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Insight Into The Mind Of a Burglar

Author: Sherryn de Vos
Date: 2017-05-05
Have you ever wondered what burglars look for when choosing a spot to rob? We get into the mind of a criminal to protect your property.
Do you leave your lights on when you go out? Maybe you leave your radio or TV on so that it seems as if someone is home. But, does this really work? Just how easy is it to break into a house? The hard truth is; very, very easy! We all think that we are securing ourselves and our property with burglar bars, alarm systems, or living on the third floor or higher. The fact is, however, this does not necessarily deter criminals. We heard, straight from the horse’s mouth, how burglars break in, what they look for, and what makes them think twice. The results are guaranteed to make you think twice!

Picking Out The House

Burglars pay special attention to what you are throwing out. New TV’s come in boxes, which you need to throw out on dustbin day. Many criminals have stated that they trawl neighbourhoods on collection days to see what new electronics have been bought in order for them to pick their target. Once they have picked the home, most claim that they will do a few days of surveillance. It makes it easier for them to know what times you come and go, and when the home will be open. The standard burglary time is between 12h30 to 14h00 during the week. People are usually at work and it is just before schools are let out. Most criminals also mentioned targeting homes with a lot of foliage. Trees, bushes, and overgrown lawns make it easy for a criminal to go somewhat unnoticed. Dogs are a huge deterrent for criminals. Most, however, do say that small dogs are not as off-putting as larger dogs. There does seem to be a general consensus that a barking dog does make them think twice about entering the property as it does attract attention.

Checking Who Is Home

Almost 90% of criminals have stated that they check if someone is home by ringing the bell. If someone comes to the door, they will make an excuse for being there. Popular excuses include looking for lost dogs, doing surveys, or asking for directions. One criminal stated that he would take a clipboard, smart jacket, and even a name tag to make it seem more legitimate. Should the person open the door, it could be a good opportunity for the burglar to see inside and make out the layout of the home. It also gives a good indication of what is in the home.

Breaking And Entering

Once inside the property, burglars will usually try and enter the house from the back to go undetected. They will try all the doors and windows to see if they can get in. Should this not work, they will use brute force to get into a home, if necessary. Most burglars do not pick locks, but rather pry off a burglar bar, kick down doors, or, if necessary, break windows. Breaking windows is the last option for most though, as they would prefer to not work with broken glass. Most criminals also know how to get around security systems. Security cameras are the best option when it comes to securing your home. But, don’t go the fake security camera way, criminals are not fooled by that. Most criminals spend an average of eight minutes in your home. The first place they will go to is the main bedroom where they will look for jewellery, medication, and electronics. The lounge and entertainment areas are second to be hit.

Helpful Hints

  • Put out a fake jewellery box, that will be the first thing stolen.
  • Good places to store your valuables include attics, children's bedrooms, basements, broom closets, and kitchens.
  • Don’t advertise your new purchases. Rather recycle your new TV boxes than leave them out to be collected.
  • Watch what is happening in the neighbourhood. If there has been a spike in incidents, you are sure to be hit next.
  • Keep an eye out for new people spending time in the neighbourhood. Criminals usually spend at least a week scoping out the block before pouncing on the victim.
  • Ensure you have home contents insurance, or that your current policy is up to date. In the unfortunate event that you do get burgled, you can rest easy knowing you covered.

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