There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States, with about 1,650,000 of them taking place in homes. The FBI reports that in 2017, the average loss per burglary offense was $2,416. Due to the volume and extent of burglaries, numerous surveys have found that people worry about burglaries more than any other property crime.
To keep your home safe, it’s helpful to know what cues a burglar looks for when picking a target, and when they’re most likely to break in. We’ll cover some of the burglar’s most common strategies below:
Vacations: Burglars target the homes of families that are on vacation. For this reason, it’s good to avoid posting pictures and status updates to social media while you’re still out of town. Additionally, consider leaving your lights on and your blinds in their normal position to make the house look inhabited.
Easy entry points: Former police officer Alexia A. Chianis said, in her experience burglars look for the easiest way in. This could be anything from an open garage to an unlocked back door. In some cases, burglars have even used pet doors. Make sure to lock all of your doors and windows when no one is home. Burglars typically spend less than one minute gaining entry into a building. They are deterred by the slightest inconvenience and simply locking up goes a long way.
Recent moves: When people are moving between houses, they’ll likely leave some of their belongings in their old home overnight, planning to finish the job the next day. Burglars know this and because the moving process often provides significant lapses in home security, it’s a golden opportunity for them to strike. We wrote an entire article with tips on how to protect yourself from burglars while moving.
Low traffic: There’s a reason the majority of burglaries occur in rural areas; they have lower traffic, fewer people, and there’s a smaller chance of attracting attention. Burglars see homes that are a significant distance from neighbors as opportunities because there’s a much lower chance of getting caught. If your home is isolated from neighbors, you should know a locked gate is not enough to fend off burglars. It’s much better to invest in a home security system. One of the first things burglars do is check for a home security system. If they see one, they’ll almost always leave and look for a new target.
Acquaintances: A surprising number of burglaries are carried out by someone that knew the homeowner. We’re not suggesting that your friends or family would steal your belongings. In most cases, it’s someone the homeowner knows but is not very close with. It could be a hairdresser, nail stylist, or carpenter. These people often know when the home will be vacant, and therefore can easily plan out a time to break in. To protect yourself from theft by acquaintances, only share your private information with trusted friends and family.
Protect Your Home with SafeTouch Security
Burglars are opportunists and they are risk-averse. They strike when homes are vacant. The majority of burglaries take place during the hours most people are at work. During these times, there aren’t any neighbors around to look after your home. Additionally, the slightest inconvenience, such as a dog or noisy door can turn them away and leave them looking for a new target. Due to the selective nature of their crimes, the Pew Research Center found that only 13% of burglary cases are solved by police.
Once you’ve been robbed, it’s usually too late to do anything. The best thing you can do is proactively prevent your home from being targeted. SafeTouch security systems offer plenty of different cameras and alarm systems that can keep your home secure. In most cases, simply having the system in a location the burglar can see will be enough to turn them away. Contact us today for more information.