What if you knew what a burglar was thinking before he even broke into your home? What is you knew what he was planning, what he was looking for in terms of an easy target, and what would cause him to avoid your home altogether? Well, this compilation of tips from former burglars is like picking the brain of a criminal – and you just might pick up a few tips on making your home more secure.
First they look…
Often when a burglar breaks in to a home it is not his first time being in the neighborhood or even inside the home itself. Many times the criminal will check out the neighborhood, dressing as a repairman or other type of service person. He may walk around carrying a rake, walking a dog, or even putting fliers on doors which will allow him to get a closer look at homes without raising suspicion. The hours between 8 am and 11 am are prime time for this type of activity. Most people are not at home so he can snoop with minimal chance of a confrontation.
They will keep an eye on Facebook and other social media sites looking for people posting about leaving for vacation. That is like an invitation to a burglar. He has 5 days or 10 days or however long your vacation is to get into your home and take your things at his own leisure. He also enjoys looking at family photos, especially interior shots. These can be very telling – and with your big screen TV and expensive stereo in the background of that shot of your smiling baby, well, it’s like handing him a catalog of your belongings.
The perfect house…
As the burglar walks around the neighborhood, he is taking note of houses that are easy targets. Some of the things he is looking for include:
- Privacy fences – the higher the better
- Trees, shrubbery, and tall plants that provide coverage and will give him some privacy while he is breaking in
- No sign of a home security system
- Houses without large dogs
- Playground equipment in the yard (this means kids live there which means gaming systems!)
When the plan is set in motion…
Usually the criminal has already been to the home and perhaps even inside it. Be careful about allowing repairmen or workers use your bathroom or walk around your home. Many criminals have made their shopping lists doing this, even leaving a window open for easy access, and showed up several days later to clean out the place.
On “game day” the burglar will often walk right up to your front door and knock. If no one is home, he will try the door to see if it opens. If that doesn’t work he will begin walking around the house looking for an open window. If there is no open window he will look for an area that is hidden from the prying eyes of the neighbors and break a window.
Once the criminal is inside the house, he will usually start his search in the master bedroom. Lots of valuables are stored there. He will go through the dresser drawers, the bathroom cabinets (some medications have great street value), and work his way into other areas of the house including the living room. Rarely do they bother with children’s rooms.
Many burglars have said that home security systems stop them in their tracks. If they see that a house has an alarm system, they will go off in search of something easier to hit. They will also tend to move on to the next house is they think someone is home (they hear a TV or radio), or if they hear a large dog. Also, nosey neighbors can be the best deterrent.
Don’t leave your family’s security to chance. Make your home unattractive to burglars. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but the benefits are invaluable.
What are your tips for making your home more secure and less attractive to burglars?