Better to look poor and be safe than look rich and be a burglar’s victim


WHEN I was last in the UK, I caught up with an old friend who’d just been burgled.

She was livid as she’s most particular about security. Not half as particular, though, as the burglar himself. Here are a few of the things he won’t be telling you as you’re about to leave your house for your Christmas/New Year holiday…

Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your windows or delivering your new freezer. And hey, when I was working in your garden thanks for letting me use the bathroom, where I unlatched the back window to make my return a bit easier.


I just love your flowers. They tell me you have taste. And taste means there are nice things within. In fact, those toys your children leave outside always make me wonder what type of electronic games are inside!

It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

Another point: I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters (just don’t take me up on it!). And, remember, a loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.

Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a gardener and carry a strimmer. You see, I do my best never to look like an old lag. And two things I hate most? Loud dogs and nosy neighbours. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbour hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t, he’ll just return to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a great way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation. And, if you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in the house. Sorry if it happens to be yours… But no hard feelings, eh? Just doing my job.

Nora Johnson’s thrillers Landscape of Lies, Retribution, Soul Stealer, The De Clerambault Code (

available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca.


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