When I returned to Vietnam I discovered that someone had tried to break into my place. Although I used sturdy padlocks, they pried apart the door rings secured by each padlock on both the inner and outer doors. I figure it was two guys and a crowbar.
Like most Vietnamese houses, I have an outer metal security door that folds like an accordion and a regular inner door on hinges. Both doors were locked with padlocks and an integrated door lock. Fortunately, the would-be thieves were stopped by the inner integrated door lock. Perhaps they were spooked and ran off before they were able to penetrate it, or maybe they just couldn't figure out how to break it using their crude crow bar method. In any event, my neighbors noticed that the outer door was ajar and locked it up again with a bicycle chain. I was very lucky since I've heard that thieves will clear out *everything* from your house. That would suck.
My landlord, anh Lich, was extremely concerned and responsive. I showed him the damage and asked that he have some workers weld stronger rings in place. Today he came by with a couple metal workers and they welded on new rings. They also put a set pretty high up and out of reach of most Vietnamese. Although these new rings are stronger, I doubt they would stop determined thieves who had a chunk of time.
I've been advised by locals and expats always to have a house sitter whenever I leave town, even if it's just for a night. That's a swell idea. I'm also leaving the outer light on at night and may get a motion detector alarm. Another idea is to post a warning on the door that the place has an alarm. Even if I don't install one, it at least gives the thieves pause before doing their dirty business.
When I thanked anh Lich he smiled and responded "Of course -- it's my duty!" He's great.