I must say I feel quite let-down after hearing about FOS’s Christmas Eve break-in at Chateau Sod. I had a fairly full and event-free Christmas and was quite emotional at the end of the day. But the scroats (as FOS calls them) are definitely increasing in number and starting to get smarter.
For those that don’t know, most expats live behind some form of walled property with windows ranging from iron bars to heavyweight mesh grille to lightweight mosquito netting. Many window frames are made from unseasoned wood and a good shoulder would do a job on some of those. But there are other failings which include having the hinges on the outside and some pretty weak closing/locking apparatus. It is not uncommon to see walls with spikes, razor wire or broken glass set in concrete but also not uncommon to see a simple weak point in such setups.
Forget the peaceful scene of palm frond huts and no form of security at all. The only way you could get away with that is to employ a trusted guard, either by employing one from one of the two big security companies (Maubere and APAC) or by co-opting a friendly neighbour. By employing a neighbour, you may be able to gain respect as a decent (and perhaps only) local employer and thus get full neighbourhood protection. You might rent from a landlord who also provides the service and who knows that losing a rich foreigner following a theft is not a good long-term arrangement.
Unfortunately, FOS lives in an area which has many scroats and I am not sure if he is able to co-opt locals. And yes, Doris (the dog) lets you know when you approach the premises.
There have been incidences of supposedly trusted local staff (like guards and cleaners) suspected of participating in inside jobs with their mates, although this is NOT widespread.
Anyway, it is a wake-up call that it is best to do all the right things and lock doors and windows. And it now seems that one ought to install mesh over windows and some form of “climbing over the wall slow-down device” such as razor wire. And keep cash in used underwear in your sock drawer or something like that. It is sad really – who wants to live in a Stalag ?