Ever wondered what goes through a burglar’s head before breaking into a home? A group of KTVB 7 investigative journalists did, too. So, they surveyed 86 criminals who were currently serving time for home burglaries. The results? Intimate details on exactly what will keep them (and other robbers) out of your home.
Based on their survey results, here are the top 10 things burglars say you can do to keep them from breaking into your home:
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1. Install security cameras
Many former burglars agree that one of the best ways to protect your home is with a high-quality security camera system. Making your home surveillance system visible will ward off most robbers who are usually just looking for a quick, easy target.
2. Get a watchdog
A thief’s goal is to get in and get out, quickly and unharmed. Having a large, protective breed of dog in your home adds complications that just about every surveyed criminal agreed would send them on to a new target. However, smaller breeds of dogs didn’t seem to cause as much concern.
3. Leave a car in the driveway
Out of 86 burglars surveyed, almost all of them agreed that having a car in the driveway was a “sure-fire sign” that someone was home. Keeping at least one car visible will protect your home from most thieves.
4. Keep a TV or radio playing
Much like a parked car, the sounds of a television or radio playing are signs for burglars that someone might be home. Lights can sometimes deter robbers as well, though many say that closed blinds and an illuminated porch are actually big indicators that the house is empty and the homeowner is actively trying to deter theft.
5. Lock up before leaving
Despite what you may think, thieves don’t always break windows or kick down doors; most of them enter your home with ease through unlocked doors or windows. Simply locking up before leaving home each day can cause a criminal to move on to an easier target.
6. Reinforce doors, windows, and frames
While many criminals prefer easy access, the lack of an obvious entry point doesn’t stop all of them. Most said that their next entrance plan is to kick down a door, as the noise is usually less suspicious than broken glass. Reinforcing exterior doors, windows, and frames can prevent criminals from making their way into your home.
7. Install a discreet alarm system
If alarms start sounding, a thief will abort their mission. However, many burglars also stated that they knew how to disable alarm systems and that seeing signs or stickers for an alarm system only tipped them off as to how to disarm it and enter quietly.
8. Don’t ignore a random drop-by
Most burglars say they will knock on your door before breaking in, as one last way to ensure no one is home. If you are home, they usually already have a scheme planned up for how they will respond, some going as far as presenting you with an “anonymous survey.” Pay attention to unfamiliar visitors and warn neighborhood security or non-emergency police if something seems off.
9. Lock up valuables
From tearing apart your master bedroom to rummaging through your cereal boxes, burglars stop short of nothing to find things of value. Their top items include jewelry, credit cards, cash, electronics, collectibles, and guns. Using a heavy-duty safe might not prevent the mess or damage caused by a burglary, but it can keep your most precious valuables safe.
10. Keep your home visible
Burglars love houses that are concealed by overgrown bushes and poor lighting. This makes it easier for them to snoop around your home without alerting neighbors. Shortening fences, trimming shrubbery, and installing exterior lights can help to make entry points more visible.
Talk to security professionals
While there are many effective strategies you can take to prevent home burglaries, installing a visible, state-of-the-art security camera system tops the list. Maryland Security Professionals hires former police officers and security experts to understand criminal behavior and patterns and help customize a surveillance system for your home that suits your needs and budget. Contact us today for a free estimate.