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According to some of the TV shows that were on featuring past burglars, the barking of a dog, no matter what size, was the most effective at making the burglars detour and rob someone elses home.

Burglar alarms were second,

Nosy neighbors were third,

Good grounds and motions sensor lighting was fourth,

Personally, I came up with some things missing when I first moved here, then I started leaving my used rifle targets leaned up against the garage and back door porch.
Nothing walks off now.
 

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Ouchies

I am not the criminal, so, I am not about to live behind bars.:p

Having said that, some anti-theft measures are in order.

My own solution is Very thorny type bushes and shrubs planted in the most likley areas of entry.

Such as: Rose bushes & climbing roses under windows, Holly bushes work well also, etc.

Very large, very loud dog (dogs), they are also good companions. I have a
92lb pitbullx that stays glued to my left hip.
 

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Would cactii work as far as lining the perimeter entry points or do they grow too slow? Are there any that grow really fast?
 

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You can buy cacti at stores fairly inexpensive at least here in the South. I had a window I worried the most about so I built a window box with decorative cacti in it.
 

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I have seen the prickly pear ones get extremely huge, that would be preferable so that it is extremely in the way of the window... I am wondering if those grow faster since they always seem so large...
 

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Anything thorny

Would cactii work as far as lining the perimeter entry points or do they grow too slow? Are there any that grow really fast?
I would think that any thing that has a lot of sharp points would work.
One of the ladies that lives in town has a shrub that has red leaves in the spring, and then they turn green for the rest of the summer & much of the fall. I don't know what it is called, but it is very atractive and has some killer thorns.

The old gentleman at the end of my road planted Black Locost all around his fence line. I woundn't crawl through that fence for anything.

I live in the country, and I am a looooooong way from being a youngster.
Some of the folks that live out here are good to watch out for each other & some of them are just watching to see what you have and when you my not be home. It's important to know who is which.

I do have a couple of guns (which I've never had to use, except for snakes), and I have carefully built a reputation for being "a little odd". With that, along with the pricky plants and the dogs, I feel about as safe as I would anyplace.
Certainly safer than some of my friends that live in the city.
 

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I wonder if mesquite would be good, I heard if you don't get the thorn tips out it is both poisonous and infectious and can cause amputation.
 

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Pyracantha or Spanish Bayonet might be a good choice to plant under windows and in likely hiding places (corners of fences, unlighted yard etc).
 

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I like the idea about the targets laying up against the house. I have stickers posted saying intruders will be shot and survivors will be prosecuted.
 

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I'd like to eventually get that 3M film that holds windows together if someone attempts to break them. While it's still a vulnerable part of every home, you can at least slow them down significantly.

I've already pulled the trim off the inside of my doors on the lock side, cut out the wedges, placed a 4' piece of 1/8"x2" steel along the door frame, rewedged it, screwed it in with 3" long screws, then redrilled the lock holes. I then sank 3" screws into the hinges. In the end, for less than $20 in bits I made it 100% more kick resistant than it was before. Most doors are just too easy to kick in because it's nothing but the trim holding the deadbolt. Now they're going to have to literally break the door before they'll get in.

Lord help me if I ever lock myself out.:rolleyes:
 

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What does everyone use as far as devices to prevent burglary besides firearms and alarm systems?
We use a charley bar to secure our apartment and hotel rooms from intruders. They seem to work very well.

Product Review: Master Lock Dual Function Door Security Bar - Associated Content

The only caution that I'd add is that they can seriously impede rescue personnel or family members who might come to your aid if you are incapacitated due to a health crisis or other emergency of some kind.
 

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My grandfather used to encourage bees or wasps to nest in the corners of his property. That kept people and animals out of his yard. He'd also string trip wires across the property line mixed in with very thick thorn bushes. He'd also plant trees and shrubs and dig out or flood areas to create zones where there is only one path through an area.

He lived over a ravine and kept a path cleared across the bottom by the river so he could see anyone passing across his property.

When people would come onto his land from the bottom and try to climb up he'd keep a big collection of large rocks at the top. He's shout a few warnings at them and if they refused to leave he'd roll the rocks down at them progressing in size. If that didn't work he'd come back with the rifle. At that point anyone stupid enough to be hanging around would scatter.

He got a reputation with the people in the area. I think everyone within a few blocks knew not to mess with his house. He could even leave his garage open all day with all his tools sitting out and nobody ever stole anything.
 

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What exactly is a window box Dean?
It is normally a wooden box filled with some dirt allowing plants to grow either indoors or outdoors (depending on the side of the glass that the box is place). Very decorative.

Here is a nice picture of one from gardening.about.com

 

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Charley bar sounds nice. I've always liked window box planters. I always wanted on in my kitchen full of herbs. Just pick and serve.
 

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Bars on all doors and windows and very strong doors. Good lighting. A cell back up to my phones for my alarm. Good neighbors. A few stickers on my doors to let the intruder know if he gets past my security system and enters my house to abandon all hope.
 

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A Charley Bar is about $15 at Home Depot. We have generally used it at night in our apartment and when I had a short-term job in another city I used one to barricade my hotel room at night. Definitely worth the money.

I'd be a bit leery if I was a senior citizen and alone and might need paramedics or relatives to come in and help me.
 
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