obviously, that isn’t the total reason because there are many houses in our neighborhood which don’t have alot of outdoor lighting , but it may have been a contributing factor.
I have heard it said that burglars are usually pretty lazy people, and tend to “pick the low fruit”, i.e., look for the easiest place to break into. So, any deterrent we create at our home just might be the reason that a burglar doesn’t see us as “easy” and moves on … besides outdoor lighting, a yappy dog, no big evergreens right against the house that provide hiding places, dead bolts on exterior doors, motion sensors on some outdoor lights so that the thief can’t tell if they have awakened someone who has just turned on a light, signs that show you have a security system, and even if they do get into the garage, a locked door into the house may keep them from going further.
This has made me re-think where I regularly drop my purse when I enter the house — in plain view on the desk in the kitchen — an easy thing to snatch when it’s in plain sight like that. And it’s made me think we probably should start leaving lights on in our back yard also. One of Hubby’s brothers just installed a light sensor on his yard light so that it is always on when it is dark. A great idea, especially for when you are away from home. Our outdoor lights are controlled by a timer that has to be set for when you want them to go on and off — a constant aggravation for Hubby because as the season’s change, he has to constantly be changing the “on” and “off” times.
Anyway, this recent incident in our neighborhood has reminded Hubby and me to not be complacent about our home’s security, and I would like it if hearing this story might make you take a second look at your security too.
And, one more thing. Maybe we should all take a minute to say a quick prayer for the “boogey men” in this world. What’s it like to support yourself by stealing from others? I don’t think any little child ever says, “I want to be the boogey man when I grow up.”