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Ask Slashdot: Starting From Scratch After a Burglary?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the smart-guns-lots-of-smart-guns dept.

Crime 770

New submitter sc30317 writes "My house got robbed on Friday, and all of our electronics got stolen. Everything. Now, I have to go out and buy all new electronics with the insurance money. We had five TVs (don't ask), three laptops, a Bose Sound dock with iPod, a digital camera, and a desktop stolen. It's looking like I am going to get around $10K from the insurance company to replace everything. What would you do if you had to replace ALL of your technology in your house at once? I'm thinking: replace TVs; nice Desktop; new speakers; and new, cool stuff I don't know about (suggestions welcome). I already added a DVR security system, so hopefully the new things won't get burgled! Looking for suggestions to utilize my money in order to get the best stuff. Also, no Windows computers allowed in my house."

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770 comments

Dictionary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968237)

I already added a DVR security system, so hopefully the new things won't get burgled!

I suggest a dictionary.

Re:Dictionary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968631)

"Burgled" is correct in British / International English. Only Americans use the hideous "burglarized".

Re:Dictionary (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#42968755)

To be fair, I'm American and I use the word burgled as buglarized is such a hideous word. I have no idea how long it's going to take to convert the rest of the country though.

First purchase (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42968253)

Buy a mean dog.

Re:First purchase (5, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#42968317)

Na get a nice lovable dog.and protection training an aggressive dog is useless / dangerous. That said a nice female defending her home will ripe the face off anybody not supposed to be there.while your newborn can grab yank and otherwise harass her and she will just look at you for help.

Re:First purchase (5, Interesting)

Niris (1443675) | about a year ago | (#42968775)

This.

I had a female huskey while living in an apartment growing up, and we could be rough with that dog to our hearts content and she'd either love to play, or would just get annoyed and run off. One day someone jumped the fence and broke the glass door into the apartment, and all we saw when we got home (other than the glass) was a nice bit of blood and a trail going back towards the fence.

Re:First purchase (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968403)

Don't forget the guns and ammo.

buy a security system + cameras (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968255)

and less tv's...

Re:buy a security system + cameras (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | about a year ago | (#42968357)

He already did that. I suggest a nice 12 gauge pump action shotgun to go in the mix as well and a handgun in case you have to fight to get to said shotgun.

Re:buy a security system + cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968607)

If this is legal where you live and you can find it, buy it. It might be outlawed soon though.

Re:buy a security system + cameras (2, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42968641)

Buy a pitchfork. Hysterical liberals don't have enough imagination to fear those or ban them.

Re:buy a security system + cameras (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#42968759)

Because pitchforks are tools, mainly made to shovel manure. They are only clumsy, makeshift weapons. Guns are built to propel projectiles at high velocity against a target, which makes them quite clumsy, makeshift tools for anything else.

Re:buy a security system + cameras (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968647)

The cameras would probably show him moving all his own junk out. Sounds like insurance fraud to me.

Seriously, why would anyone steal a desktop computer? They're worth shit on Craigslist and weigh a ton.

Cash, jewelry, prescription painkillers, and guns. That's what burglars are looking for.

If you had a Windows computer (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968257)

They wouldn't have stolen your shit. Just saying...

Re:If you had a Windows computer (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#42968765)

Modded funny . . . ? I just got back from a business trip to Brussels. The folks there told me that their office was recently burglarized. The thieves took valuable iPads, but didn't touch worthless ThinkPad W520s.

So there is value, in having something, that doesn't look valuable.

Remember that everything will seem like crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968265)

Whenever I've had to replace any beloved object over the years - a pen, a computer, a bottom-of-the-line mobile phone, a hat - invariably whatever has replaced it seemed like crap for the first month or two. When you get accustomed to the way a particular tool works, then by comparison anything else starts to feel lousy. Look out for this and try to be rational.

Craigslist (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#42968267)

>> What would you do if you had to replace ALL of your technology in your house at once?

