HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

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BolderBoy
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HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by BolderBoy »

Our small HOA (265 affluent single-family homes) has a community swimming pool. It closes for the night at 8pm (lifeguard coverage while open). Sometime later - usually 10pm and beyond, it is common for trespassers to enter the pool, cause a great deal of noise and oft times vandalism of varying degrees. The trespassers are almost exclusively juveniles from outside our HOA.

We're a bit stumped as to how to do anything about it. Calling the cops doesn't work as the miscreants have apps on their cell phones to monitor the police frequencies and they are gone before the cops arrive. A security camera setup was estimated to cost $25k - $50k plus the internet connection and monitoring. I was called one night (on the board), went up to take pictures (which didn't come out) and injured myself falling in the dark, so that is out.

Anyone out there solved this sort of issue?
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Rodc
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Rodc »

Guard dogs.
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123
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by 123 »

How about a dog or two let out into the fenced pool area at night?

How about leaving a couple of yard lights burning overnight to illuminate the pool area? You could have a video cam run all night long, they don't cost much and have it installed in a nearby unit or location not in the immediate area. Trim trees and hedges to provide a good view.

Edited to add:
Would a locked pool cover work in the pool's configuration?

Is there a clubhouse next to the pool where you have a few elderly members of your community sit and watch TV in the evening to indicate activity? When the elderly people have to go to sleep maybe they could leave the lights and TV on and just put blow-ups dolls in the chairs.
Last edited by 123 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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LarryAllen
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by LarryAllen »

Fake (or broken) camera with motion detector light. $500 +/- and will probably scare them away when they think they are being filmed.
quantAndHold
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by quantAndHold »

Make it harder to jump the fence.

Is this happening regularly? What about hiring a security guard for a few weeks?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
surfstar
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by surfstar »

You can buy a dash cam for your car for $50, a security system should not cost that much [$25k+ - you're getting the wrong bids due to "affluent single-family homes").

Agreed on the fake camera and motion sensor lighting.

Otherwise, ear plugs.

I know I was guilty of pool-hopping in my younger days (we never vandalized anything, though, just enjoyed the pool/hot tub)
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Hulahoop60
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Hulahoop60 »

How about a Nest camera. They work great and you can zoom in on a certain area to detect any motion.

They are coming out with an outdoor version soon, but you can use an indoor version. If you have a pool house with a window, it can be set up in there. You can also purchase annual video recording (video is saved for 10 days or 30 days) for a low price, with self-monitoring. If there is noise or motion, an email is sent to notify you that someone is in that area, and you can check the video live for any activity. While you may (or may not) catch the trespassers in the act, you will have them on video tape to show the police. You can also highlight certain areas within the camera vision for motion so you are notified right away.
TravelGeek
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by TravelGeek »

Private security to hold them before calling the cops?

Not sure what good video equipment would do other than providing additional vandalism opportunities. What would you do with the footage?
lightheir
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by lightheir »

I doubt those police monitoring apps work as well as you think. Calling the cops if they're there regularly should work.
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runner9
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by runner9 »

How high is the fence? Put a lock on the gate and have 1 person lock it at 8pm, unlock at open time, etc.
island
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by island »

If the area is so dark that you fell, there should at least be lights.
Is it fenced with a locked gate?
stan1
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by stan1 »

We set up a simple camera system with 24 hours of storage and one of the board members reviews it if noise concerns are noted by residents who live near the pool. I think it was a couple hundred dollars.

However a few residents were weirded out about putting the pool under video surveillance. They were worried about creepers and child pornography. Board gave the concerned individuals about 5 minutes to speak, noted the concerns, and voted to proceed with putting up the camera.
chicago_meatball
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by chicago_meatball »

This starts and ends with the police. If the kids have reason to believe the cops will be called ten minutes after showing up they aren't going to come back.

Also could the police be requested to make a drive by at a specified time? If they are making a random drive by it would not be broadcasted.

Also I'm assuming they are driving to the pool. Couldn't you just record their car and plates? You could wait in the street for the police to arrive to confirm they drive away in the car. No need to confront them, let the police take it from their. Also do t be shocked when you find the car belongs in the subdivion.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by MikeWillRetire »

Enlist your neighbors to spend some evenings there. Eventually the kids will realize that it is futile.
maroon
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by maroon »

Get a game camera (trail camera). Last I knew they were a few hundred bucks.
See here for starters: http://www.trailcampro.com/collections/ ... ra-reviews
(I have no affiliation with this website.)

