Protect Your Business from
Professional Burglars

by Paul Davis

The "one minute burglar" may be behind bars, but criminals like him are still on the loose. Find out how to protect your business from professional burglars with this advice.

Paul Davis On Crime & Security

Scott Hornick was called the “one minute” burglar because he was the ringleader of a burglary gang that could burglarize a business in 60 seconds or less.

Hornick’s victims and his potential victims should be glad to know that on May 17th, Hornick was sentenced to 27 years in prison for his conviction of six counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and two counts of conspiracy stemming from a burglary spree he engaged in after escaping from prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Hornick led a gang of burglars that carried out a burglary spree that spanned more than a dozen states up and down the East Coast. The gang victimized more than 150 businesses and caused losses of more than $1.78 million dollars.

Hornick and his gang used disguises and burglary tools to forcibly enter businesses after hours, fill bags with store merchandise, such as cameras, watches,, medications, perfume and guitars, and load the bags into stolen or rented vehicles.

Hornick and his gang then transported their stolen goods to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, where they handed over the stolen merchandise to a professional “fence.” The fence resold the merchandise on the black market.

“According to the indictment, these defendants made a career out of stealing from hard-working businesses owners in order to support themselves,” U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy said last year at the time the indictments were handed down against Hornick and others in his gang.

“Because of the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in numerous states, this “one minute” burglar now faces many years in prison,” Levy added.



“This investigation involved many law enforcement agencies from across the East Coast and spanned six years,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. “However, it underscores the determination and persistence of the FBI and our law enforcement partners in our pursuit of those who seek to profit from crime and evade the justice they deserve.”

U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III called Hornick “incorrigible,” a “leach,” “sociopathic,” and “greedy, unrepentant, and pathologically indifferent to others”.

Hornick is a career criminal. He broke out of a New Jersey jail and a federal prison and he was featured several times on TV’s America’s Most Wanted. Yet he remained at large until he was arrested by the Delaware State Police over a dispute he had with a roommate.

Hornick gave the police a fake name and fake ID and was released. However, when the Delaware State Police ran his fingerprints through the federal system, they discovered his true identity and re-arrested him.

“Hornick wanted it all,” said Baltimore County Police Detective Gary Lippa of the Criminal Investigation Division Burglary Unit. “Now, thanks to the hard work and cooperation of law enforcement across the East Coast, he’s flat out finished.”

Although Hornick and his criminal cohorts are in prison, there are still many more professional burglars at work.

To prevent your business from being burglarized you should take the following basic steps:

Light all exterior doors and windows with permanent fixtures that are difficult to reach. Light the interior of your business so someone on the outside of the business could see in. Install a see-through fence if you have ground around your place of business.   Install safety glass. It is much harder to break. Install entry alarms on doors and windows and Install motion detectors inside your business.   Install a deadbolt lock on each door. Install quality cameras on the interior and the exterior of your business. Place signs that state your place of business is alarmed and protected.

The San Francisco Police Department has a good crime prevention web page on burglary, which includes some of the above tips and much more.

You can visit the San Francisco PD web site at http://sf-police.org/index.aspx?page=1597

About the author: 
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime & security for newspapers, magazines and the Internet. He can be reached at pauldavisoncrime@aol.com

Paul Davis on Crime & Security

 
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