Go on Craigslist and buy all your old crap back for ten cents on the dollar.

Traps (1, Insightful)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year ago | (#42968271)

Guns, Traps, security system that calls the police, pit bulls, and a Chihuahua.. 'murica

Re:Traps (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42968737)

Traps are illegal. It is a typical travesty that a nonlethal trap is illegal, but shooting a home invader in the face is legal. Suffice to say, be ready to shoot them in the face.

As long as we embrace a culture that continues to increase disparity of wealth, this is going to happen more and more, period the end close the fucking book. It's only going to get worse so long as we do not seek meaningful solutions.

Shotgun and big scary dog. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968283)

You should be able to get a top of the line shotgun, as well as a top of the line guard dog and have plenty of money left for obedience, guard school.

Oh and a nice sign that simply says "This dog is merely the first layer of my home defense."

Re:Shotgun and big scary dog. (3, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42968409)

You are aware that guns are a prime target of thieves?

The dog may be a good idea, but guns are not nearly as good for home defense as people make them out to be. Especially since robbers do not rob you when you are home. They wait till you leave, then rob you.

You want to get an attacker (and everyone else) out of your house fast? Then use pepper spray.

Re:Shotgun and big scary dog. (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#42968627)

But if the burglars are too busy stealing your guns, they might skip over your electronics.

So that advice made sense after all!

Re:Shotgun and big scary dog. (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#42968509)

You should be able to get a top of the line shotgun

Why? So they can steal all of his high tech gear AND the shotgun? Guns only work when there's someone there to point and shoot them* and if there's someone there to point and shoot them, the burglars wouldn't be there in the first place.

*Cue the links to automatic, self-aiming sentry guns [youtube.com].

No Windows computers? (0, Troll)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#42968287)

If you need help to decide between two models of laptops* and two models of desktops**, I don't know what kind of help you need.

* MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
** Mac mini or iMac

Re:No Windows computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968349)

Bzzt. Those computer can run Windows.

Re:No Windows computers? (1)

boristdog (133725) | about a year ago | (#42968449)

Yeah, what's with being an OS bigot? Why can't the people in that household run whatever OS they are comfortable with using?

I guess bigotry exists in the electronics world as well. Wait until Skynet gets here.

Re:No Windows computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968387)

I really hope the 'no windows computers' means he's going with linux... otherwise that 10k isn't going to go very far.

Re:No Windows computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968621)

Welcome to the internet, where it's possible to be the wrong kind of snob about not using Windows.

I was going to help you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968289)

but then you used the world 'utilize'

Re:I was going to help you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968623)

Is that you Nick?

save your money.. (3, Insightful)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year ago | (#42968291)

buy something other than Bose

Re:save your money.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968427)

He said he was using a Bose iPod dock (assuming one of the units with built in speakers). Honestly, these aren't that expensive and they look and work a lot better than most of the stuff in the class. Now, if he had said Bose home theater system... that's a completely different story and a complete waste of money. Get a Harman/Kardon receiver and some Polk Audio speakers. Both your ears and wallet will be glad that you did.

why do you have 5 TVs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968303)

and uh why are you telling us how much insurance money you got?

sorry about your loss (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968309)

...However, I would be worried about how to replace the content that was lost. Going to work on cutting a backup copy this weekend myself.

Personal Information (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42968311)

If they have your desktop then they likely have all of your personal information. I would be rather worried about that portion of the theft and would be curious how one would work to make sure that the information they stole would be useless.

Re:Personal Information (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#42968451)

If someone wants all the information to become useless, they would need to:
- close all credit cards and get new ones from different companies
- close all bank accounts and open new ones to a different bank
- get a divorce or get married, whatever changes your marital status
- change your name, race, hair color, eye color, sex, religion and language
- move to another country so that all details of the address are obsolete
- close your Facebook account and open a Google+ account

Now, I know that last step seems impossible to do, but don't give up, you can do it!