There! I just saved you ~$25K. :happy
Rodc
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Rodc »

MikeWillRetire wrote:Enlist your neighbors to spend some evenings there. Eventually the kids will realize that it is futile.
And if the adults are skinny dipping the kids will never come back after the very first time!
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
spectec
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by spectec »

I served on the board of a condo association one time and confronted some kids from the surrounding neighborhood who were trespassing at our pool. One in particular was very defiant and wouldn't give me his name. I eventually got it out of one of the other kids and called his father (when I was contacting the other parents). The dad's response was that his son had told him about the incident, he failed to see what the big deal was, and besides ours "wasn't much of a pool anyhow". I came away from the conversation feeling very sad for the child who had such an immature and thoughtless excuse for a dad. No surprise the kid was so disrespectful, having that example to guide and train him.

Your association has a problem with potential liability, even though these kids are trespassing. Better invest in some good locks, higher fences, and other security. Cameras will help, but not with liability. Cameras could even work against you if there's an unaddressed vulnerability. If a tragedy happens, a sharp lawyer will likely go after the "attractive nuisance" angle, claiming your efforts were not enough. You might want to have your liability insurance provider make recommendations to help protect you. Their loss prevention people often have some very good suggestions.
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MulesFan
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by MulesFan »

Lights with motion detectors? They would alert the neighbors who might be able to drop by to investigate.

Alternatively, you could try a sign that reads "beware of water moccasins" (or gators if you're in the right area ) :D
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BolderBoy
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by BolderBoy »

Lots of great responses, please keep them coming. I'll collate them and take them to the next meeting.
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Bfwolf
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Bfwolf »

When I was a kid, the neighborhood pool had barbed wire on top of the fence. Each barb was a couple of feet apart though, so I don't think it was particularly effective as trespassers occasionally got in and threw all the lawn chairs into the pool. But I would think better barb wire would be a pretty cheap and effective deterrent.
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by BolderBoy »

Bfwolf wrote:When I was a kid, the neighborhood pool had barbed wire on top of the fence. Each barb was a couple of feet apart though, so I don't think it was particularly effective as trespassers occasionally got in and threw all the lawn chairs into the pool. But I would think better barb wire would be a pretty cheap and effective deterrent.
Anyone for concertina wire?
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8foot7
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by 8foot7 »

Facing a much gentler version of this issue now in my neighborhood.
costco has $2-300 surveillance sets with large hard drive and Internet accessibility.
Get a cheap Internet line run to your pool for $50/mo, set up the $300 camera set one time, and then I think that should do it.
Keep calling the cops. You're paying for them and when they keep coming, the fun will wear off for your young interlopers.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reriodan
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by reriodan »

LOL 25-50k for a security camera? Please get a second opinion. I don't see why it would be more than a thousand or two including EVERYTHING.
btenny
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by btenny »

Guard dog service. You may need big help to start but after word gets out not much.

Other choice is a hard full pool cover that is automated.

But you have to do something more than camera. If some kid gets hurt big lawsuits will follow.
littlebird
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by littlebird »

How about allowing the neighborhood kids in 1 or 2x a month for an "open" swim. Once they know some of your residents as individuals, they may be ashamed to trespass.

I strongly agree with the attractive nuisance post, though.
ERISA Stone
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by ERISA Stone »

I'm not sure what you were quoted on, but I could fly someone to you, put them up in a nice hotel for a few nights, and have them put a really fancy system in for $5k. I would love to see what 25k-50k includes.
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JMacDonald
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by JMacDonald »

Having private security patrol your HOA around the time of the intruders would be the cheapest and fastest way to end the problem. Security cameras would only work well if the pool area is well lighted during the time intruders were in the pool. Once the intruders are confronted by security, they probably won't return. Also making the pool more secure by locks and a higher fence will also help.

Also have a No Trespassing sign posted with the civil code to help with enforcement at the gate of the pool.
Last edited by JMacDonald on Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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StevieG72
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by StevieG72 »

I agree with previous posters, police should be able to handle this problem.

They have probably just been lucky so far, their luck will run out.
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StevieG72
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by StevieG72 »

Bfwolf wrote:When I was a kid, the neighborhood pool had barbed wire on top of the fence. Each barb was a couple of feet apart though, so I don't think it was particularly effective as trespassers occasionally got in and threw all the lawn chairs into the pool. But I would think better barb wire would be a pretty cheap and effective deterrent.

