NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans police are investigating two brazen home break-ins where burglars cut power to the houses.
Gino Ascani, who is the founder of the Facebook page Lakeview Citizen Watch, said he has a good idea why burglars recently cut power to the homes.
"I think they're trying to figure out a way to not be detected, obviously, and, so if they're cutting the power, then you know the security system, as far as the cameras, will be disabled, because nine times out of 10, the cameras aren't on a battery backup. The alarm system should be," Ascani said.
Police said last month, in broad daylight, a woman returned to her home in the 5800 block of Louisville Street to find a car in her driveway and a man inside her house. The burglar ran out, jumped a fence, then took off in the car. Then, last Wednesday, another home break-in, this time in the 5900 block of Orleans Avenue. In both cases, the NOPD said burglars cut power to the home and detectives believe they got in by smashing a window.
We talked with the general manager of a local security company who says homeowners can prevent that from happening by securing the electrical shut-off panel to their house.
"We can actually contact it so that way, if it is open, it will alert and set your alarm off before the burglars even have the chance to cut your power or get in to your home," said Jim Fogg with Protection 1 Security Solutions.
Fogg added that it's always important to make sure your security system's backup battery is working. He also recommends cell-based alarm systems that notify you and the monitoring company if anything goes wrong.
"We call it data burst technology, which is a lot like high-speed text message. It doesn't touch ground, you don't have to worry about someone cutting it, it just transmits it," Fogg said.
As for Ascani, he's warning neighbors on the Lakeview Citizen Watch Facebook page about what happened and asking them to buy a lock to protect that electrical shut-off panel.
"A $5 solution, and it's just a deterrent - like locking your car door at night," said Ascani.
Police say the man who broke into the house on Louisville Street was wearing a light blue shirt and a tan hat similar to what postal employees wear. If you have any information about either break-in, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.