Yes! Yes! Buy more stuff! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968313)

And n'mind what you're wanting to do with it. It's the American Way[tm]!

Wait to see what you need based on use. (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year ago | (#42968315)

Buy nothing. Wait for a need; then research what fits it best.

You've been given an opportunity in disguise here.

Do you really want all that stuff that consumes time? Only one way to tell: wait for yourself to need it, then buy it as you determine those needs based on what you actually use.

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968411)

Can I flag for anti-consumerism?

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (1)

salteye (2788803) | about a year ago | (#42968491)

This is solid advice. I basically don't worry about getting robbed because I don't have much to begin with. The most a burglar could make off of my apartment is selling my laptop(which has an encrypted hard drive) and my monitor. Everything else is not worth much.

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year ago | (#42968549)

Besides which, restocking your home with a replacement set of new-shiny stealables, is just asking for a return visit from the burglers.....

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (4, Insightful)

RedShoeRider (658314) | about a year ago | (#42968645)

I second that!

We had the remarkably unpleasant experience of having a house fire two years ago. While the structure itself was alright, just about everything in the house was destroyed due to the smoke and heat, including almost all of our electronics. 3 desktops, 2 laptops, an old Proliant server, 2 UPS's, Printer, 2 TV's, fax machine, scanner, DVD players, 3 cameras.....you get the idea. When we moved back in, electronics wise, we bought only what we missed. The 3 desktops were replaced with one that was faster (and cheaper) than the ones it replaced, the printer by a print/fax/scan combo unit, the 2 TV's were consolidated to one, blah, blah.

Point being, do wait until you see what you need. You'll likely end up with a smaller, but more useful, pile of equipment in the end.

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (5, Interesting)

CyberKnet (184349) | about a year ago | (#42968673)

Unfortunately a lot of the time insurance claims don't work this way. I had a lightning strike recently that took out 90% of my electronics.

My policy was "new for old", but until I bought the "new", I received only the depreciated value of the "old".

If it were only this, I would still advocate your strategy, however there was also a 6 month time limit to purchase the "new", send receipts in, and get reimbursed for the depreciation.

Long story short - you may lose out on a lot of money if you don't replace that stuff now.

Re:Wait to see what you need based on use. (1)

parlancex (1322105) | about a year ago | (#42968749)

I would add to this that we're also on the cusp of considerably improved TV technology with affordable OLED displays around the corner in the next few years. If you can hold out now you'll be able to get much much nicer TVs than what you can buy today for the money.

Buy All Used Electronics! (1)

mrbluejello (189775) | about a year ago | (#42968319)

Get a tube TV, VHS VCR, antiquated DVR -- nobody's going to want to steal that sh!t, PROBLEM SOLVED!

I suggest... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968329)

... you get five TVs (don't ask), three laptops, a Bose Sound dock with iPod, a digital camera, and a desktop.

You needed the stuff before, you'll need it again. Beyond that, you are not providing any useful information. Who are you? What are you doing? What are your interests?

I totally fail how this qualifies for "ask slashdot". You're interested in watching TV, so get stuff you can watch TV on. I am also confused your list does not include DVD players/Bluray etc. So your list is not even complete.

I think you want us to do the research for you what current devices are good. Shame on you for being too lazy to research what stuff is recommended at the moment but clutter slashdot with it. And the timothy-script is of course unable to filter this CRAP out.

Re:I suggest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968465)

Oh, and 10k isn't an interesting budget to work with.

3000 for a main-TV setup (Bluray) with a decent sound system, 2500 for the laptops, 1,5k for the desktop and monitor. That leaves like 3k for the rest. You'll not be able to afford a lot of "cool stuff".

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968341)

I would be more worried about my personal information rather than the hardware.

You did full disk encrypt didnt you?

Otherwise I would go and spend that 10k on drink, drugs and women, in other words, buy a life.