Sounds like my childhood neighborhood..... Sorry about the lawn chairs..... And the picnic table....
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Loik098
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Loik098 »

littlebird wrote:How about allowing the neighborhood kids in 1 or 2x a month for an "open" swim. Once they know some of your residents as individuals, they may be ashamed to trespass.
Or they could view the invitation as coming froman even friendlier community than they had first imagined and visit during off-hours even more. Agree with others here; most teenagers can be easily persuaded to desist if consistent pressure is applied.
123
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by 123 »

Would putting all the chaise lounges/chairs in stacks and chaining them together at night make it less attractive?

What about draining the spa every evening?
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health teacher
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by health teacher »

These are probably high school kids. Get a flashlight, stay there after sun down or hire security, then confront them in a respectful way (with one, two or three other people) and they probably won't come back.

"Guys/gals, you can't swim here. The owner has been calling the cops and they are patrolling this place and we don't want you to get into trouble. It's not worth it. Be safe. How's your summer been? Great, well have fun. Stay out of trouble and have a nice night."
sco
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by sco »

Every evening before 8pm when it closes, have someone drop a bunch of Baby Ruth's in the Pool... See if it doesn't work itself out..
island
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by island »

BolderBoy wrote:Lots of great responses, please keep them coming. I'll collate them and take them to the next meeting.
Bolder why don't you tell us what's already in place so we don't waste time posting the same.
Fence with locked gate? How high?
What's the lighting situation?
Any residents live close enough that they can see the pool from their residence? Able to Capture it on their cell phones?
Think it's the same kids?
Is this a new problem or reoccurs every season?
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Watty
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by Watty »

The big question is how they are getting in.

Our subdivision pool has about an eight foot decorative fence around. It would not be impossible to climb over but once you are in there you would also have a hard time climbing out quickly when the cops showed up.
westcoast
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by westcoast »

If this is a smaller town and a smaller police department ask the police call taker/ dispatcher, to dispatch the officer over the phone instead of the police radio.
mw1739
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Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

Post by mw1739 »

My "affluent" community has taken the following approach to our community pool (mostly similar to the other suggestions):
    Motion Sensing Lights, 8 foot fence, 1-2 security cameras (should cost less than $2k fully installed)

    Lastly, we have a keycard access system. Each homeowner is issued a keycard that allows access between set hours (I believe 6 am - 9pm). This allows access only during daylight hours and allows for the HOA to track who was at the pool in case of an issue.
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    Norbert Schlenker
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by Norbert Schlenker »

    Consider auditory deterrents. Opera on a loop, or random high volume high frequency sounds inaudible to adults, e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -this.html.
    Nothing can protect people who want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.
    ponyboy
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by ponyboy »

    lol at the quote for a security camera at $25k-$50k. Whoever gave you that quote is simply casting a line and hoping you will bite. Thats highway robbery.

    I just installed 8 security cameras at a facility for under $7k. This includes everything from install to the computer/software setup. Guess I should start charging more.
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    William4u
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by William4u »

    Motion detecting lights are cheap and can signal when to call police. You can set the motion to detect just before they climb the fence. If police are called quickly they will get tired of coming.
    qwertyjazz
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by qwertyjazz »

    health teacher wrote:These are probably high school kids. Get a flashlight, stay there after sun down or hire security, then confront them in a respectful way (with one, two or three other people) and they probably won't come back.

    "Guys/gals, you can't swim here. The owner has been calling the cops and they are patrolling this place and we don't want you to get into trouble. It's not worth it. Be safe. How's your summer been? Great, well have fun. Stay out of trouble and have a nice night."
    Or even invite them during the time there is a life gaurd - they are your neighbors and it is hot - most likely they are bored kids

    Or dogs really big dogs
    And guns - lots of guns
    glock19
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by glock19 »

    I am in the security business and I assure you a good digital CCTV system is not that expensive. Approximately $1000 per camera with NVR to record. The ones sold at Costco will be less expensive and fine for your solution, but be aware these are not plug and play. These are IP cameras and can be used for remote viewing but it does take some IT knowledge to set them up.

    As far as HOA member concern about opening up your swimming pool for unauthorized viewing over the web, the camera system can be programmed as to specific hours to view and/or record, i.e. at night when no member is there.

    I am not sure why all the recommendations for motion activated lights. Good security practices are to stop the intruder BEFORE they enter the premises. LED flood lights are inexpensive to operate. Place them in appropriate locations and leave them on ALL night. If not offensive to neighbors, the brighter the better.

    Lastly, if police will not help you out, consider private guard patrol company for a few months until the problem is solved.
    qwertyjazz
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by qwertyjazz »

    btenny wrote:Guard dog service. You may need big help to start but after word gets out not much.

