SAMMAMISH, Wash. - More than $50,000 worth of personal items were stolen from a Sammamish home and the burglars were caught on camera - just moments before cutting the cable lines.
The thieves were well aware of the security system and how to disable it, leaving one Washington mother wondering if the popular Ring and Nest surveillance systems may not be your best line of defense against criminals.
Katie Thurik’s home in a quiet Sammamish neighborhood was burglarized a little over a week ago. The thieves went around the side of her home and gained access to the phone and cable lines.
“It ended up knocking out the cable which knocked out the Ring and the Nest cameras,” she explained.
They made off with everything from expensive wine, to diamonds and designer handbags.
“Just heartbroken really,” Thurik said. “I mean it’s just things, but it was mine, and they took it.”
Thurik had an alarm system along with cameras, but they didn’t do much good once the wi-fi was down.
“I’m not going to say intelligent burglar because they’re not intelligent or they wouldn’t be burglars in the first place, but the first thing they are going to do is go to the box outside your house and cut the phone lines and cut the cables,” security expert Matthew Lombardi said.
Lombardi owns Absolute Security Alarms in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and he knows a thing or two about home safety.
“I design systems to protect people, not property,” he said. “Protecting property is natural. You’re going to catch a burglar if you’ve got the right system, or you are going to see who that burglar was if you have the right system.”
While cameras like Nest and Ring can let you know what’s happening, they aren't entirely burglar-proof.
“We call them notifier, verifiers,” Lombardi said. “They actually do a great job within the realm of what they do.”
Lombardi stresses the importance of updating your system and having layers of security.
“Now everything should be on its own zone so when there is activity you can tell - a door opened, a motion detector went off, a window broke another door opened, that’s activity, you know somebody is in your home or business," he said.
In Thurik’s case, a criminal cut one line and left her in the dark.
“If you don’t put all your eggs in one basket and you layer your security, you’re much more likely to be protected,” Lombardi said.
Thurik was in the middle of selling her home when the break-in happened. She has since moved into a new home and refuses to be a burglary victim again. She upgraded to a hard-wired security system, so there isn’t a chance a criminal can take control of her safety.
“Maybe a little bit of overkill but it makes me feel OK staying there and having protection for me and my kids,” she said. “It’s definitely Fort Knox.”
Crime Stoppers is offering an up to $1,000 cash reward for information that leads to an arrest in this burglary.