Thursday, September 11, 2014


Some people left their car in the long-term parking while away, and someone broke into the car.  Using the information on the car's registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people's home in Pebble Beach and robbed it.  So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener.  This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.
2.     GPS:  
Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game.  Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans.  Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control,    some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.  When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.  The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house.  They then used the garage remote control to open the  garage door and gain entry to the house.  The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house.  It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.  Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it... Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.
3.     CELL PHONES:  
I never thought of this....... This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen.  Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen.  Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, "I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago."  When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already  withdrawn.  The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text "hubby" in the contact list and got hold of the pin number.  Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
Moral of the lesson:
a. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc....
b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
c. Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them.  If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet "family and friends" who text you.
A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children's seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf... wait till you read the WHOLE story!  Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel.  After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers.  She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to  be told by Mall Security that they had not called her.  By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized.  The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burgle it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to recover your lost or stolen phones, tablets, and other devices

How to recover your lost or stolen phones, tablets, and other devices
Technology is increasingly the target of crimes, but it can also be used to fight back against the perpetrators.

Dennis O'Reilly by Dennis O'Reilly  August 28, 2013 10:15 AM PDT

Your camera is stolen. Drag an image you shot with the device into a Web page and a free service searches popular photo sites for other images taken with the camera. If the thief posted a picture taken with the camera to his or her personal account, he or she is busted.
Your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is stolen. Sign into your Dropbox or Gmail account and look for the most recent IP address used when accessing the account. If the service is set to log in to the account on startup, or if the thief tries to access your Dropbox or Gmail account, his or her IP address will appear there. Take the information along with the police report of the theft to the police and the robber's ISP will identify the crook.
These are just two examples of tools available to the victims of crimes that can assist them in retrieving their stolen items. In some cases, the devices were merely lost and the finders may need some help (or encouragement) to return the products to their rightful owners.
There's plenty you can do before, during, and after you lose a Web-connected device to increase the chances the gizmo will find its way back to you.
Before it goes missing, capture the model and serial numbers
The key to recovering lost or stolen electronics is to know their pertinent digits -- in this case, their model and serial numbers. If you file a police report for stolen equipment, the form will ask for this information, and having the serial number makes it much easier to reclaim your property.
If you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, you've probably been instructed to photograph your valuable personal property. When snapping shots of your computers and other electronics equipment, you're better off capturing the bottom or back of the device -- wherever the model and serial numbers are located -- than the top or front.
If your stuff goes missing before you've had a chance to grab any ID numbers, all is not lost (or stolen). My wife chides me for holding onto the boxes for the electronics I purchase. I tell her it's because I may have to return the device if it turns out to be defective, but the box also has the product's model and serial number printed on it. Even if you don't need to keep your receipts for tax purposes, the sales slips also have the products' model and serial numbers.
Put your contact info in a prominent location
Make it easy for someone finding your phone, tablet, or laptop to return it by placing a contact e-mail address or telephone number on the product's lock screen. You do use a lock screen for all your portable devices, right? Losing your hardware is tough enough. You don't want to make matters worse by giving thieves or less-than-honest finders access to your personal data. The few seconds a day it takes to enter passcodes is time well-spent.
One of the tips in my post from last September titled "How to lock down and find Android and Windows phones" explained how to add contact info on an Android phone's lock screen. The post "How to prevent phone and tablet theft" described the process of using an image with your contact info as your lock-screen wallpaper.
