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  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
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Buckeyelights

Security, Pro-Active Approach

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Thought I'd share an idea that has helped prevent vandalism to our display.  We do have security lights on motion detectors and all of the display items in the yard are secured with a vinyl coated security cable.  But another thing I do is visit our local police precinct.  They have a "watch" program, where they'll provide the officers on duty with a list of addresses to keep "watch" over.  It can be used when someone is away for extended periods of time, etc.; or to keep "watch" over a display. When the officers are not on a specific run, they'll cruise by the addresses on the "watch" list. 

 

The security lights are very effective; however a cop car cruising by or stopped in front of your house; well that's a pretty darn good security system.

 

I've gotten to know a few of the officers, so that helps too.  It got my kid out of a traffic ticket, when they recognized the name. :)   They'll stop and chat when they see me in the yard setting up, tearing down or even during the summer doing yard work.

 

We've put a cooler on the back porch with drinks and snacks in it.  And we've taken them treats around the holidays.  Both of these ideas were my wife's.  They're very appreciative of it.  I'm sure it helps.

 

All it takes is a phone call to your local police dept., ask if they have a "watch" program.

 

May you have a safe & secure display!!!

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The LOEs here also know me ad the display and routinely patrol the street.  Yes, a good relationship with the LOEs is a good thing...

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I use zip ties, motion lights and cameras.   Have the cameras out where they can see, and they would have to cut the zip ties or take most everything since they are zip together.

 

I will check with our police to see if they have something like that.  Really great idea.

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Good idea! Do you have any ideas how to protect something as simple as a sucker staked into the ground with rebar? They nabbed the one I had closest to the road, rebar and all this evening. Not sure how to prevent that, other than to move my stuff further back. We're in a decent neighborhood, and I'm sure it was some brat with too much time on his hands today, but I'd like to prevent it in the future. Right now I'm down in the dumps and thinking about NOT putting stuff up next year except maybe the lights. But if we do, I think we'll try to save through the year and get a security camera if we can. Going to read through this forum, too, for ideas. Shame we have to protect Christmas decorations, isn't it??

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You can check out tigerdirect.com. While they are not Great Quality, they do good for night viewing and recording. Look up some of the Q-See video recording systems.. They seem to be weathering well. Think we got our 8 camera system for about 400.. If this helps.. I did put my border edge near the street where they deliberately have to get into the yard to take something. We have not had problems, and frankly hope we don't but at the same time.. why risk it.. 

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In my opinion motion lights and signs are the cheapest, easiest, and yet most effective deterrent. A security camera that's clearly visible can be very imposing to a kid messing around. However a sucker or candy cane line the sidewalk out from is quite vulnerable. fortunately items like that are inexpensive and hopefully replaceable.

As I mentioned above, I attach a cable to most items in the yard. You could attach a cable to the suckers, and while someone could still knock it over, break it; they're unlikely to run off with all of them if you attach the same long cable to each sucker. With work they could still get them, but they'll probably run off once they realize they can't get 'em easily.

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you could always set a motion sensor as an input to LOR and trigger the lights for 1 min or so.. I dunno.. just a thought.. if the sensor is triggered it may be enough deterrent to know others of watching.. Just maybe?

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same here, i'm installing a 8 ch security system by night owl. I can't read license plates yet, but the eerie glow of the cameras when all else is black sure would deter me...

also our police department patrols the area semi often because they seem to like me :)

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The police like to park in front of our lights to do their paperwork. I love it!  That and the security cameras, warnings and two large BARK-ALARMS (dogs) works quite well. We haven't had a problem in 5 years.

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Hahaha, we could definitely do the scarecrow, Karen! We're in Alabama, so we're rarely freezing. :) That would be hilarious! Although it might also get the poor UPS guy... The cable idea would work if I had my suckers lining a walk, but I have them in small groups. Guess it would still work, just might not be as effective since they'd probably just take the whole small group. lol My husband is looking into a camera system for us. We've been wanting one, anyway, because we have a creepy neighbor who likes to walk around behind our house, terrorize the neighbor's dogs and lean over the fence to stare into our yard. That WE know of, hence the cameras being needed. lol Lots of good ideas on these forums, though, So glad I found y'all ^_^

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Be sure to install cameras at eye level so it can get a good capture of a face. You can hide them in bushes, and other places so they are not conspicuous.  A common mistake for cameras is to put them up high so they presumably cover more area, but who can be identified by the top of their head?  Not many.   Make sure you have a place to store your videos for at least a month or two. Sometimes they become evidence and you won't be notified of the need for several months, especially if there is a car accident in front of your house or someone claims to have tripped on your wires.

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same here, i'm installing a 8 ch security system by night owl. I can't read license plates yet, but the eerie glow of the cameras when all else is black sure would deter me...

also our police department patrols the area semi often because they seem to like me :)

 

Yhe Night Owl is a great system.  I have installed two of them so far.  Great Tech support!

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This year we made it with nothing stolen, 13 cameras in front and 2 in back with signs and a cable thru every thing, so happy, all my sheep stayed in the yard, thankful.

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In five years happy to say that I've never had a problem with my display, however last week we had a 18/19 year old that got into my vehicles, threw trash bags around and then tried to pry open the 2 windows that I had cords coming out of- lucky those were locked down with 2x4's and locks.  The good news- no damage to the display, but my cameras that are aimed at the display did pick up his face and the police have a warrant for his arrest!

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