Why People Who Find A Rubber Band On Their Front Door Should Stop Everything And Call The Police

We all want to assume that we’re safe inside our own homes. But the truth is that criminals can (and do) exist everywhere—even in the most unassuming of towns—and there’s no telling whether or not your home is next on their list.

To make matters worse, a highly disturbing trend in home invasion is rearing its ugly head… and it could happen to you. One woman took to Facebook to share her experience with the hopes of warning others about this frightening new way that people are breaking into houses!

Burglaries and scams are frightening, but they’re nothing new. Many criminals have devised clever ways to rob people, and it’s safe to say that anyone can be a target. Still, it helps to know what to look for in case your own home is in danger.

That’s exactly why an urgent Facebook post by one Texas woman named Kim Fleming Cernigliaro rapidly went viral. She came dangerously close to being the victim of what could have been a disastrous burglary…

Kim Fleming Cernigliaro / Facebook

Kim was understandably shaken by her experience, and she wanted to make sure her friends and neighbors knew about it. “Two weeks ago, during the day, a hard knock was at my front door,” she began…

Kim Fleming Cernigliaro / Facebook

“And I DO NOT answer the door when I am here by myself,” Kim emphasized. She waited for the knocking to stop before investigating who it might have been. That was when she noticed something strange on her door handle…

It was an ordinary rubber band—the same kind that you could easily purchase at any office supply store—and it was wrapped around the door latch. It might not have sounded threatening, but Kim knew it was suspicious…

Kim contacted the local sheriff, who told her this wasn’t the first time someone had reported something like this—and that this particular use of a rubber band was far from harmless. “As soon as you unlatch the door, they do not wait for you to turn the knob… they can bust in on you,” Kim revealed.

Even if you weren’t previously aware of this trend, or if you thought you lived in a “safe” neighborhood, it would be wise to heed Kim’s advice and not answer doors without being sure of who is on the other side. But that isn’t all you can do!

r. nial bradshaw / Flickr

There are several small steps you can take to avoid attracting burglars to your home. The first to remove any litter outside your home. Obviously, this is important anyway since trash is unsightly, but there’s an even bigger reason!

Properties full of garbage can give strangers the impression that you’re not home often, or that you’ve been away for a while, making it easier for criminals to get away with robbing you virtually undetected.

Patsy Lynch / Wikimedia Commons

Some experienced burglars even know how to use litter to send secret signals to other criminals about how many people live in the house—and when they’re away. Don’t give them the opportunity to do so!

Here’s another crucial tip that can actually save you some time, especially on those busy mornings when you don’t have even an extra second to spare: don’t make your bed before you leave your home.

It may sound sloppy, and in conflict with what you’ve taught to keep your house tidy, but many burglars first look at the beds before targeting a house. An unmade bed could give the impression that someone is still there.

Another good (albeit obvious) precaution to take is to invest in a professional home security system. These may be costly, but they’re usually ideal for protecting homes, and the cost of being robbed is often far greater!

Vivint Smart Home / YouTube

If you can’t afford one of these systems, however, you might be able to just put a sign or sticker on your property indicating that your home is protected (even if you know that it technically isn’t). The sign alone could still deter criminals!

Granted, experienced burglars may still take the risk to call you on your bluff, but this kind of simple trickery should be enough to scare most wrongdoers away from trying any funny business in your home.

Intel Free Press / Flickr

You should also consider investing in some motion-sensitive lights. Remember, criminals can still get nervous! If a light suddenly shines on them, they will get the impression that they’ve been caught and flee the scene.

Glogger / Wikimedia Commons

It may seem obvious to hide your valuables in your sock drawer or a lockbox, but that’s exactly why you should consider moving them someplace even sneakier. At this point, most criminals know to look in places like that…

With that in mind, who would think to look for your most valuable jewelry in your child’s bedroom? Sure, you should still keep it somewhere safe within that room so your children can’t get to it, but burglars themselves are unlikely to seek it out there!

Finally, it’s important to remember that people don’t just kick down doors in action movies; burglars do it in real life all the time. Be sure to reinforce your door, either with more wood or by investing in a steel door.

Home Repair Tutor / YouTube

This particular method of burglary involving a rubber band is not considered common—at least not yet. Still, it’s always a good idea to take precautions, and finding a good hiding spot for valuables is definitely a critical precaution.

