When I first started working in the home security industry, there was a lot I didn’t know about home protection or how a burglar operates. Some of the most common questions I would get asked were, “How does a burglar target a home?” or, “What would a burglar do in this situation?” Most of the time I replied with a common statistic that I found online or from co-workers. There came a day when I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I was able to get these questions answered straight from the horse’s mouth?
I was determined to sit down with a burglar to ask him the questions that most homeowners ask themselves after they have been a victim of a burglary. So a friend and I hit the pavement looking for a reliable source and we found one, oddly enough! Now let me forewarn you, some of the things you read may shock you, but keep an open mind and take it all in as an eye opener.
I was able to ask some hard-hitting questions and culled together the most common answers to give you a peek into the psyche of a burglar. It’s time for you to get acquainted with Bob, your neighborhood burglar.
Hi, my name is Bob the Burglar, I’m your local community’s burglar, and I would like to formally introduce myself.
Before stepping foot into a home there is some work that needs to be done first. I have to target a specific neighborhood, which is done at random, and then proceed to “case” homes. Now in order for me to do this undetected, I’ll usually dress up as a pizza delivery man or gardener. I’ve even been known to post a store’s flyer on your door to get a closer look into your home to see if there’s any valuables in plain sight, or if you have a burglar alarm in place. I usually start my work day at around 8 am, this way I can see if you’re leaving home for work or school. I take a lunch from 11-1 pm to avoid any confrontation in case you come home for lunch, and then my day usually wraps up at 3 pm.
So what am I looking for to make your home my next potential victim? Here are 4 of the most common signs I look for:
- Vacancy – I will never try to break into a home unless I think no one is home, but sometimes it is hard to tell. The absence of a car in the driveway, an unkempt lawn and piled up mail and newspapers are a good indication that no one is home… either that or the homeowner is lazy!
- Privacy Fencing – If I see a home with tall a privacy fence, I know this house is for me. There’s nothing worse than a nosy neighbor peeking out their window to see what I’m doing. Privacy fencing allows me to look through your windows undetected from anyone passing by on the street.
- Trees, Hedges or Shrubbery – There’s nothing better than natural cover. If the home doesn’t have privacy fencing this works just as well. Hedges or shrubbery allows me to break your windows without being detected by neighbors. I’ve even been known to hide under shrubbery or hedges for a long period of time, as it gives me the perfect vantage point to see if everyone has left.
- Toys Left on the Lawn & Playground Equipment – Anytime I see this I know I’m in for a good treat! What does this have to do with targeting a home? Well anytime I see anything like this left on the lawn, it tells me that a mother lives here, which in most cases means… JEWELRY!
Here are some of the methods I use to gain entry into your home:
- Knock Knock! I always like to knock on the door first to see if anyone is inside the home. If no one answers, then I know the coast is clear. I like to knock because at the same time I can check to see if the door is unlocked. Believe it or not, a lot of the time I just walk through your front door.
- Unlocked windows are usually my second common method of getting inside your home.
- If all else fails, smashing a window or a swift kick to your door gives me the same result.
*Quick Tip: It usually takes me less than two minutes to get inside a home. If I can’t do it in less than 3 minutes, I’ll just move onto the next vulnerable home.
Ever wonder what a burglar does inside your home?
- As soon as I’m in a home, I always use the same search pattern starting with the master bedroom first. I’ll look under the bed, in closets, your dresser and especially your sock drawer!
- This might seem strange but the bathroom is my second stop. I do this because of prescription drugs; this is instant cash for me.
- The kitchen and living room is usually the final stop on my tour. Usually the kitchen and family room are filled with electronics and personal information.
- After I have helped myself to your goods, I have my lookout and back-up driver come pick me up and load the goods into the car and then off to the next house.
- It takes me under 12 minutes to get everything I need and to make my exit. Pretty fast huh?
*Quick Tip: Try not to leave your valuables in the most common areas such as a dresser, under the bed or closet. I highly recommend investing in a safe, and if you do, make sure it’s bolted down. If not, I’ll just take it with me!
So now that you know my tricks and methods, don’t think you’re safe from a guy like me. The best suggestion I can make is to invest in a wireless home security system. I won’t even attempt to break into a home if I know there are security measures in place. Like I said, I’m looking for an easy score, not something that is going to get me caught.
Hopefully this will help you avoid bad guys like me. If not, I’ll be on the prowl, looking for your home. So once again, this is Bob your local burglar, and I’ll be coming to a city near you.
This post was written by Kevin Raposo, a blogger for SimpliSafe. Kevin covers issues related to home security, crime, safety, and consumer issues. SimpliSafe is a leader in wireless home security industry.