If you haven't already, make sure you install a find-my-device app for your phone or tablet. My post from August 2011 titled "Keep your iPad data safe" covered the free Find My Phone app for iPhones and iPads. Last September's post on locking and finding Android and Windows phone described the remote-find feature built into Windows phones, which is tied to your Windows Live account. One of the products I reviewed earlier this month in "Essential free productivity apps for Android tablets" Is Lookout Mobile Security, which lets you locate a lost Android device. Google recently released the Android Device Manager that helps you track down missing Android phones and tablets.
An open-source alternative for tracking laptops, phones, and tablets is the free Prey program, which is available for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, and Android devices. After you download the app to your computer or device, it stays hidden in the background. The program uses the device's GPS or the nearest Wi-Fi hotspots to determine its location.
Prey can establish a connection to the nearest open Wi-Fi access point if it can't find an Internet connection. You may be able to take a picture of the thief with the device's camera or capture a screenshot of the active session to grab the crook's Facebook or e-mail sign-in. (Note that I haven't tested the product; this information is from the developer's site.)
During a robbery, make like Chili Palmer
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being robbed, the consensus of law enforcement is to do as the robber asks. No iPhone is worth risking serious injury over. You can help the police by noting any distinguishing characteristics of the thief.
According to a profane Craigslist post by a New York City police officer, the things to note are sex, clothing, color, clothing type, headware, and direction of flight. The officer emphasizes that you should call the police as quickly as possible. Considering that you probably just had your phone stolen, this may not be so easy. I can't remember the last time I saw a functioning payphone, let alone used one. Look for a restaurant, grocery store, or bar nearby, or ask a bystander if you can use his or her phone to make the call.
Be as precise as possible when you give the 911 operator your location, but keep in mind it will probably take several minutes for the police to arrive. Once they do, channel Sgt. Joe Friday of the LAPD (showing my age) and stick with the facts. Resist the temptation to whine or complain. Provide as much accurate information as you can for the police report. Don't even think about not filing a police report if you have even a glimmer of hope of retrieving your lost items or collecting on an insurance claim.
Should you ever discover that your home or business has been robbed, first make sure you don't surprise the burglars. Some experts advise that you exit immediately and call the police, and don't enter at all if you see a door or window has obviously been forced open. In any event, don't start tidying up or otherwise disturb the scene any more than safety dictates. You may wipe out some useful clues for investigators.
Tools and techniques for getting your stolen stuff back
On the other hand, the police are pretty busy and may not have time or resources available for much -- or any -- investigating. In addition to using a locator app, you can register your electronic devices and other valuables with the free Immobilize national product registry and its companion services, the CheckMEND and Trace databases of items reported stolen.
The Trace database of stolen items
After you register your electronics and other valuables at the free Immobilize site, they'll be added to the Trace database of stolen items to prevent their resale and help police find and return them.
(Credit: Screenshot by Dennis O'Reilly/CNET)
Start by creating an inventory of your property at Immobilize (which is also available in the UK as Immobilise). If you're the victim of a robbery, report the crime to the police and your insurance company. Immobilize issues a "certificate of ownership" intended to facilitate filing a claim or identifying your property when it's recovered.
Next, report the stolen items to the Trace and CheckMEND services that police, second-hand sellers, and the public use to identify products reported as lost or stolen. Should one of their checks turn up an item of yours, it will be easy for them to contact you, and you'll have the information you need to reclaim it.
Another option for reporting lost and stolen items is the Stolen Register, a worldwide database of misplaced property. Stolen Register lets you enter a serial number, model number, or other identifying information in a search box and retrieve matching items from its product database.
Stolen Register product search
Before you purchase a second-hand item, enter its serial number or other ID in the Stolen Register to make sure the product hasn't been reported lost or stolen.
(Credit: Screenshot by Dennis O'Reilly/CNET)
You can search for items by type, whether reported lost or stolen, by time, and by location, including proximity to your current location (within 10 miles or 50 miles). Stolen Register uses your Facebook name and e-mail address to identify you; when you sign up, Facebook indicates that the service is also asking for access to your friends list and profile, but Stolen Register claims this is due to Facebook's sharing procedure.
When you report a lost or stolen item on Stolen Register, you can provide a description along with its serial number and other identifying information. The service lets you upload a photo of the product and plot where it was lost on a Google Map. After you register your property you can view a list of the items you've reported lost.
