Knowing the Mind of a Burglar
Knowing the mind of a burglar can help you protect your home or business. Below are great tips on how to think like a burglar and use this information to protect your family and assets.
- The majority of burglars look for easy targets—a house or an apartment that they can easily break into, steal from, and then leave without being seen or caught. Although “professional” burglars do exist, most criminals are opportunists who look for vacant homes with an unlocked door or an open window. Evaluate the vulnerabilities of your home or business using a risk versus reward analysis.
- Most break-ins occur on the ground floor of the residence.
- Most criminals gain entry through a rear or side door of the residence (both locked and unlocked), with the garage or service yard door the second most common access.
- Once a residence is targeted, most burglars will spend no more than a minute or two attempting to break in; less than five minutes once inside.
- When “casing” a prospective target, burglars try to “fit in” with the neighborhood. They may look like a repair person, a lawn guy or gardener, a city worker, or a new neighbor when examining the next target.
- They look out for loud dogs and/or inquisitive neighbors to avoid being identified.
- They try to determine if the home or business has an active intrusion alarm or home security system. If it does, move on to another target. Unless, of course, the burglar learns that the homeowner has a sophisticated system, but neglects to use it properly. Even the best alarm systems are useless if not activated.
- Look for homeowners who advertise they are taking an extended vacation in the next few days. Learn from the obituaries when a home will be vacant, following graduation dates, or weddings. Disguising when your home is unoccupied, is a good idea to avoid burglary.
- Check for easy entry from unlocked doors or open windows. Why break glass and cause nosy neighbors to become interested in unfamiliar noises if there is no need? When seeking a new target, evil- doers look for the easiest mark to commit profitable crimes with the lowest risk of capture.
- In many of our Gated Communities, high target homes are located near the edge of the neighborhood, on a golf course, or waterfront.
- Many burglars use their or their friends’ daytime job to scope out their next target. Take extra caution when you’ve had work done in your home or see work being done in your neighborhood.
- More sophisticated burglars targeting commercial businesses understand the phone line is a major weakness to the alarm system. Cellular backup can eliminate the risk of burglars cutting phone lines.