'Protecting My Castle': Local Man Takes Stand - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Protecting My Castle': Local Man Takes Stand Against Property Crime

SPOKANE, Wash. - When Michael Boyer moved into his home on west Sussex Court, in north Spokane, he never thought he would have sleepless nights.
 
"I assumed we were relatively safe," Boyer said. "If you look around my neighborhood, I live in a quiet little cul de sac."
 
That soon changed.
 
Night after night, he awoke to criminals trying to rip off his family's hard-earned belongings.

"I've had my vehicles broken into; I've had people in my yard; I have family here, infants," he said. "I've had people break into my trailer."

Boyer's concern quickly grew for his property, his family, and his safety until he finally decided to take a stand against criminals.
 
"I'm not going to tolerate this anymore," he continued. "I'm going to stand a line and I'm going to protect myself."
 
Boyer started small, placing several security cameras around his home to gave him a bird's eye view of his entire property. Watching the surveillance video, it didn't take long for him to find crooks up to no good.  In fact, he thwarted several prowlers from stealing his belongings including one man that he chased away with a BB gun rifle.
 
But after a while, Boyer grew tired of playing a game of cat and mouse.
 
"That's when I started watching the news and I'd kind of respond to the news reports," he said. "The news reports would say' there's a car prowling increase,' so that's when I got the motion detectors."

Boyer's motion detectors use infrared technology so when people walk by who aren't supposed to, the detectors sound a piercingly loud alarm inside Boyer's home. "If that don't wake you up at night, nothing will!" He exclaimed.

In addition to motion detectors, the news sparked another idea.

"Then the news reported that people were climbing in the basement windows of homes so that's when I installed my spike strips on my basement windows," he said, pointing out the hand-crafted spike strips made of 2x4's with nails sticking out. "They look pretty gnarly but it's a deterrent. Would you try to climb through that basement window?"

But that wasn't all. Boyer made sure no one was going to prowl around his doors either.
 
"This $2 piece of 2x4 is the biggest upgrade that gives my wife peace of mind," he said, showing the 2x4. "This is simply propped in the door and keeps the door from being open."
 
Should thieves somehow sneak past the cameras, the detectors, the spike strips, or the door stopper, Boyer has one final back-up plan: a Bryco arms 380 caliber semi-automatic pistol. "If you don't have a gun these days you are waiting to be a victim."

"The reason I do this, obviously, is to protect my family," Boyer explained. "I have children. And to protect my property."

And he has good reason.
 
In July, property crimes began to spike when budget cuts forced the Spokane Police Department to eliminate its property crimes unit.

"We did not want to cut our property crimes unit," Spokane Police Strategic Crime Analyst Carly Cortright said. "I think there's a very big misperception that that was something we wanted to do and that wasn't true."

Cortright said some of the property crime increases were seasonal. Vehicle theft, for example, is always highest in October. But burglaries shot up 46 percent in November, the highest they'd been in five years.
 
"Unfortunately, burglary was really, really high in November and December," Cortright explained. "So clearly the elimination of the property crimes unit did have an impact on property crime."
 
The numbers, Cortright said, were a big concern for the department and one reason they spent the month of January re-focusing their efforts. Cortright said police are now changing their tactics to what they call 'proactive policing'. The department analyzes crime data once a week and then sends police to target criminal hot spots.

"We've been able to see successes, we've been able to arrest people right away and see the crime level drop," she continued. "So I really do believe in 2012 that we will continue to see this trend go back down"

"I do find a little hope now that I've heard they are taking different approaches to solving these crimes and that might be what it takes: thinking outside of the box here," Boyer explained.

Thinking outside of the box has worked for Boyer, who has kept his family and property safer. He also finally has enough peace of mind to sleep through the night.
 
Boyer said all of his securities measures cost him about $500. Below are the items he purchased and priced he paid for them.

1) Four security cameras with DVR recorder ................  .$299.99 from Costco
2) Five driveway motion detector alarms.......................   $9.99 each form Harbor Freight Tools
3) Carpet tack strips on basement windows................. .. $15 from Home Depot
4) Small 1/2 inch thick bar to prop on back door..............$5 from Home Depot
5) Large signs warning of video cameras.........................$5.99 from Harbor Freight Tools
6) High Point American made 9mm pistol........................$169.99 from Army Surplus Store

 

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