A popular outlet for thieves selling stolen goods is Craigslist. To facilitate searching the site for someone selling your lost or stolen property, enter the product info in's Craigslist searcher. Enter a make and model in the service's custom Google search box and it scans the Craigslist for-sale listings for matching items. A benefit of's custom search is that it scans ads in all geographic locations, not just in your vicinity.
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After you register with the free site, you can list the items you've lost to have them added to Google search results. (The service appears to be preparing a premium version that promises more prominent placement in search engines and the ability to add more attention-getting elements to your listings.)
Long before there was Craigslist or any other second-hand online emporium, there were pawn shops. Pawn-shop operators are usually adept at spotting stolen merchandise someone tries to pawn by using stolen-property tracking services such as those described above.
There's still a chance your misplaced valuables could wind up hocked by the thief or finder. Pawn shops generally don't display items right away and instead wait a certain period before offering them for sale. After all, the products are technically on loan and redeemable by repaying the "loan."
If you make the rounds of local pawn shops and spot what may be one of your possessions, it may not be a good idea to stake your claim to the item right away. On the InfoBarrel site, Harold J. Forbes recommends that you act interested in the property, ask the shop to hold it for you, and then contact the police -- with your police report in hand -- to ask for their assistance in retrieving the merchandise.
According to Forbes, the item will then be impounded by the police as evidence. You'll have to prove you own it in a court property hearing, and only then will you be able to claim it from the police impound.
ID thieves who upload images they took with your lost or stolen camera
The metadata attached to many digital images includes serial number data stored in Exchangeable Image Format (EXIF) tags. The CameraTrace service scans images that have been uploaded to popular photo-sharing sites and matches them to its camera database, which the service claims has more than 11 million cameras, and counting.
CameraTrace promises to work with local law enforcement agencies to help you retrieve your lost or stolen camera. It can also be used to enforce image copyrights. Note that the service works only with cameras that embed their serial numbers in the EXIF tags. It offers one free scan and charges $10 per camera thereafter.
Locating a lost or stolen camera with the free StolenCameraFinder open-source service is a drag-and-drop affair: drag a photo you've taken with the camera into your browser and drop it in a box on the site's home page. You can also select an image in Windows Explorer or Finder.
StolenCameraFinder's drag-and-drop image-tracing service
Find a lost or stolen camera by tracing it based on its image fingerprint to other photos the theft/finder has posted on the Web.
(Credit: Screenshot by Dennis O'Reilly/CNET)
If you don't have a photo taken by the camera, search for its posted images by entering the camera's serial number. StolenCameraFinder doesn't support images taken with iPhones or other smartphones. The service works only with JPEGs, ideally ones that haven't been edited or downloaded from the Web, both of which can alter the image's EXIF data. Also, Facebook strips out the EXIF data from images uploaded to the site, according to StolenCameraFinder.
Here's looking up your old IP address
If your lost or stolen computer, tablet, or phone is set to sign into your Dropbox or Gmail account automatically, or if the thief or finder signs into the account, you can identify the person by logging into either service and accessing the IP address of the most recent access.
As Ben Popken reported in the Consumerist back in March 2011, a Dropbox user signed into his account from another computer after his laptop was stolen and realized the thief's IP address was captured by the service when the crook powered up the laptop. The victim provided the police with the IP address, which can be used to identify the perpetrator through his or her Internet service provider.
Dropbox most-recent-activity popup
Find the IP address used the last time your Dropbox account was accessed via the account's security settings.
(Credit: Screenshot by Dennis O'Reilly/CNET)
To access your recently used IP addresses in Dropbox, sign into the account at, choose the account name in the top-right corner, and click Settings. Select the Security tab and look for "Most recent activity" in the "Web sessions" section. Hover over the entry to have the date, time, and IP address appear in a popup window.
The same goes for Gmail: if the person who absconded with your computer or device signs into your Gmail account or it's set to start with the computer, you can view the IP address used to log in by opening your Gmail account from another computer or device, scrolling to the bottom of the page, and choosing Details under "Last account activity" in the bottom-right corner.
Gmail account access activity log
Find a log of your Gmail account accesses by clicking Details under "Last account activity" at the bottom of the main window.
(Credit: Screenshot by Dennis O'Reilly/CNET)
The Gmail activity log shows the browser or device used, the location and IP address, and the date and time. The log also indicates whether there are other active sessions for the account and provides a button for signing out of all other sessions.
Take the IP address and your police report to your local police station and ask for their help in retrieving your property.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Alternative to a handgun under the bed

