Written by Sonya Stephens on 31 January 2019

They’ve done it again. Not once, but twice, they broke into our garden shed and stole from us.  And that within a week… 1 week!  Guess what time of day it was.  Middle of the night perhaps?  No, no, not at all – during the day while I was nearby!

The first was around 3pm and the second at approximately 5pm in the day.  How do I know this, you may wonder?

Well, the first time I left for only an hour and on my return spotted the deed that was done.  In that one hour he/she/they (the thieving) climbed over the fence, broke open the shed door and stole one bicycle.  It’s not an expensive bike but that’s not the point – what would’ve happened if I returned while this was in progress?

After that, we put in extra measures – CCTV recordings, bolts, locks, motion censored lights and the likes.  As the door of the shed faces away from the house, we added a long ladder which we could see from the house if moved (I now know storing ladders outside is a bad thing – read our tips infographic).  For the next few days, we were vigilant.  We monitored the cameras and checked that the ladder is still there.  We were constantly aware and looking.  But this is not sustainable, and the constant monitoring subsided after about 5 days.

Six days later came the second break-in.  We only noticed the thieving deed the next morning seeing the ladder had moved. On further investigation we saw our back gate was forcibly kicked in and all the added bolts and locks were broken. Trolling through CCTV footage (which unfortunately proved to be grainy) of the early morning hours and night before, I found nothing out of the ordinary.  I started back tracking to the previous afternoon and there I found it.  A brief moment of a person with a hoodie peering around the corner of the shed at 17:04.  Then, on the CCTV footage, I noticed the motion lights turning on-and-off until 17:21 followed by nothing.  At 17:54 the motion lights started turning on and off again until 18:02 – 8 minutes.  After that nothing again for the rest of the night and morning. Another bicycle was stolen as well as my son’s Kuberg Electric Trial Motorbike.  My guess would be that the ‘thieving’ researched the value of the latter and came back for it in the 8-minute window.

The timing of this gave me shivers and made me feel nauseous. This was while I was in the house at the kitchen table supporting my son with his homework.  What if my son had decided to kick his ball outside as he so often does? And why did I not notice anything as the kitchen faces the garden?  I realised that, with lights on in the house when it is darker outside, the reflection of the inside against the window is so prominent that one does not notice normal motion censored lights go on outside unless putting your face to the window.  It is winter and the sun sets just before 17:00. 

Now we’ve boarded up the door that faces away from the house and added an alarm system.  One cannot prevent someone from entering but we can make it as difficult as possible and install alert and tracking mechanisms. 

According to police reports there is a spike in burglaries in the UK, including homes and sheds.  Valuables and bicycles seem to be the item of choice within the borough I live. I discovered some useful tips on protecting your physical belongings which I will share via an Infographic (if only I paid more attention to these tips before). 

While this blog focuses on physical assets, there are similarities in the digital world. Have you thought about pro-actively protecting your non-physical assets? Protecting everything of yours or entrusted to you in the digital world?  Your personal data, personal data of others you hold, your companies’ strategic data?  Do you know what you have, to know if it is stolen? Do you know if you have been breached?  Our experienced team at Lacuna Securities Ltd. can easily and comprehensively hunt for cyber threats across your entire network, faster and at a significantly lower cost than enterprise-scale threat hunting programs.  Contact us on office@lacunasec.com if you would like our help.