Protecting myself legally regarding trespassing?
Just a bit of background:
Lived in the house 4 years, had it fenced 3 years ago. 6' privacy fence along the alley connecting to the garage and a 4' privacy fence along the driveway connecting the garage and house. The gate is in the 4' section. Garage is unattached and has a manual door with no lock.
Children in the neighborhood (we do not know which ones for sure, but have an idea based on other neighbor feedback) have a habit of throwing/losing balls over our fence. In the past when they used the gate, they neglected to latch it which has led to our dogs getting loose on 2 occasions. So we put a padlock on the gate. Then they started climbing over the fence by using the partially empty 5 gallon paint cans from the garage (door was open, we need to find out how to dispose of the old paint appropriately). Then they escalated to climbing through the garage windows (one wall of the garage has 2 windows that open to the back yard).
Yesterday we discovered that they broke the dog ear pickets off the gate. I contacted the police and had a criminal damages report filed.
Permission was never given to enter our yard, we do not have a no trespassing sign, we dont' even know for sure who it is in the yard.
Knowing all that - would we be covered from a legal perspective by posting a 'No Trespassing' sign on the fence if a person were to get hurt either climbing over the fence or through the windows? Part of me says that it's pretty obvious that it's private property since the yard is fully fenced and the only access point is locked. But then, I have a little common sense....