Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More on the Economics of Crime

At the beginning of this semester, we read a chapter out of David Friedman's Hidden Order that discussed how to keep people from burglarizing your house by posting fake signs, etc. Stephen Dubner has a post on the Freakonomics Blog that continues on that same theme. Here are some of the tips he cites:
1. If you do keep cash in the house, leave a little of it where the burglar can find it, in the hope that he’ll think that’s all there is.
2. Leave visible a list showing that all your valuables are tucked away in a safe-deposit box.
3. If you have kids, consider hiding cash in their rooms: they’re too messy for a burglar to bother with and burglars assume that parents wouldn’t take a chance of hiding money where their kids might find it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

So I think those are some pretty good ideas but I was also thinking of some others. You could put a sign outside your house that says you are protected by such and such security, or that you have an extremely dangerous exotic animal in the house (preferably a python). No one wants to mess with a python. Another thing you could do is leave the radio or TV on in the house and turn it loud, it might trick the theif into thinking that someone is there. You could also have a fake safe or something that they theif could easily take away and have it be filled with nothing valuable. If you're creative there are thousands of ways to make your home safer.

-James C

jacob hormes said...

You could hide your money in the bathroom. i don't think a whole lot of thieves raid the bathrooms hoping to find anything valuable. You could also put a sign up that says orphange in your house. Theives would feel horrible about robbing your house and go next door. You could also put a sign up that says "Home of the Michael Arjona". Theives would be so scared of the biceps that protect the house that they would go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I like the exotic animal and orphange idea, but you could also do easier and more practical things such as leave your house lights on a timer. Much like the loud tv and radio idea, the robber might think someone is home. You could even go as far to install video cameras in adventageous positions outside, but don't actually have them working. The cost of possibly being caught on tape might deter the burglar from robbing you. Also, keep the outside of your house well lit and have motion sensing flood lights that keep the outside of your house well illuminated. Burglars don't want to chance being seen.

-John Schmidt

Wilzon said...

I think that the ideas listed above are great ideas if you have a lot of time on your hands. Fact is that most people are just too lazy to take the extra steps in making their homes safer. Like the other posters, I am a big fan of the exotic animal idea, or even non exotic animals, know one will mess with a pit bull! As far as the money issue goes, I would not keep large amounts of cash in my house, but if I did the bathroom seems like an excellent choice. Bathrooms are not only disgusting for most people, but they have little things of value and besides, who would want to reach behind the toilet to check for someone else’s paycheck? Another thing that I could think of would be a complex lighting system that would cast shadows of figures in the house making the burglar think someone was home, or systematically having TV and other electronics turn on even when you aren’t home. The last thing I can think of is placing some type of symbol on your house that would show that you had some association with law enforcement, no bulgur wants to rob the house of a cop for fear that the entire department after them. If all else fails I think a simple sign saying that the home is protected by a security company should work…

Ryan W

Anonymous said...

All of the above suggested ideas I believe could be possible, and some have even been shown in movies such as Home Alone when Macauley Culkin plays tapes on the tv that sound like some guy who's going to attack the burglars and then he makes sounds like gunshots. However, a plan like that would require that a person was home to operate. While someone was not at home, one idea that I feel like keeps my home safer is that if my family leaves the house all together in one car, I think parking one of the other cars in the driveway where the potential burglar can see it might suggest that someone is home. However, this might just encourage the person to steal the car instead of items in the house. The idea of a sign saying "Beware of Dog" seems to be the simplest and most effective tactic.

-Kate Vanderlip

Anonymous said...

i think that all of these ideas are really good. like ryan said, i don't think leaving money in your house is a good idea, but i thought that the laundry room would be a good place to hide money, because what theif wants to take something like laundry detergent? another good place could be the bookshelf. in a book, high on the shelf. because books would be heavy to steal. and what theif wants to steal books?

-carolyn.

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