Inside Crime: Why Does a Burglar Choose You?
Lifestyle An internationally celebrated security expert with over 33 years of experience in security management gets inside the mind of your neighborhood second-story man.
I am a burglar. This is how I target a family in a neighborhood just like yours.
I know your neighborhood
I know the streets and getaway routes because I live, work or attend school nearby. I can select any home to burglarize, but I like yours best because…
Your home is familiar to me
I’ve been in your home before—as a service worker, repairman, painter, deliveryman or dishonest acquaintance of one of your kids. I’ve already checked out the security of your home for future reference.
Your home is poorly secured
From the street, I can spot your bad habit of leaving doors and windows open during the day. I burglarize during the day. I may park down the street to pick-up on your daily departure routine.
"Burglars will choose your home before targeting others in the same neighborhood."
Your home is dark at night
I like to prowl outside your home in the dark and peek in your windows. I know you don’t have outdoor motion sensor lights that will suddenly snap on and draw attention to my presence.
I know things about you
I picked your home because of your lifestyle. I know you live alone, drive an expensive car, and wear nice clothes and jewelry. I’ve looked through your trash and found evidence of a new laptop computer and drug prescriptions.
Your front door is hidden
My approach to your front door is blocked by overgrown foliage. Neighbors won’t see me search for a hidden key first, then attack the weak door and window hardware that doesn’t require much force or create much noise to open.
No alarm warning signs
I’m afraid of home alarm systems. I won’t risk breaking-in if I see multiple alarm company signs.
You don’t have a large dog
I don’t like large noisy dogs that will attract attention or bite me. I believe warning signs that say: “Beware of Dog.”
Your neighbors aren’t alert
In your neighborhood, no one pays attention to me. I’ll avoid your home if I attract the attention of a nosy neighbor—especially if they stare at me or ask what I’m doing.
I know you’re on vacation
I see newspapers and mail piled up, door-knob flyers not removed, virgin snow in the driveway or walkway, trash not curbed on pickup day, no lights on at night. I can pick the best time of day and steal for anything of value.
As your burglar, I want to thank you for this easy opportunity to ransack your home.