The secret safe behind a painting is a total cliché at this point, but how about the safe behind the power outlet? It’s the perfect size for stashing money or jewelry. No burglar will ever find this spot unless for some reason he stops to charge his phone.

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

With a little bit of stuffed animal surgery, a teddy bear can become the perfect storage spot. As a fair warning, you probably don’t want to use a bear with any sentimental value. That’s because this trick requires cutting off its head, scooping out the stuffing, and inserting a jar inside. 

Cleverly

For the ultimate hiding spot, you can hollow out an area underneath a staircase. This secret passage lets you hide massive amounts of valuables, and you can even hide in it yourself as long as the space is big enough. If hanging out under the stairs is good enough for Harry Potter, then it’s good enough for you!

How would you like to secretly store tiny items right at your desk? That’s a cinch as long as you’ve got a stack of sticky notes. Just carve a hole in the middle of the stack, but leave the top and bottom sheets intact. Your nosy coworker will never steal your candy again!

Cleverly

Just about any drawer can serve as the perfect clandestine storage spot. Insert a panel of wood — ideally with a disguised handle attached — into the drawer as a false bottom. From there, just stow any relatively flat valuables underneath. No one will be any more the wiser!

Handyman

You might hate your cheap TV, but it actually can help protect you from robbers! By mounting it in front of a hollow space in the wall, you have a large depository right behind your big screen that’s perfect for your REAL valuables.

Imgur / TheWalkingAlive

Any jar can become a low-maintenance cache for valuables. How, you might ask? All you need to do is drop a toilet paper roll inside, insert any small possessions into the tube, and fill up the rest of the jar with dry food, like pasta or rice. You can keep this right in your kitchen for easy access, or even take it with you!

YouTube / Cleverly

Who empties out their vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, let alone someone else’s? Nobody is interested in getting literal dirt on you, which makes the inside of your vacuum very handy for storing sensitive items. It’s especially useful for tucking away important documents.

It’s always a good idea to carry some emergency cash on you, somewhere separate from your wallet. Fortunately, there’s no place better to hold a few rolled-up bills than inside a hollow lip balm tube! It’ll stop your bank account from running dry, though your lips just might.

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When it comes to protecting your treasures, you should always take the high ground. So forget stashing prized possessions in the wall or floor — you can put light items on top of ceiling tiles! Just remember which tile you chose, or else you’ll be taking on quite the scavenger hunt.

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

That lip balm hack works great, but sometimes you need a bit more space. A sunscreen bottle will do just the trick, and you can still easily lug it around in your bag. This lotion is SPF 100 percent secure.

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Unless you have a really hungry cat burglar, chances are no intruders will check inside the fridge. A mayonnaise jar, or any other (mostly) empty container, makes for an ideal, out-of-the-way safe for a rainy day fund.

Family Handyman

Chances are that your house is full of various nooks and crannies, so you might as well put them to good use. You can fit a manila envelope in the crack between your kitchen cabinets (just attach a couple binder clips so you can spot it).

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

Don’t just tuck your spare key under the doormat. That’s the first place everyone will look. But you can still hide a key right by your front door by putting it in a jar, burying it in the dirt, and placing a distinctive rock over the spot.

A globe is a classy piece of decor for any room and a useful one as well. Take advantage of its hollowness and tuck a wad of money or other small valuables at the bottom, maybe somewhere around Antarctica. This trick will open up a whole new world!

Imgur / TheWalkingAlive

Even if you’re not a cat person, you should pay attention to this trick. Nobody will go digging through a container of kitty litter, which makes it a great spot to stash a box of important items. For maximum effect, pour a layer of litter over the box so that it is completely submerged. 

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

Good news: we finally have a use for the biggest, driest reference books that you never open. When glued together, their covers form an undercover storage spot that fits right in with your personal library. You can find this idea in your dictionary under G for “genius.”

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One man’s trash holds another man’s treasure. Rather than toss out an empty paint can keep it on your shelf to hold a spare set of keys or some money. If you have a large paint selection, just be careful that you don’t misplace the special can!

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

No robber in their right mind would open up a pipe! So if you were to embed a length of PVC pipe into your wall, wouldn’t it be the perfect disguise for a safe? To make it even harder to crack, you can place the pipe out of easy reach.

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

We’ve covered a ton of genius hiding spots, but how will you keep track of them all? The easiest way is to write up a guide to remind you of all your treasures’ whereabouts. Hide it inside of your favorite book, and you will never lose anything again!

MSN / Elizabeth Flaherty

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