    Other choice is a hard full pool cover that is automated.

    But you have to do something more than camera. If some kid gets hurt big lawsuits will follow.
    Neighborhood kids from poorer area are playing in a pool during summer. Owners buy Costco cameras to try to catch them and send them to jail instead of trying to protect the kids by adding safety features to the pool. A kid brakes his leg or God forbid becomes paralyzed. I think Saul Goodman could win this case.
    Da5id
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by Da5id »

    qwertyjazz wrote:
    btenny wrote:Guard dog service. You may need big help to start but after word gets out not much.

    Other choice is a hard full pool cover that is automated.

    But you have to do something more than camera. If some kid gets hurt big lawsuits will follow.
    Neighborhood kids from poorer area are playing in a pool during summer. Owners buy Costco cameras to try to catch them and send them to jail instead of trying to protect the kids by adding safety features to the pool. A kid brakes his leg or God forbid becomes paralyzed. I think Saul Goodman could win this case.
    Yeah, those darned owners wanting to enforce their property rights. It isn't the town pool. I don't see any obligation to make it such myself, and were I an HOA member I'd not personally be in favor of making it such.

    And there are no good safety features for a pool if you don't have a 24 hour lifeguard (though a hard cover is pretty good there). In fact, making it so kids can't use the pool unsupervised in fact is the best way to protect them (IMHO of course).
    Last edited by Da5id on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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    flossy21
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by flossy21 »

    Norbert Schlenker wrote:Consider auditory deterrents. Opera on a loop, or random high volume high frequency sounds inaudible to adults, e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -this.html.
    Here's your solution. High frequency sound emitting device called the Mosquito. Only the younger crowd can hear it and it is annoying to them.

    http://www.movingsoundtech.com/
    qwertyjazz
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by qwertyjazz »

    Da5id wrote:
    qwertyjazz wrote:
    btenny wrote:Guard dog service. You may need big help to start but after word gets out not much.

    Other choice is a hard full pool cover that is automated.

    But you have to do something more than camera. If some kid gets hurt big lawsuits will follow.
    Neighborhood kids from poorer area are playing in a pool during summer. Owners buy Costco cameras to try to catch them and send them to jail instead of trying to protect the kids by adding safety features to the pool. A kid brakes his leg or God forbid becomes paralyzed. I think Saul Goodman could win this case.
    Yeah, those darned owners wanting to enforce their property rights. It isn't the town pool. I don't see any obligation to make it such myself, and were I an HOA member I'd not personally be in favor of making it such.

    And there are no good safety features for a pool if you don't have a 24 hour lifeguard (though a hard cover is pretty good there). In fact, making it so kids can't use the pool unsupervised in fact is the best way to project them (IMHO of course).
    Agreed - but you need good deterents or need to rewrite the constitution to make property rights absolute
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    BolderBoy
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by BolderBoy »

    island wrote:
    BolderBoy wrote:Lots of great responses, please keep them coming. I'll collate them and take them to the next meeting.
    Bolder why don't you tell us what's already in place so we don't waste time posting the same.
    Fence with locked gate? How high?
    What's the lighting situation?
    Any residents live close enough that they can see the pool from their residence? Able to Capture it on their cell phones?
    Think it's the same kids?
    Is this a new problem or reoccurs every season?
    Lots of clever ideas still coming in, please continue.

    To answer your questions:

    1) Fencing in place, but not tall enough, clearly. The pool area, while level itself, is located on a hillside. There is a roof which nearly touches the ground outside the enclosure - easy to climb onto the roof to gain access. In some places the fencing is only a couple of feet tall.

    2) There are gates with key locks.

    3) motion detector lights have been in place for many years.

    4) it is the annoyed, nearby residents who call the HOA manager to complain about it. But too far away to capture on cell phones.

    5) Don't know if it is the same kids - think so.

    6) happens every season, apparently. The $25k - $50k security install quote was from 2008.

    (PS - I don't have kids and have zero sympathy for how they may think, so the folks offering 'kinder and gentler' solutions will have those passed along to the HOA Board at the next meeting - thank you)
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    ddurrett896
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by ddurrett896 »

    electric fence
    Grt2bOutdoors
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

    Go down to the local police station and have a chat with the community policing officer and if that is not available, make an appointment with the chief of police. Ask to set up a "sting", when the miscreants see you are serious about this, I don't think they want to spend the weekend in "juvie".

    Barbed wire on top of fence - only in place of barbs you have razor like blades.........
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    Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

    Post by hand »

    Sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.
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