VinTech recently attended a burglary awareness workshop hosted by 4 “pros”, former burglars all currently serving jail sentences. These burglars gave us an insightful, honest look inside their techniques, preferences, and opinions. Keep reading for a peek inside the life of burglar!
21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
3. I’ll break a window to get in even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears a loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. Nonetheless, when he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
4. Why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without arming it?
5. I love looking through your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TV or gaming systems I’d like. Usually, I drive or walk through your neighborhood at night before you close the blinds. That’s how I pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
Did you Leave your Door Open?
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try to open the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and just walk right in.
9. Of course I look familiar. I was just here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your refrigerator.
10. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
11. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste, and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
12. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway, and I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes for you to remove it.
13. If it snows while you are out of town, get a neighbor to create a car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
14. When decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see it. That makes it too easy.
Do you Have a Security System?
15. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
16. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door- understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
17. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. Don’t take me up on it!
18. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
19. Helpful hint: I almost never go into the kid’s rooms.
20. You’re right. I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
21. A loud TV or radio can be a great deterrent. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow. You can find these at www.faketv.com.
So how do they do it? What neighborhoods do they target?
All burglars preferred upper and middle class homes. The “yuppie” neighborhoods. They would target homes by knocking on the front door. When there was no response, they entered through an unlocked window or door. Others use the basement, sliding glass doors, and even window AC units locations.
All four of the burglars claimed the master bedroom to be their favorite room. They check closets, woman’s lingerie drawers, and under the mattress for cash and jewelry. Furthermore, they know all about those secret hiding spots people have, like a tin in the closet. A surprising hot spot is the junk drawer in the kitchen. This is because typically, it becomes a storage drawer for a lot of your information like your checkbook, inactive credit cards, etc.
How do they sell/get rid of YOUR stuff?
The burglars typically would just carry stuff our or even load up your own car. Keys can sometimes be found in the house. Additionally, they could have already entered your house by using your garage keyfob after breaking into your car.
They bring your stolen goods to a “fence man”. This person trades in the stolen items. Nonetheless, they rarely use pawn shops.
How can you protect yourself?
The more layers of protection you have, the better. Burglars rather get things easy so setting up multiple deterrents works. Therefore, you can include lighting, an intrusion alarm, a privacy fence, a loud dog, etc.
One of the most beneficial things you can do to protect your home is to communicate with your neighbors. In every case with these burglars, they were caught by a concerned neighbor who later called the police or identified them.
Don’t forget to set your alarm. More often than not, people have a security alarm, and do not use it.
Will your dog protect you?
Maybe. Some burglars claimed that most dogs were just happy to see someone at home. On the other hand, they have no problem killing a dog that tries to attack them. Dogs are more useful for alerting a neighbor something is amiss.
Above all, take simple precautions like locking your doors, closing your blinds, and setting your intrusion alarm.