Judging by a number of recent reports, securing your home using hi-tech devices may not necessarily be the way to go.
Forget alarm systems, turn off your CCTV cameras and infra-red beams and buy a coffin. Yes, it does seem a little over the top and may not be ideal for those living in sectional title developments (you can bet your bottom dollar that some body corporate chairman isn't going to welcome the idea) but, judging by what has happened since a coffin was installed at a business in Cullinan, Gauteng, the latest anti-theft device is a winner.
It appears that the couple that came up with the idea had been targeted by thieves and the business was being burgled three times a week. Since installing the coffin however, no one with an ulterior motive has been near the place.
It appears that our thieves are a pretty superstitious bunch and the idea of breaking into a property that contains something like a coffin is too much for them to handle. This might prove to be the ideal deterrent – after all, while the initial outlay may be a touch expensive, once installed, the “security device” requires very little in the way of maintenance (depending of course on the make and model you choose), doesn't cost anything to run and, given the response to the one in Cullinan, is apparently theft-proof.
It's fair to say that South Africans are resourceful and constantly on the lookout for sure-fire ways to protect ourselves and our homes. Does anyone remember the anti-hijacking device that took out would-be thieves on the driver’s side of vehicles with a flame-thrower when activated? It has to be said that while many were keen to braai the odd hijacker’s shins, the authorities deemed the device to be completely unacceptable and banned its use.
There are also those who advocate the use of non-violence and go for a softer approach. Rubber snake sales have in all probability rocketed in recent times and while it may be more than a little disconcerting to have numerous "serpents" hanging around your home, a die-hard few swear by this anti-theft tool.
More adventurous souls with a bit of cash to spare should give some consideration to acquiring an obsolete prop from a zombie movie. For a few thousand US dollars you can buy a partly severed head that emerges from a grave (with all the necessary sound effects) and snaps aggressively at passers-by. In the right setting, this ghoulish thing will have the most hardened criminal running for the hills.
A cheaper, yet certainly equally effective deterrant is to have a remote controlled great white shark patrolling your hallways at night. These life-sized helium horrors are available on line and with a bit of a makeover will pass for the real thing in dim lighting. It's not something that your run-of-the-mill thief would expect to encounter when trying to pilfer the silver and will certainly have the underworld’s bush telegraph buzzing!