Why might burglars choose your home before others?
- Look at your home and habits from the perspective of burglars.
- Discover what you should do before burglars come calling.
- Evaluate your own home like a burglar and take action.
- Involve the family and develop your own security plan.
- Set a date for the annual review and update the commitment.
Podcast Time Stamps:
[0:50] – I know your neighborhood
[1:15] – Your home is familiar to me
[1:50] – Your home is poorly secured
[2:15] – Your home is dark at night
[2:37] – I know things about your lifestyle
[3:12] – Your front door is hidden from view
[3:55] – There are no alarm warning signs
[4:23] – There’s no dog protecting your home
[4:42] – Your neighbors are not alert for burglars
[5:04] – I know you’re on vacation
I know your neighborhood
Burglars know the streets and getaway routes because they live, work, or attend school nearby and routinely drive down your street and pass by your home. Burglars can select any home to burglarize, but I like yours best.
Your home is familiar to me
I’ve been in your home before as a service worker, repairman, painter, or have made a delivery. Burglars might be a dishonest acquaintance of one of your kids. I’ve already checked out the security of your home for future reference. If given access, I may unlatch a window or copy a key to make my return a little bit easier.
Your home is poorly secured
From the street, home burglars can spot your bad habit of leaving doors and windows open during the day. I burglarize homes during the day. I may park down the street to pick-up on your daily departure routine. To make sure, I always knock first and then look in through uncovered windows for any occupants.
Your home is dark at night
Home burglars like to prowl outside your home in the dark and peek in your windows. I know you don’t have outdoor security lights. I hate motion sensor lights that suddenly snap on. It scares me and draws attention to my presence.
I know things about your lifestyle
Home burglars may select your home because of you…and the fact that you drive an expensive car, wear nice clothes, and jewelry. I think you’ll have valuable things inside for me. I’ve looked through your trash and found evidence of a new laptop computer, and drug prescriptions. I know you live alone, leave early, and return home late.
Your front door is hidden from view
My approach to your front door is blocked by overgrown foliage so neighbors won’t see me. I won’t appear suspicious to neighbors because I carry a clipboard and wear a bogus uniform. I have a cover story in case someone confronts me. I search for a hidden key first, then attack the weak door and window hardware that won’t require much force or create much noise to open.
There are no alarm warning signs
I’m afraid of home alarm systems. Burglars won’t risk breaking-in if they see multiple alarm company signs. I know most home alarms are probably not set, but I won’t risk getting caught unless I can see through the window that the green-light on the alarm keypad is telling me that it’s disarmed.
There’s no dog protecting your home
Dogs are a problem for me. Burglars especially don’t like large noisy dogs that will attract attention or bite me. I believe the warning sign on the fence that says, “Beware of Dog.” Just to be sure, I’ll knock on the door first and listen for a dog to appear.
Your neighbors are not alert for burglars
In your neighborhood, I feel invisible. No one pays attention to me. I’ll always avoid confrontation. If I attract the attention of a nosy neighbor I’ll move-on especially if they stare at me or ask what I’m doing.
I know you’re on vacation
Home burglars see newspapers and mail piled up; door-knob flyers not removed; virgin snow in the driveway or walkway; trash not curbed on pickup day; porch lights on 24-hours, but no lights turned on inside. I can pick the best time of day, take my time, and search for anything of value. You probably won’t be back for days to report the burglary so I have a greater window of time to safely sell your stuff.
- As your burglar, I want to thank you for this easy opportunity to ransack your home.
- If you don’t upgrade your home security, I’ll come back in a few months to pick-up the brand-new things you purchased to replace the stolen items.
- This list was created from actual interviews of convicted burglars
- This is a follow-up piece to the original Readers Digest article “10 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You” that went viral several years ago.
- That original article was co-contributed by security expert Chris McGoey and criminologist Richard T. Wright.
Learn More about Premises Liability Litigation
Download the book written by Crime School host Chris McGoey.
- Security Expert’s Guide to Premises Liability Litigation.
- Evaluating Crime Foreseeability and Inadequate Security Cases