It is no secret that when in your house you want privacy and safety. And the worst thing you can have is a nosy neighbor. So find out how you can stop your neighbors from stealing from you.
What can count as stealing?
Anything that is yours! Mail, packages, fruits, newspaper, garden gnomes. Your property is your property, and you have the right to guard it.
However, you cannot just rush into their house and accuse them. You must first have proof of what you are accusing them of doing.
Instead of catching them in the act, recording them is even better as you will have concrete evidence to file a case or contact the authorities.
But usually, neighbors like these will wait until you leave the house to give them fewer chances of getting caught.
So, the best solution is to simply use security cameras to catch them red-handed in the robbery. No matter how small, or how big.
Before the crime happens, you should prevent it and lower the possibilities of it happening.
To stop your neighbors from stealing from you, you must first prevent them from having easy access to your property.
Lock it or lose it
What happens when you leave a cake out in the table? No matter if you live alone or don't have pets, something always comes for it.
Whether its a partner, a pet, or just bugs, that cake is bound to attract someone or something one way or another.
It is the same thing when it comes to having a neighbor. If you lock things away, there are fewer chances they will steal it.
However, leaving it out in the open gives them an opportunity to just take it and leave.
If your belongings are locked away, that is going to stop your neighbors from stealing from you, or at least make it that much harder.
You can use locks in your shed, mailbox, and have a friend to collect your mail when you are away. Or even ask the post office to hold on to them until you return.
Keep in mind they can also go through your trash and find shreds of documents or other important information.
So if you need to even lock your trash can, do what you got to do!
It is very important to keep in file what is yours. Especially when getting the cops involved as they may ask you for documentation of your purchase of the item.
This can include receipts, credit card reports and even delivery times. These can all help prove that your neighbor did, in fact, steal something rightfully yours.
And remember, if you throw them out, who is stopping your neighbor from meddling into your trash and getting the receipts out?
To keep people away, a security camera sure does the job. However, if the person does not notice the cameras they might be inclined to keep doing it.
Putting up "No trespassing" or "House protected by..." can further keep the thief away. But, if it fails, the camera's footage can still be used as evidence against the person.
Living in a bad neighborhood sure does not help stop your neighbors from stealing from you. Beware of the ones that surround you.
Neighbors that stay home all day due to unemployment are the ones that can see you leave the house and can help themselves in.
Thieves can sometimes be the ones around you, so beware. Locking your things, or picking up a package instead of leaving it on the porch until you get home is helpful too.
Security cameras on your porch can allow you to see when a delivery was made, and if anyone came to snoop around the packages.
Apart from that, cameras can also help out prove who stole it and keep thieves away!
Other choices are devices like Ring. Not only is it a doorbell but it can see who has been on your front door. They have also come out with a camera called the Ring Spotlight.
Not so much a prank, but a way to get a laugh out of your nosy, thief neighbor is with motion activated sprinklers.
When triggered, usually by an unwanted visitor, the system will spray water everywhere. This is surely going to scare them off and maybe even embarrass them a little too!
Just like the cameras, this can not only stop your neighbors from stealing from you, but it can give you quite a laugh.
And have them thinking twice about taking your mail, packages or anything else from your property.
When it comes to packages, neighbors can be quite nosy. Especially since there could be some valuables in them.
Leaving the packages on your front step can get them stolen easily. However, if you will be away for a while you can always ask a friend or contact the mail suppliers and warn them to hold on to your packages.
You have many options. Such as getting a PO box, asking them to keep it in a smart package locker or rescheduling the delivery for when you will be home.
Who left the light on?
Packages, tools and garden gnomes aren't all the things that a neighbor can steal. So you must be cautious and check your monthly bills for the correct amount of money.
Water, electricity, gas and your WiFi can all be stolen by your neighbor and you will not notice until checking the bills weeks later.
Know how much you usually waste per month and keep a record. If the price goes up, you can contact your provider and even a professional to examine your cables.
Neighborhood Watch Program
Though this might seem straight out of a movie, gathering the neighbors and watching out from one another can seriously help the issue.
