FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - We’re hearing more about break-ins and burglary attempts on apps and social media recently.
A crime map for the FM area shows nearly 600 break-ins, thefts and robberies in the metro area in this past month—that's up from 452 the previous month.
In case you're one of the concerned neighbors looking for cheap added security, we’ve checked into some options to protect you and your home.
Don Fisher owns The Spy Shop Fargo. He says he’s seeing more business at his store lately: residents looking for security.
"One guy just came in, in fact it was just a week ago,” Fischer said. “Somebody had broken into his house and...he just didn't feel comfortable in his own home."
But West Fargo assistant police chief, Jerry Boyer, says If you're strapped for cash, and want to keep what you have secure: something is always better than nothing.
So here are some cheaper options under $20:
First, a dummy camera, complete with a battery-or solar-operated red light:
"When a burglar sees something like a camera above your entry way, they're probably going to move on," Fischer said.
Or in the same vein, simply hanging a sign saying you have 24/7 surveillance security.
"Friend of mine has an old lake cottage,” Fischer said. “One, two, three lake cottages...they all got broken into...the next year he put up a sign of mine out on his front yard. Security system. The other two got broken into, but not his."
Another trick under $20? A pro-tec-door alarm.
"You hang it on your door knob,” Fischer said, “and if anyone touches the outside of the knob trying to get in, it will turn on the alarm."
Fischer says system prices can go into the thousands:
"I can get you camera systems that...we can see the bugs crawling on the leaves of the trees two blocks away," he said.
If you have a bit more than $20—for about 80 bucks, you might be able scare off perps without the pup—with a sensor-activated dog bar, that Fischer says sounds like a mean German Shephard.
"I had an office one time...and when the employees would come to work they would have to walk by,” he said, “and literally would scare the heck out of them when they would walk by the office that had this in them."
But cheap tricks aside, if you're going to buy actual surveillance cameras, West Fargo assistant police chief, Jerry Boyer, says make sure to get the most bang for your buck.
"It can be frustrating for the homeowners when they purchase the equipment and we arrive on scene and you take a look at the product and...you're not even able to make out any facial features or type of vehicle that was used," Boyer said.
One last tip you might be able to do yourself at home: experts suggest using longer screws on the latch on your doorframe. The screws typically only cost a few cents, and can be found at any hardware store.