Basically, there are three types of burglars and you need to understand the differences in order to take action to prevent them from turning you into a victim.
The first is the person who leaves home to have a good time, usually with friends, frequently gets high on drugs or alcohol and responds to the suggestion that they should break into “that” house on the spur of the moment.
The second is the person who has a firm belief that everyone should work for a living and his/her particular career choice is burglarizing homes.
Revenge burglars are people that are related to you, work with you or are known to you or your household members and believe that you have treated them unfairly in some way. They break into your home to steal something that they know that you place a good deal of sentimental value on in order to get revenge.
This first is stopped almost immediately by locked doors, windows and lights that automatically pop on with any motion near your home.
They are the most easily deterred because they have limited skills, are not in the business of breaking into homes and only make the choice because it “sounds like” some kind of fun at the time.
The second requires that you have extra secure locks such as those installed by Certified Locksmiths, alarm systems of some kind and/or an ability to identify them if they enter your home.
These offenders have minimal skill sets similar to the home handyman but are willing to break your window in order to get into your space. These are also the ones to use bump keys that are designed to break your standard lock.
The third has personal knowledge of when you are home and when the home is vacant. Often, they know where you keep a spare key or which door or window you leave unlocked most of the time.
They are familiar to your neighbors so often fly under the “abnormal behavior” radar that your neighbors may be on alert for. They may even wave at your neighbor as they approach the house.
These crooks are out to hurt you emotionally and if they have a violent nature, may want to hurt you physically. Most “home invasion robberies” are committed by this third group.
Often leave a mess behind as they toss things in their search
The hours of break-ins is assumed to be due to the fact that they have been busy getting high or drunk and hash their idea out with friends and willing participants.
This is one of the amateur types who participated in a burglary where a cell phone was taken thinking that they could sell it. Since they couldn’t, he tried to sell it back to the original owner THREE times. He was arrested in the end, by the way.
The chance of getting any of these items returned if the crooks are not caught within minutes of entering your home is very low because this group does not have professional contacts that they can sell these items to quickly.
Motion sensor lights installed at the corners of your home that light the entire yard, in the driveway and on the porch and patio areas are usually enough to squelch any opportunistic fantasies!
If you leave home for the weekend where your house if vacant at night, install sensors that turn your lights on when the doors or windows are moved more than ¼”. These types of sensors can be installed by lighting companies and can be used constantly or just when you are away from home.
Keeping a wireless camera in several rooms that alerts you and can be monitored from anywhere you happen to be is helpful for identifying entrants.
Some of these store the visual data with dates and times in the Cloud so that you can download it to a laptop and email it to the local police.
Notice that in this video, there is a team of 3. Two stroll into the back area where there is a privacy fence.
When they attempt to break the glass on the door, it shatters first instead of breaking clean confusing our genius burglar.
The guy that is squatted on the left side of the screen uses his cell phone to call someone as the other guy is trying to figure out how to push the glass in. And these guys have made burglarizing homes a “career”!
Pay attention to how casually they walk through the home and that they do not rummage through drawers or toss things around leaving a mess.
They spend almost 6 minutes on the property. The CCTV camera was being monitored in real time and the entire group, including the getaway driver, was caught.
Apparently, career burglars prefer day work – which tells us that the majority of those who choose this path prefer to work without supervision.
The racial breakdown provided is a national compilation and may differ in your particular city or town but non-whites commit fewer burglaries than white non-Hispanics.
A few experts suggest that perhaps this is because a non-white in a predominantly white neighborhood would stick out like a sore thumb and attract more attention.
As with the Opportunity Lawbreaker, the Career Property Snatcher’s average age is between 21 and 45 with the majority over the age of 25.
Twenty years ago, it was extremely rare to find a female participating in a burglary. Today, law enforcement almost expects it.
Of all the statistics on property stolen that seem curious, the fact that the number one item stolen by career thieves is clothing causes one to pause. Law enforcement and data does not indicate the reason for taking clothing but an argument could be made that these are items that are grabbed for personal use.
The career property snatchers know better than to leave a mess behind – such as evidence of ransacking – and this may be due to the fact that most were raised in fairly traditional middle and lower-middle income homes where neatness was stressed. (They can still hear Mom yelling at them to pick up after themselves.)
While they are not the brightest bulbs in the basket, they are not imbeciles unable to read, write or work a regular job for a living. And, since second-hand resale of household property doesn’t bring enough to pay rent in a nice apartment, we might also assume that they are somewhat lazy.
Most have worked in mainstream jobs at some time during their adulthood and are capable of obtaining employment if they choose to do so. Taking photos of your electronic items, engrave your name and phone number on the inside of your laptop, camera, video players and keeping close track of your prescription medications to know how much remains in each bottle every day will accomplish two things:
Of the three groups, the Revenge Burglar is the most dangerous to confront and the most difficult to prevent from gaining entry.
Be careful who you and other household members allow into your home. Be suspicious of everyone! Usually, these types of burglars are:
If your home is ever broken into by someone that you know and items that you treasure are broken, report it to the police.
If you do not report it because you know or suspect that you know the perpetrator, you may inadvertently be allowing this angry person to get away with murder sometime down the line.
If he/she knows that the police will suspect him/her first if anything happens to you, they will hesitate to take action.