Great idea.... Cheaper than pepper spray

Never thought about this before but important to know!

I know some of you own GUNS but this is something to think about...
If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you. Did you know this? I didn't. I never really thought of it before. I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.

Wasp Spray
 -  A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.
The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades.

It's also one he wants everyone to hear If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray. "That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save a life.

Please share this with all the people who are precious to your life
Did you also know that wasp spray will kill a snake? And a mouse! It will! Good to know, huh? It will also kill a wasp!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your
Carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your
Yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my
Return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... And taste means there
Are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me
Wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I
Might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to
Remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and
Foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm
Company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it
Too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows
On the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your
Jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock
Your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off
Because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or
Offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check
Dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you
Keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system.
If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can
Buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of
a real television. (Find it at


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and
Carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your
Neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear
It again.. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was
Doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy
Alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home,
And for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk
Through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to
Pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than
You think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to
Let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the
Jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and
Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor
Com/ and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of
Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on
The Job

Protection for you and your home:

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil
Plans for you. (I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.):


A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned
About someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were
Counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using
Pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot
more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to
you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker
until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk
in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of
pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection..
Thought this was interesting and might be of use.


On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo
dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High
School. For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray
near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace
or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries
to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's
a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to
hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out."

Maybe even save a life.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's
office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your
car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house
just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and
the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car
battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next
time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think
of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and
requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere
inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or
until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you
park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is
trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick

After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to
see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And
remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The
alarm can work the same way there.

This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could
save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

'Pain Beam' to Be Installed in LA Jail

An invisible heat-beam weapon developed in secrecy by the military is set for use in a U.S. jail.

Law enforcement officials recently revealed plans to use the nonlethal device at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Pitchess Detention Center, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The weapon, which shoots an invisible beam of energy, would be used in the prisoners' dormitory to stop an assault or break up a fight.

Called the Assault Intervention Device, it uses millimeter waves to heat the top layer of skin, causing an intense burning sensation that forces the person being targeted to move away immediately.

View more news videos at:

"I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air, except instead of being all over me, it's more focused," said Bob Osborne, commander of the Sheriff's Department's Technology Exploration Program, according to the Daily News.

The weapon being installed in the jail is a smaller version of a technology originally developed by the military for use on the battlefield. The military's weapon, called the Active Denial System, can be put on a Humvee or truck, and researchers are also working on a aircraft-mounted version.

Raytheon, which makes the Assault Intervention Device, markets several versions of the weapon on its website.

The smaller version of the weapon being installed in the jail creates pain on a single part of the body, rather than all-over heat like the military version. A local news video showing the device being tested features a laughing test subject clutching a single part of the body where he has been hit, and then moving out of the way.

The device's use at the Pitchess Detention Center is part of a six-month evaluation being conducted by the National Institute of Justice to look at possible widespread use of the technology in jails. If that happens, then it will place law enforcement agencies well ahead of the military.

Despite spending years and tens of millions of dollars to develop the nonlethal technology, the military has not yet deployed the Active Denial System, in large part because of concerns of a public relations backlash against using a "microwave weapon." Ironically, a former Air Force secretary even suggested that the weapon should first be used in the United States before being deployed abroad.

The Pentagon this year did send a truck-mounted version of the weapon to Afghanistan for testing, but it was sent home without ever being used.

Monday, August 23, 2010

FBI Alert

It’s back to school time. Time to be more alert of suspicious strangers, unusual or unfamiliar vehicles and abnormal activity in your neighborhood. Talk to your children about strangers. Watch out for school crossing zones; be aware of the speed limits and slow down for our future generation.

EXTRA!! The FBI is warning the public about an ongoing scheme involving jury service. Most of us take that summons for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out of their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced. The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your social security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. If you give out any of this information, bingo; your identity was just stolen!
The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois and Colorado. This scheme is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their websites, warning consumers about the fraud.