When you think of a burglar, what comes to mind? Probably someone who isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. After all, why would they choose to steal from others and risk their freedom?
While there are certainly many thieves that are impulsive, many are actually quite calculated and intentional in what they do. They have their “secrets” that they don’t want others to know. It’s these “secrets” that allow them to keep doing what they do.
In this post, we are going to cover 10 things that burglars don’t want you to know. This information has come from a number of sources, including ex-burglars themselves.
1. It takes time to find the perfect target.
If you remember Home Alone, the robbers did a lot of planning before they decided on which homes to target. They even went door to door checking things out!
Although that was a movie, things aren’t that much different in real life. Clever burglars don’t act impulsively. They take their time by driving or walking through neighborhoods and identifying homes that could make easy targets – no obstructed yards, no pets, no home security system..
2. Home security systems are a major deterrent.
A burglar’s freedom is on the line, so they aren’t going to go after properties that are secured with a home alarm system. They know that if the alarm sounds, they have to get out immediately, and that won’t leave them any time to grab what they want.
Also, if the home is equipped with security cameras on top of a home alarm system, it’s really over. There’s little chance a criminal is going to risk getting caught on camera for a few valuables.
3. Burglars often set foot in your home before putting it on the target list.
Burglars often have jobs, too. Stealing from people isn’t their number one occupation. Be mindful of people who come into your home to do work, such as repairing your furnace, fixing your cable connection or delivering furniture. This is an easy way for people to find out what types of things you have and whether you have a home security system.
4. Expensive “toys” outside mean expensive things inside.
If you have flashy toys outdoors – expensive cars, pricey kids’ toys, high-end lawn furniture – it tells potential intruders that you probably have very nice things inside as well.
Burglars look for homes that have a lot of valuables such as expensive electronics, fine jewelry and cash. While it’s impractical to hide your kids’ toys or not enjoy the outside of your home, it is practical to keep your garage door closed as much as possible.
5. They may ask to use the bathroom.
It might sound rude to deny a service person the bathroom, but you have to do so for your own protection. There have been service employees who have requested to use a bathroom in a home they were doing work at and ended up unlocking a window to use as a future entry point. A simple, “I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable with that” is all that needs to be said.
6. They might come to your door to ask a question.
Another way that potential burglars can learn about the homes they target is by coming to your door and asking you a question. They might pretend like they are lost (“Where is Bayside Drive?”) or considering buying a home in the neighborhood. You have no obligation to answer the door for a stranger in the first place. If you do happen to answer, be firm but pleasant. Burglars look for people’s demeanor to see what they are like.
7. There are hot spots in the home where burglars tend to enter.
The most popular places for burglars to enter the home include windows above the kitchen sink, upper level windows, lower level windows, sliding glass doors and the front door. Give extra attention to these areas by setting them with alarms and installing motion detectors.
8. The master bedroom is usually the first stop.
Burglars, on average, spend 8-12 minutes in a home. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible, so they head to the room that has the most valuables: the master bedroom. Burglars know to look through medicine bottles, sock drawers and closets for these valuables, so even your “clever” disguises might not be enough to prevent your belongings from being stolen.
9. They usually exit through the front door.
Burglars will often walk right out the front door looking calm and collected. They don’t want to get caught, so climbing out a bathroom window with a bag full of stuff would look a little obvious, wouldn’t it? Also, burglars often look and dress like everyday people, making them harder to spot walking down the street of your neighborhood.
10. They don’t want an altercation.
Believe it or not, most burglars do not want to be approached by the homeowner. That’s why empty homes are preferred as opposed to ones where the family is sleeping upstairs. For the most part, burglars don’t want to physically harm anyone, but they can do so when they feel threatened. With an Austin alarm company, your priority is to get to a safe place and wait for the authorities.
We hope that these 10 secrets have helped you better understand what burglars look for in the homes they target. Arm yourself with a monitored home alarm system so that you can sleep better at night.