Not only will more people be aware, but the thief themselves might even stop stealing as everyone is now watching and being more careful.
Coming up with ways to reduce theft and sharing information and products to protect their house is very helpful to others too.
However, not every neighborhood has them. But do not worry! You can always start your own by gathering some next-door neighbors who can then bring their neighbors too.
Eventually, there will be a lot of people gathered for the cause and on the lookout for a local thief in the neighborhood.
Stop your neighbors from stealing from you
So after all your prevention, your neighbor might still steal from you. However, there are many solutions you can take to fix their behavior.
As we have talked about previously, security cameras are one of the best ways to have proof of your neighbor's stealing.
Whether it is packages or mail, or tools from a shed, before accusing them you must have proof to present to the thief, the cops or a judge.
Cameras now have facial recognition, smart alerts, motion sensors and many other features that alert you on your phone no matter where you are.
When people are detected, the camera can send you the live footage and you can even report it to the police in an instant.
But do not forget to do your research before buying any camera. Make sure it offers all the features you need and want. And be careful not to get your package stolen.😂
Keep a record of everything that the thief has stolen on a notebook as another method of proof apart from the camera footage.
Knowing how often the thief steals, and how they do it can help you catch them in the act.
In your logbook, you should keep the date, time, object stolen, and place. All of these annotations are another way of proving that something was stolen and how the thief did it.
If the issue of stealing does not stop, you might have to sit down with your neighbor and have a conversation about what has been going on.
However, prior to this, you should research theft punishment in your country and state.
When confronting your neighbor, you should be aware of the fines or jail times that can be implemented if they do not stop and return your items.
This could be a good card to put down during a conversation. Especially if they deny they did it even after you show them footage and proof.
Make sure the websites you search on are reliable and correct. Research on government websites and county or state guidelines.
You can also turn to the police department for information, as well as to attorneys that can answer your questions.
When you have the evidence in hand, have a proper sit down with your neighbor. Just you and them.
If you feel threatened by them in any way, you can take someone with you or meet up in a public spot.
You should be calm and avoid using foul language or negative words. Do not raise your voice, or bring up irrelevant issues that are not related to the topic.
Simply state your issue of having them steal items from your home and warn them that you either wanted to talk before getting the authorities involved or will get the authorities involved.
Present to them the evidence you have against them. Such as footage of them stealing mail, packages or any other item that is yours and belongs on your property.
Other evidence can be your own phone recordings or proof of ownership through receipts or credit card reports.
Make sure you have copies at home as they might attempt to rip the evidence in some situations.
Using this method will help them realize you have solid proof against them and show you are not afraid to get the police involved.
You can now warn them about the punishments or fines that are stated in local laws. Explain to them the gravity of the problem.
I am warning you now, you have to be patient. Some people will ignore your confrontation even after you have shown them you have evidence of them.
However, keep your cool. Do not get frustrated, or flustered. Simply know when to walk away. Yet, when leaving you should let the person know the punishment before they kick you out of their house.
Lastly, if you plan on contacting the cops, you can also let them know, even if you don't. Implementing fear into them can surely make them stop stealing your things.
If it gets to the point in which you need to contact your local authorities to resolve the problem, then you should.
Filing a police report can stop your neighbors from stealing from you, especially due to the punishments.
This might be your only option after a confrontation. But you must brace yourself, as it might get to the point in which you will have to sue them.
Sue your neighbor
If no solution seems to stop them, you might have to get the court involved. Suing them is definitely an option you can take.
With all your evidence, the court is going to side with you. So no worries on that area. 😅
However, you might want to try all the solutions first before just jumping onto a courthouse. Though it might seem to quickly solve the problem, go through other processes before suing.
When suing them make sure you have a record of all the things they stole and how much they cost. Contact an attorney and explain to them your situation.
The bottom line
There are many solutions and preventions you can take to deal with your crazy thief of a neighbor. However, you must be patient and take things into your hands with caution
Have you ever had a nosy neighbor? Did anyone ever steal your packages? Did you catch them on camera?
We love to hear from you in the comments down below! Let us know what your thoughts are.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.