Gatecrashing has become a standard modus operandi of criminals who target properties to grab as many expensive electronic goods like flat-screen televisions, laptops and cellphones as possible, in just a few minutes.

Homes from Durban North and Glenwood to Hillcrest and Amanzimtoti have been hit by gatecrashers who now derail a gate or tamper with the motor until the gate opens, rather than ram a vehicle through the gate as in the past.

Blue Security marketing manager Darren Lategan said that with just a little security consciousness and a couple of small but significant security innovations, home-owners can improve security to avoid gatecrashing incidents.

Here are his five tips that will help home-owners to stop gatecrashing in its tracks:

1. Sound the alarm

Add a simple anti-gatecrashing kit to your home or business alarm system that can be fitted to your gate to immediately set off the alarm should anyone attempt to tamper with the gate to derail it.

2. Be Proactive

Crime trends show that gatecrashers target certain areas and streets over a period of time which indicates that gangs invest in observing residents’ and domestic workers’ routines before targeting a property. Vary your routines if possible and report any suspicious individuals or vehicles parked near your property to the police and your security company. Take a photograph of the vehicle and file it away.

3. Get a bracket

Fit an inexpensive metal “anti-lift” bracket onto your gate to stop criminals from being able to lift the gate off its railing to get inside. Install the bracket as close to the gate as possible with a gap of less than 1 cm.

4. Avoid the wall

Install the gate motor at least an arm’s length away from the perimeter fence to prevent criminals from reaching in to tamper with it. Or weld metal plating at the bottom of the fence or gate to block access. Plant a few prickly plants around the gate motor for added protection.

5. Bolt it down 

Securely bolt your gate motor into the ground to prevent criminals from stealing it and keep it locked to prevent battery theft and criminals from resetting the motor or switching the gate onto manual.