What Motivates Burglars to Strike (or to Avoid) a Home? | Safetouch Security Systems

What Motivates Burglars to Strike (or to Avoid) a Home?

Burglars usually decide to invade homes that look like easy targets or that don't have alarm systems.Many factors may influence a burglar’s decision when he or she is deciding when, where and how to strike. Although many burglaries may seem random, effective burglars often plan their crimes in advance; what appears as random is usually haste. Burglars often look for homes without a security system, so their chances of getting away with the crime are much greater.


Burglars have different motivations for their crimes, but the primary one is the need for money. Generally, due to its rapid nature, burglary is one of the most difficult crimes to solve, making it a great means by which to get quick, easy money. According to statistics on burglaries, 79 percent of burglars look for cash during their burglary, 68 percent look for jewelry, 58 percent look for illegal drugs, and 56 percent look for electronics. When a burglary occurs, 65 percent of burglars work to dispose of stolen items as quickly as possible, often selling them to pawn shops, secondhand dealers, or friends or acquaintances. There are several instances of theft cases that have been solved when the original owner finds his stolen property on craigslist.

How Do Burglars Choose Their Targets?

Some burglars may be more fearful of threat of punishment than others, but no burglar wants to get caught. In general, burglars target homes that are easier to access and exit without being seen. Burglars typically look for the following:

  • Homes with open or unlocked windows or doors, or windows and doors that are easy to pry open with a screwdriver, crowbar, or hammer.
  • Homes with no visible evidence of a security system, like security signs, alarm wiring, keypads, or cameras. Nine out of 10 burglars avoid homes with visible security system signage. Additionally, when a security system is triggered during a burglary, more than half of burglars will immediately leave the scene.
  • Homes with overgrown shrubbery and trees that hide the front or rear of the house. Overgrowth provides excellent cover and good hiding places for a burglar attempting to break into a home.
  • Homes that appear vacant or unoccupied. Burglars look for signs of movement inside a home, during the day and at night. Homes where occupants are at work or away on vacation make prime targets for burglars. Stacked up mail and newspapers are a dead giveaway that you’re not at home.

What Deters Burglars from Choosing a Target?

According to burglary studies and statistics, security system alarms, outdoor cameras, and other surveillance equipment are the main deterrents for burglars. At least 60 percent of burglars indicate that the presence of an alarm security system would cause them to seek a different target.

Other deterrents include a close proximity to traffic and people. In neighborhoods where there’s a lot of traffic or outdoor activity such as neighbors gardening, people walking with kids and pets, or people bicycling and running, burglars tend to choose a different target area. In busy neighborhoods, there is too much visibility and opportunity to be seen, and good escape routes are limited.

Homes with dogs, especially large, barking dogs, are another deterrent for most burglars. A barking dog is like an alarm security system that has been activated. Both are certain to attract the attention of nearby neighbors and/or police departments.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home safe, a security system from SafeTouch can help. At SafeTouch Security, we offer the latest technology at affordable prices. For more information on our advanced security systems for your home, contact us today.