According to various agencies, there is a burglary every 13 seconds in the US. Is that an accurate number? No way to know but burglary is a nasty crime that usually lasts 12 to 18 minutes – but its consequences can last a lifetime. It’s important to know that most burglaries are opportunistic in nature. So here are some ideas to make sure YOU aren’t on the FBI’s crime statistic look.
What Kind of Home Are Scumbag Criminals Looking For?
Burglars look for homes that have high fences and hedges obscuring the home from the road, which obviously gives cover to getting into a house.
Homes that have a lack of activity around them are also tempting to burglars; the more unoccupied a home appears the better it looks to break into.
Once burglars have chosen a home to target, they might want to get a closer look to make sure there is nothing they have missed. Some might pose as utility workers or as people posting flyers through doors. This close up view will tell the burglar if there is an alarm on the home and if there is any sign of a dog living at the address. Most criminals are lazy and will avoid a home that requires lots of effort and risk – and dogs are noisy and will possibly bite.
Points of Access
Once a home has been selected, burglars will look for the easiest ways to get into the property so don’t hide keys on your property, especially in obvious places like flower pots, above the door jamb or the ‘fake rocks’ that are sold all over the Net.
If you have a deadbolt or double locking mechanism on your front door make sure you use it, as the majority of break-ins are through the front door. The second most popular option is to break in through a ground floor window. However, by having secured window locks you can deter most burglars. If a burglar spends too much time trying to get into the first property they will move onto the next one. So the key is to make your home hard to break into and time-consuming to achieve.
Once the criminal is inside a property, the first thing does is hunt for valuables. Most burglars will have a routine of looking for cash and jewelry as these are the easiest things to sell and transport. From a home owner perspective this means making these things either hard to find or in a place that will be hard to remove easily, like a home safe or something similar.
For larger items, such as laptops or other electronic devices, burglars will gather them all up in one place and get an accomplice to come with a car or van to make a hasty exit. In order to prevent this from happening, you can employ technologies on laptops and smart phone which track where they are in case of theft.
A lot of burglars will target homes during the daytime at 8AM-11AM. This is a popular slot as most people are out of the house. So make sure that a neighbor knows what to look out for and see if they can keep an eye on your property if you are away, especially for an extended period of time. We have agreements with our neighbors that we’d rather call the police unnecessarily than allow a burglary to occur.
Of course, the ultimate deterrence is a security system but that is a topic for another article.