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5 Odd Tips from Convicted Burglars

A little over 5 years ago VinTech attended a burglar awareness workshop presented by the Chicago Police department. When similar questions arose this past August 2016, in a 4-part series produced by New York’s NBC channel, we wanted to make a comparison to help us determine whether criminals are giving similar responses and using comparable tactics.

The following 5 questions were asked both in the 2011 workshop and the 2016 survey. Can this comparison give us insight on how to protect our homes?

When asked:

  1. How did you break in?  In the survey, 42% said through an unlocked window and 38% said through an unlocked door. In the workshop, they confessed to using back doors, unlocked front doors or windows.
  2. Where did you first look for valuables? In the survey, as much as 75.4% said they go straight to the bedrooms, with both sources said they first look in the master bedroom.
  3. Are Burglar alarms or surveillance cameras a deterrent?

As much as 42.1 % said they would leave immediately if they discovered a home or apartment with an alarm system. Cameras also proved effective at 36.8%. In the workshop, answers were mixed –  Most said, “I don’t like alarms.”  Others said the alarm would limit the amount of time they’d spend in your home.

  1. Would you break into a house or apartment if there was a dog inside? In the survey, almost 37% said yes. They use food to distract dogs while they commit the crime. In the workshop, their answers were mixed. Some said “yes, I don’t like big dogs”. Others said it depended on the breed. But most said it wasn’t a problem.
  2. What is the number one advice to prevent being a target? In the workshop, 5 out of the 8 men, said nosy neighbors! One burglar said he hated being watched by the people sitting on their porch, drinking their morning coffee as he was walking up and down the street surveying homes.In the survey, burglars said there is nothing more effective than a neighborhood watch.

Yes, it may be difficult to believe that burglars just walk into homes with minimal effort. But after all, burglary is a crime of opportunity.

A convicted burglar acknowledged that he looks for activity inside the home, so people are better off leaving a radio or T.V. on. rather than using light timers. Another man from the survey mentioned that placing all valuables in one place makes it easy for thieves. Therefore, it is best to arrange several hiding places to hide valuables. If a burglar finds one of the stash spots, he might be happy enough to stop looking or not be clever enough to find all the hiding spots and so maybe he won’t get away with all your valuables. Taking these measures into consideration can help us outpace this criminal activity.

To view the complete 4-part series click below: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Burglar-Reveal-Secrets-Investigation-NBC-4-New-York-I-Team–390936212.html

To read more questions and answers from the workshop click below:

http://vintechnology.com/2011/07/07/more-things-a-burglar-wont-tell-you-part-1/

http://vintechnology.com/2011/07/14/more-things-a-burglar-wont-tell-you-part-2/