Call 11 For Action Investigation: Faulty Deadbolts - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Call 11 For Action Investigation: Faulty Deadbolts

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(Toledo News Now) -

Gone are the days of leaving your doors unlocked and your windows and garages open.

"Burglaries are up, thefts are up, all those type of things are up." says Detective Sergeant James Gross with Perrysburg Township Police.

Residents who never used to lock their doors talked to WTOL 11 after a string of break-ins shook Perrysburg Township neighborhoods. Many of the homes were broken into during the day, leaving many to wonder how thieves were getting away with it.

"There were seven or eight in Perrysburg Township alone," says Gross of the recent theft, "[and] Wood County has had 12 or 13. All the burglaries were residential and it's primarily mostly by forced entry."

That comes as a surprise to many homeowners and renters who think their belongings are safe behind locked doors. But the problem could be within the door itself.

Many break-ins are made easier because of faulty deadbolts. Specifically, when the pocket that the bolt slides into is not deep enough for the bolt, it creates an insecure locking mechanism.

The problem is exacerbated when people don't know their deadbolts aren't fully engaged. They don't know that when they twist the lock - it's not locking effectively, and is thereby makes the door easy to pry open.

Mike McElheney, a local locksmith with McElheney Locksmiths, says there are a number of ways thieves are getting into local homes.

"They can either kick it in if the frame isn't reinforced. If they don't have strong stipe plates in the door frame, they can kick the door frame or break glass in the door or next to the door -- and reach in and unlock it."

McElheney says that he's called, "probably 2 or 3 times a month, we have to go back out and repair doors and frames that are broken into."
 
Surprisingly, it's not just older homes that are more susceptible to break-ins. The group Associated Locksmiths of America estimates 1 in 10 new homes have locks that are improperly installed.

McElheney says, "We've seen a lot of newer houses where the place they seem to skimp is on the door hardware...deadbolts locks that suit. We've seen half million dollar houses with very low end hardware."

Det. Sergeant Gross says all of them are susceptible to a break in and adds, "It just depends what mechanisms your using to make your home safe." 

So which lock is going to do that most important job of keeping your door securely shut? McElheney Locksmiths listed their favorite deadbolts, and we've made that list available to you here. As for locks to avoid, Mike says be careful of imported locks with small screws holding it together and flimsy construction. These are the types that McElheney says can be crushed by a hammer or beaten off a door.

The locks can be branded under different names and cost around $10.

If you're concerned about the safety of your home, call a locksmith. Many will come out and survey your home for free.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All Rights Reserved.

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