Lately, there has been more and more talk in the expat community about the increase of crime in Beijing. For various reasons, it is difficult to know if the actual crime rate is moving up, but stories of pickpockets, assaults, attempted kidnappings, and break-ins are on the rise. The latest tale of woe that I heard related to a robbery at the Modern House apartments in Shunyi. In this case, the victims were asleep when their apartment was burglarized and items were stolen even from the rooms in which they were asleep (cash, watches, camera, iPad, mobiles, etc.). When they reported the theft to the police, the family learned that four other apartments in the community had also been burglarized that week. I had heard tales of villas being robbed, but this was the first time I had heard of apartments being hit too. That it happened while they were asleep in bed was simply nerve-racking.
All this got me thinking about the level of security in my own compound. Sure, we have the obligatory guards that stand at the gates (or sleep in the guardhouse) and keycard entry, but it’s by no means a fortress. So besides locking the door at night, I decided to purchase a door alarm from GE. For under USD20 + shipping, the thing will let out a shriek that puts the smoke detector to shame whenever it is activated and the door is cracked open. It is loud enough to give anyone next to it an instant headache. Personally, I hope I never hear it in the night, but I’ll sleep better knowing it is ready to deafen anyone who does consider tinkering with our front door.
The GE Deluxe Door Alarm can be sourced from a host of websites, including amazon.com, where you will also find a variety of other options to choose from. I have not found them here in Beijing, but if someone knows where to look, kindly leave a comment below.
Photo by grub.gunaxin.com.