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When purchasing my property in france ;bellac/magnac lavel area of haut vienne i was repeatedly assured that security was not a problem. That was some 3 & 1/2 years ago and to date i have been burgled 3 times. Having installed an alarm after the 2nd occasion the 3rd attempt just resulted in the damage to door and volets. My house stands alone some 300yds from a hamlet. Unfortunately due to lie of the land it cannot be seen from the hamlet. I post this so those who are about to buy are aware of the potential risks with isolated property and to ask if anybody else is experiencing this down side of owning a maison secondaire in france; particularly in the above area. Has anyone had experience of fitting alarms that have direct call system to security or the gendames office????? Any help gratefully received as i am beginning to feel a bit of a target or am i just one of many and do not know it or perhaps is paranoia setting in???????
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> Has anyone had
>experience of fitting alarms that
>have direct call system
>to security or the gendames

Most of the foreign people around here that I know have alarms and a good percentage of them have the sort that calls a security service. All the isolated ones seem to. Some even have a system that works by radio, in case the baddies cut the phone wires. The people here do tend to have expensive and well-furnished houses though.

Burglaries of foreign-owned second homes are quite common in France, no matter what anyone says.
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Our maison secondaire is about 40km south from you. Over the last six years we have had no trouble at all. During the first two years the houise was far from secure and although it had little in the was of household goods it did have a huge amount of DIY equipment. However, we are in a small hamlet which is essentially a dead end and therefore unattractive for anybody simply driving through and stealing anything on the off chance.

While we were living a local hotel we met one English couple whose house had been cleaned out by burglars for the second time.Their property was completely isolated. We also know of one large a prosperous looking maison secondaire owned by a Parisian couple which was stripped. The local papers also show that burglary does happen.

However, on average we are sure that it is a much lower risk than the UK

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am sorry to hear the problems you are having I can relate to them very strongly.

In 1990 we bought a house in the Vendee, which was a minimum of a large field away from the nearest house. In the eight years we owned the house we were burgled all the winters except two. The only thing that worked in the end was a light which came on when it detected movement, somehow burglers seemed a little unsure who can see them. Guess what - we sold up. We have now moved south but our first requirement when searching for the second time - a village house. So far so good. I am sure its not the only answer, but for us it has given us a lot more peace of mind.

Best regards and dont let it spoil France for you.
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  • 2 weeks later...
We had a burglary (before we had moved in, and while there was little stuff in the house). Although the location is a bit isolated, the police advised fitting an alarm, as the fright would be enough to deter most French burglars.

And it worked - we have had two attempted break-ins over the past 4 years since than, and in each case the burglars abandoned the attempt as soon as the alarm went off (or in the second case they saw the sensor winking at them through the glass door after they had jemmied the shutters open.

If you have neighbours, there is nothing the French (and Dutch) like better than taking potshots at burglars with their shotguns.
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