Simple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968347)

5 Vizio 60" tvs - $5k
5 Nexus 10 Tablets with Keyboard Folios - $2.5k
Vacation to the Bahamas - $2.5k

I would do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968367)

... Take the 10k, go to the garage and put all the electronics back to its old place :)

Good move on no Windows computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968371)

Why? Then, nobody sane would want them (hahaha) without it.

Wait (4, Insightful)

MeBadMagic (619592) | about a year ago | (#42968381)

Don't replace anything right away. Wait until you know what you miss the most. When you miss 'it' the most, note why. Once you have the what and why, start shopping for the best fit, new or old.

B-)

Burglar? (4, Funny)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about a year ago | (#42968385)

I wonder if he had auto-logon enabled and the burglar booted up his machine and is posting from his account. Maybe this is just a request from the burglar for additional shit he wants.

Why (1)

tanujt (1909206) | about a year ago | (#42968395)

Why did you have 5 TV's?

Re:Why - Exactly. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968511)

Now, I have to go out and buy all new electronics with the insurance money

No, you don't. Buy ONE TV.

Take the rest of the money, wait for QE4 or 5 or whatever the Fed is now on to end, let the markets take the 20% or so correction, and then buy in cheap.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968675)

That's what he is telling the insurance company. ;)

-1 flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968397)

Why is this even on Slashdot, you should ask your google+ social ring or whatever.

if you have amazon prime
1) Go to amazon.com
2) enter search term (for example "TV")
3) sort by popularity
4) take the top search result THAT ISNT A WINDOWS COMPUTER LOLZ

if you don't have amazon prime, replace step 1 with
1) go to newegg.com

Perhaps a less childish attitude. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968401)

Also, no Windows computers allowed in my house.

I know this attitude is rather popular on slashdot, but grow up.
Every operating system has it's uses, Windows included.

Re:Perhaps a less childish attitude. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968741)

I hope you die in a fire, shill.

Go to a TV store (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968425)

Not a Best Buy, but a store dedicated to selling TVs. Since you will be buying two+ TVs from them, there is a very good chance the sales rep will be able to offer you a nice discount. Just make sure to have newegg and various other sites loaded up on your phone when you walk in; that way you can see the reviews and whether or not the deal the sales rep gave you is better than online.

Unrelated question (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year ago | (#42968445)

I am going to get around $10K from the insurance company

What's your insurance company?

Re:Unrelated question (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42968711)

Yeah this. I'm currently shopping for a similar amount of renter's insurance. So far my quote is $200/year, I'm not sure if that's high or not. But if my computers and/or tools went walking I'd sure want a replacement. I'll buy as soon as I can figure out what I should be paying. I do live in a seriously low-income portion of the country, so maybe they're figuring it's high-crime. It's not especially high-crime, but if you didn't do any actual math you could assume that it was, and use it to justify high premiums, because insurance is a scam.

Buy anything rather than Bose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968455)

Friends don't let friends buy Bose.

The only good thing about Bose is their marketing dept.

first world problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968463)

You don't need all those things.
Take the insurance money and send it to heifer.org to buy goats to make starving families self-sufficient.

Put a credit hold at your Credit Bureau (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968477)

Change passwords on all accounts, change user names if possible. Your identity is probably worth more than all the stuff they stole.

anything on sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968487)

2 TV, a Mac notebook and desktop machine, cheapo speakers, more insurance and sliding Alu grills on the inside of the windows and doors in your home. Add the rest of the electronic goodies as new stuff come out.

They'll Be Back (5, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | about a year ago | (#42968527)

Whatever you decide on, don't buy everything all at once. They'll be casing your place again in a few days because they know you'll be replacing everything with nice NEW stuff.

They'll steal the DVR security system next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968531)

" I already added a DVR security system"

What if that's stolen next time!

They'll be back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968537)

Before you replace anything, upgrade your security. The thieves know you like electronics, and they know you'll be replacingit. That's when they hit you again.

BTW, don't rely on stuff like a DVR to record images, because in my experience (several years in-house security. many years ago) the police can't do much with anything it records anyway, and they often simply don't care. If you want to do it anyway, go ahead, just don't expect great things.

