I Am Not a Crook or Facts For your Fiction

images My sister loves to send me words to the wise.  You know, those e-mails you get full of household hints and home remedies.  If they sound plausible I might try some of them.  (I’m really going to give that vinegar wash on the fresh berries a try.  Hate it when the strawberries get moldy within a day or two.)
I also save those lists for two other purposes.   I never know when something novel like this might make a good detail in a novel.  And I never know when I might draw a blank when it’s my turn to post.
So here are some tips I gleaned from several such just-looking-out-for-my-sister e-mails.  Mind you, none of this is a personal recommendation.  Just food for thought or grist for the mill.

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. 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 giveaway.

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. 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.)  If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

9. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

10.  Keep a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. It’s more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet—you want to disable me at a distance—a lot more accurately. Go for the eyes. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until he gets medical attention.  After he gets law enforcement attention.

tn_You Never Can Tell - screenComing this month!

THE LAST GOOD MAN is the first book in the 2-book series—does 2 make a series?—and that’s available now.


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in ideas, take a bit out of crime. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to I Am Not a Crook or Facts For your Fiction

  1. Leanne says:

    We have a security system, but these are wonderful Kathleen! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Leanne says:

    AND I try to mention my vacations AFTER I take them. Love the wasp spray tip!:)

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    Hey there are a couple of great tips on there! Never would have thought of the wasp spray or hiding things in the kids’ rooms. Hmmm.

  4. Lenora Worth says:

    Good information. Creepy stuff, but good to know 🙂

  5. Carolina says:

    ditto on the wasp spray. will go get a can…

  6. Trish Jensen says:

    LOL, Kathleen! Love these. I’d add, “Oh, sure, try to scare me with your big black lab. I keep dog bones in my pockets.”

    P.S. I’d also blow up the cover of The Last Good Man and add underneath in a big black felt marker, “…Lives Here, And Is Armed To The Hilt.”

  7. Lisa Scott says:

    Those are really good suggestions (and yes, some fabulous details for a book. Clever to keep them!) My mother is constantly telling me about the latest scheme to attack women. To this day, I have to vault myself into my car because she once told me rapists had taken to hiding under women’s cars in parking lots at night and slicing their achilles tendons while the gals climbed into the driver’s seat.

    • Oh. Lisa. I can feel that in my Achilles tendons. I have to get a bigger purse for the wasp spray. I’m shooting it under the car from 20 ft away. If nothing else I’ll travel wasp free.

  8. debradixon says:

    These are great, Kathy. I really needed to be reminded of some of this. And to stop telling people that my dog is all bark. Nope. There will be no more shushing her at the door!

  9. loisgreiman says:

    Good stuff. Thanks for the tips. The clipboard and rake thing is clever. I’m totally going to do that when I make my next heist. 🙂

  10. michelehauf says:

    Thanks, Kathy! Reminds me of that great show that used to be on cable It Takes A Thief (or something like that), where the two former thieves would break into a house and then fix up their security for them. I learned that bushes with thorns in front of windows are great, and those roll-out windows are very easy to jimmy open with a patient wiggle motion. I also keep a Charlie-bar on my patio door now, too.

  11. Wow. This was great information! Especially the wasp spray. Never thought of that!

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