Many of us assume that locks prevent someone from entering our homes, but they don’t always keep us safe. Now guns and knives are objects that make our hearts race with fear, but you probably never even imagined that an item as harmless as a rubber band could be used to break into your home. But a woman’s story, which happened to go viral, hints at the fact that you should never underestimate anything when it comes to home security.
Kim Fleming Cernigliaro’s Facebook post when viral when she shared a warning that left a lot of folks on the internet terrified. She came within seconds of being the latest victim of a home invasion, and the most shocking thing is that it didn’t go the way most burglaries usually happen. The Texas resident explained how she had heard a knock on the door while she was home one day. But the knocking wasn’t soft. It was loud and violent.
Cernigliaro assumed that the knocker was in dire need of assistance. But on her post, she admitted that she’s not the kind of person who’d answer the door when she’s home alone. Eventually, the violent knocks stopped, and Cernigliaro assumed that the individual got sick of waiting and left. An hour after the incident, she walked to the front door to see who the knocker might have been. But in lieu of a note, she noticed that her door handle had something…
She assumed she would find a pamphlet, a flyer, or a note on her door, which is what most people would expect. It’s not like it’s out of the question to find one of those things placed in your mailbox or stuck on the side of the door. But what she discovered turned out to be a simple rubber band, like the kind you’d find lying around the office, at home, or at a supply store, and it was on the door latch. Now wasn’t that odd?
Cernigliaro believed that the rubber band was put there to keep the door from closing the next time the latch on the door had been unlocked. Now she was terrified, so she called her husband, and the local sheriff, who explained that he had gotten similar reports to this incident before. He also pointed out that the rubber band being used this way was actually a bad sign.
Cernigliario shared: “As soon as you unlatch the door, they do not wait for you to turn the knob they can bust in on you.” This wasn’t an isolated incident, which was a fact that the sheriff pointed out to her. The burglars usually place the rubber band on the doorknob before they knock. When the homeowner opens the door, the thief is able to get into the home easily. Who could have imagined that so much danger could come from something as simple as a rubber band?
Cernigliaro’s post on Facebook had spread like wildfire because concerned citizens wanted others to know about this worrisome threat. As door knobs being rubber banded continued going viral, local newspapers caught wind of the story and began writing about Cernigliaro’s cautionary tale. Some news stories suggested that the robbers were scoping homes ahead of time to ensure that someone would be there to open the door.
In less than no time, Cernigliaro’s original Facebook post spread across the entire United States, and folks soon realized that rubber bands weren’t harmless office supplies. Rubber bands were now seen as something that could be used to harm, which made people fearful. Now, anyone who saw a rubber band on their door would know that a thief had targeted them and they would probably be dealing with a home invasion. But there was a twist…
Homeowners were warned through the post and headline news that rubber bands on door knobs were a warning to call the cops. But not everyone agreed with this story. In fact, it wasn’t long before people noticed a few inconsistencies in Cernigliaro’s claim. For one thing, the doorknob she posted on Facebook suggested that the robber could have pushed down on the latch using a thumb. What purpose would the rubber band serve? Snopes, a site that debunks theories, couldn’t find any other home invasion cases using this method which Cernigliaro claimed. So, what was going on here?
Regardless of whether you see a rubber band or not, be careful when you answer your door. You can also take other steps to avoid making your home a burglar’s next target. For starters, you should get rid of any garbage outside your property. If your home has a lot of garbage, it suggests to the thief that you’re rarely home or that you might be on vacation. You might as well put a sign that says “come and get it,” because you’re making it easier for thieves to steal without being caught.
The first thing most thieves look at when they scope out a home are the beds. If your bed is unmade, the thief will assume that there’s someone at home, so they’ll get out of there quickly or avoid the house altogether. If anything, this gives you yet another reason to disobey a rule your mom taught you as a kid, and simply leave your bed unmade. But aside from not tucking your sheets under your mattress, there are a few other things you need to be doing.
It might set you back a few bucks, but home security systems are quite effective. They alert authorities right away the moment that a potential robbery is in progress. But we get that you might not have a budget for it, so you can also place a sticker or a sign on your lawn or windows to let any thief out there know or think that your home is protected. What thief would risk breaking into a home with a security system?
Aside from a home security system, you should invest in motion-sensitive lights. Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it seems. They’re actually pretty simple to install, and you only have to install them outside of your property. This will be make thieves think twice before burglarizing your home. Most thieves will flee the moment the light shines on them. They’ll just assume they’ve been made, which is what you need them to think.
Paperwork, jewelry, and money need to remain hidden in a safe or a lock box. On the other hand, that’s where the thief will likely go to first. So, what’s your next option? This might seem a bit far off, but try putting your safe or lock box somewhere that thieves wouldn’t normally assume you’d keep them like your kid’s room. If you were planning on breaking into a home, you probably wouldn’t look for jewelry or money in a child’s room, or if you did, it would only happen after you’ve searched the rest of the house.
Next to windows, a door is a thief’s preferred point of entry, so you need to consider buying a steel door or reinforcing your old door with some more wood. Otherwise, you’ll end up like those poor saps in movies where a robber breaks the door down by throwing their body weight against it or by kicking it down. Sadly, this can happen in the real world. So even if robbers aren’t using rubber bands to open doors, you’re better off taking whatever safety steps are needed to keep your home and yourself safe. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.