Re:They'll be back (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42968773)

You worked in building security? What would you recommend to secure a house full of techno-kit?

Not immediately and all at once (1)

eth1 (94901) | about a year ago | (#42968565)

Just don't buy a bunch of expensive stuff right away, and leave visible evidence (boxes at the curb, many visits by UPS/FedEx). A burglar with half a brain that just stole all that might be keeping an eye out to score a haul of brand new stuff now that they know you had a ton of electronics you'll probably be replacing.

Re:Not immediately and all at once (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42968769)

Not just that, but there is zero point to doing this without upgrading security, since they know you'll be replacing your shit and they already know how to get into your house, what the layout is, where you're likely to put your valuable items so they can steal them again, et cetera.

How is the service? (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#42968573)

How good would you rate the service provided by your burglar? Reliable? Does the job in the appointed window? Is the window reasonably short? Does not take more than what is contracted, right? What kind of fees? How untraceable is the guy?

Basically, would you hire him again, when it is time to do the next round of upgrades?

Re:How is the service? (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42968729)

Don't give slashdot ideas, you might just trigger a massive wave of insurance companies going bust.

On second thoughts screw the insurance companies..

Hold off, but not to pare down your stuff (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968583)

Hold off because the burglar knows exactly where a bunch of new tech is going to be showing up in the next couple of weeks.

LUG (1)

Nossie (753694) | about a year ago | (#42968589)

go down to your local LUG group and see if anyone has offered to sell 2nd hand un*x computers.

Re:LUG (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42968705)

go down to your local LUG group and see if anyone has offered to sell 2nd hand un*x computers.

He already got the payout. There is no reason to go hunting down the thieves.

It might not be such a bad deal really, he gets to replace his old kit with new stuff. I hope he encrypted his disks.

Alarm of some sort first (1)

johofnovi (1667811) | about a year ago | (#42968605)

If you don't invest in some sort of security system, you are setting yourself up to be robbed again. A common tactic for burglars is to hit a house again a month or so later and steal all the "new" toys people purchased with insurance money.

Easy (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#42968651)

Buy what you need and keep the change. Only you can tell what you need.

The question is did you have off-site backups?

First Purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968699)

Forget about buying anything new until you move! There is no facial recognition on your cameras. If you don't specifically know the guy it's just going to happen again anyways. Police don't know these people usually and they usually rob you at night anyways. Try iding that guy at night.

The ultimate edition setup (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42968717)

First get yourself a windows media center and a windows home server.

Buy an xbox (media extender) for each TV.

When you buy a new laptop or PC make sure it comes with windows 8 and sports a windows 8 logo sticker. Metro FTW!!!1!

A rare chance to rebuild your tech collection (2)

macwhizkid (864124) | about a year ago | (#42968733)

Had this happen last year. Came home late at night on Christmas 2011 to a broken basement window and saw that all my electronics had been stolen - TV, laptop, desktop, game system, etc. While it was certainly pretty frustrating (especially dealing with the police (hint: don't expect much) and insurance company), eventually I realized that it was actually a good opportunity to rebuild my tech collection from scratch.

In other words, think about what devices you didn't use much, and how to replace that functionality with other things you have. For me, this was:

  - an early 40" LCD ($1200 circa 2007). It was 1080p, but it was a monster to move anywhere and too small to make watching HD content worthwhile when sitting across the room. Still, it worked fine - I wasn't going to go buy another one. I also don't watch much TV to begin with, so it went days without being turned on. So, I replaced it with an Epson HD projector ($800). Sure, the lamp life is less, but I don't use it more than a few hours/week anyway.

- a Blu-ray player (bought in 2008 for $160) replaced with a PS3 ($200 on eBay).

- an Apple time capsule ($300) replaced with FreeNAS (in virtual sandbox) on desktop computer (free, since I was replacing the desktop anyway).

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